Atlanta at Washington Game 1 NBA Playoffs Betting Pick, Spread & TV InfoWhen: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC TV: TNT Stream: WatchESPN Radio: Atlanta / Washington NBA Odds: Wizards -5 (211)
Why Bet On Atlanta?The Hawks clinched a playoff berth for the 10th consecutive season, the longest active streak in the Eastern Conference, the second-longest in the NBA (San Antonio – 20) and the lengthiest in Atlanta Hawks history.
Atlanta ranked seventh in the NBA in spg (8.2) and second in forcing turnovers as foes committed 15.4 miscues per game. The Hawks were also fifth in opponent FG% (.444) and 10th in opponent ppg (104.0). The Hawks ranked 10th in the NBA in apg at 23.6, dishing out at least 20 helpers 63 times, including 25-plus on 35 occasions (10 30-assist nights). Atlanta recorded assists on 62.1% of its made baskets (sixth in the league).
Given their point differential (plus-1.8 ppg) is the weakest of the teams with home-court advantage in the first round, the Wizards should be vulnerable in this series. Despite their first-round wins in 2014 and 2015, the Wizards have the fewest playoff minutes on their roster of any playoff team this season.
The Hawks were outscored by 70 points this season. They were one of four teams with a winning record and a negative point differential. They overachieved because they were 26-18 in games that were within five points in the last five minutes.
Dwight Howard (13th consecutive season averaging a double-double) and Dennis Schroder have performed admirably this season . Schroder has blossomed into the primary distributor, and it’s his job to keep the ball swinging between Paul Millsap, Kent Bazemore and Tim Hardaway Jr.
Atlanta allowed 24.6 fourth quarter ppg this year, ranking sixth in the league, and held opponents below 20 points in the fourth on 21 occasions. The Hawks were 34-7 when leading entering the final frame.
Why Bet On Washington?Atlanta has the worst point differential (minus-0.9 ppg) of all the playoff teams as well as three (the Charlotte Hornets, Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat).
After getting off to a dreadful 2-8 start, the Wizards righted the ship, and by February had a 17-game home winning streak. The Wizards ended up winning their division for the first time in 38 years.
Washington is 43-21 (.672) over the last 64 games, including a 33-15 (.688) record in the last 48 contests. The 43 wins since Dec. 5 is third-most in the NBA (Golden State 50, San Antonio 45). During that time, the Wizards have shot .482 from the field (second in NBA) and averaged 111.0 points per game (fourth in NBA). The 33-15 record since Jan. 6 is the second-most wins in the NBA to Golden State (36-10).
John Wall and Bradley Beal are possibly the best backcourt duo in the East, and Otto Porter Jr. has emerged as one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA. What’s more, the Wizards have an NBA-best 27 times with all five starters scoring in double figures. Washington has an NBA best 27 games in which all five starters have scored in double figures. Washington is 30-8 when scoring 110+ points in a game this season (Wizards average 109.3 points per game, fifth in NBA).
Wall and Beal combined to average 46.1 points per game, and Wall averages 10.7 assists per game, second in the NBA. Wall is one of three players to average a point-assist double-double. The Wizards are 36-14 when he has one. Wall became the first player in NBA history to average at least 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 0.5 blocks per game.
In four games against the Hawks this season, the Wizards were 3-1.