One thing that often gets overlooked when surveying the big picture of the NBA playoff race are the battles going on in each of the divisions in the NBA. There is a really good one taking place in the Southeast right now, where the Atlanta Hawks have a 1-game lead over the Miami Heat. It may not seem like such a big deal, but winning that division could mean the difference between starting the playoffs at home as opposed to on the road. This looks like being another great Pro hoops odds match-up between these two, and is one that is definitely worth having a wager on.
Miami Heat Vs Atlanta Hawks NBA Odds, TV and Game Info
When: Friday, February 19, 8:00 PM ET
Where: Phillips Arena, Atlanta
NBA Odds: TBA
Why bet on the Miami Heat
The Heat (29-24) went into the break on a bit of a cool streak, having lost back to back games, which took them to 6-4 in their last 10. They passed up a glorious opportunity to overtake the Hawks in the division race, and a loss in this one could see the hole get just a little deeper. Miami have been pretty good on the road this season, and are carrying a .500 road record into the ATL. They have actually won 4 of their last 5 games in hostile territory, and were able to pick up the win the last time they went into Phillips Arena. The Heat have won the last 2 meetings versus Atlanta, but it should be noted that they had lost 7-straight to the Hawks before those back to back wins earlier this season. Miami are averaging 96.0 PPG, and are giving up 96.3 PPG.
Why bet on the Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks (31-24) were one of the feel good stories of the year last season, with rookie head coach Mike Budenholzer leading his troops to an Eastern Conference title. Things have not gone as smoothly this season, though, and there is a lot of talk in Atlanta about big trade deadline deals being made. Al Horford is rumored to be on the way out, and both Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard have both been mentioned as possible additions to the Hawks squad. Atlanta could use a little shot in the arm, as their 6-4 record in the last 10 games is not good enough if they hope to repeat as conference champions. The Hawks are a more respectable 17-9 at home, and they have an overall 6-5 record against division opponents. Atlanta are averaging 102.4 PPG, and are giving up 99.7 PPG.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Heat have had their way with the Hawks in 2 of their 3 meetings this season, but they are not playing particularly well at the moment. The Hawks are tough to take down at home, and I think they will do just enough to get the win here.
Miami Heat 95 Atlanta Hawks 100