|-1 ATL (-106) @ pinnacle|
8* Take Atlanta (#539)
From a pure ‘spot’ perspective, this game screams ‘Atlanta’. The Spurs are now dealing with the ramifications of their COVID pause back in February, playing 40 games in a span of 68 days. This will be their fourth set of back-2-backs since the All Star Break, after knocking off Sacramento in a ‘short turnaround revenge’ setting last night. It’s surely worth noting that this team hasn’t swept a single ‘back-2-back’ set for the entire season – eight previous tries. This is their 14th game in 23 days since the Break. They’re playing shorthanded – dumping LaMarcus Aldridge and missing Lonnie Walker and potentially Trey Lyles this evening. I’m not expecting the Spurs best game here, a non-conference affair in the midst of an extended homestand.
From the Hawks side of the equation, there are clearly injury issues as well – John Collins is out; both Lou Williams and DeAndre Hunter are questionable. But this is clearly a ‘circle the wagons’ game for Nate McMillan’s squad after losing four of their last five on this West Coast swing – three ‘step up in class’ games (Clippers, Nuggets and Suns), and a buzzer beating defeat in Sacramento. Remember, the Hawks had won eight straight before this scheduling stretch, and they put all kinds of emphasis on this road trip. Kevin Huerter: “(The road trip) in a lot of ways is going to make or break our season…..extremely important time of year.” I look for Atlanta to be the fresher, more intense team tonight; meaningful in this pick ‘em price range. Take the Hawks.
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