Friday night brings plenty of interesting matchups around the Association including the first clash of the season between the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards, so I’ve prepared the best betting pick for this Southeast Division showdown at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
The Hawks and Wizards split their last ten encounters, and neither side has recorded two straight wins in that span. In their previous duel, the Wizards beat the Hawks 118-112 as 5.5-point home favorites, but this time, they’ll open as 5.5-point underdogs on PointsBet Sportsbook.
Atlanta looks to right the ship following a painful loss to Brooklyn
The Atlanta Hawks (9-9; 10-8 ATS) are coming off a 132-128 overtime defeat to the Brooklyn Nets this past Wednesday. It was a tight battle for all 53 minutes, and the Hawks had the biggest lead of just seven points, but they couldn’t get the job done.
Trae Young shot just 7-for-22 from the field and finished with 28 points and 14 assists. De’Andre Hunter and John Collins had 21 points each, while Cam Reddish added 24 points off the bench.
The Hawks have dropped two of their last three games, outlasting the short-handed Clippers 108-99 and losing at Milwaukee 129-115 in the process. After scoring 43 points in last weeks’ win over Minnesota, Trae Young dropped 38 on the Clippers, while De’Andre Hunter led the way against the Bucks with 33 points.
Atlanta tallies 112.4 points per 100 possessions (10th in the NBA). The Hawks shoot just 44.6% from the field (24th) and 35.3% from beyond the 3-point line (22nd), but they are the fourth-best rebounding team in the league with 47.6 rebounds per 100 possessions.
Washington hopes to snap a three-game skid
The Washington Wizards (3-11; 6-8 ATS) are the worst team in the NBA and are riding a three-game losing streak following another heavy loss on the road. They just wrapped up a three-game road trip with a 124-106 defeat at New Orleans despite 47 points by Bradley Beal.
It was another strong performance by the two-time All-Star, as Beal is leading the NBA with 35.4 points per game while shooting an excellent 48.1% from the field. However, the Wizards are one of the worst defensive teams in the league. They rank 28th in points allowed per 100 possessions (115.0), 29th in opponent field goal percentage (48.8%), and 25th in opponent 3-point percentage (38.2%).
Washington scores 110.5 points per 100 possessions (14th) on 46.3% shooting from the field (also 14th) and 36.9% from downtown (tied-12th). The Wizards commits only 13.3 turnovers (4th) while handing out 25.3 assists per 100 possessions (11th), so their offense looks pretty nice on paper.
- 5-1 ATS in the last six games overall
- 5-0 ATS in the last five games as favorites
- 2-4 ATS in the last six games overall
- 6-14 ATS in the last 20 games as underdogs
I’m backing the Hawks to win simply because they are a much better defensive team. Atlanta yields 110.0 points per 100 possessions (13th) on 44.7% shooting from the field (5th) and 32.4% from beyond the arc (2nd).
The Hawks should dominate the Wizards in the paint on both sides of the ball. Clint Capela is posting 13.7 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks a night, while John Collins (16.7 PPG, 53.6 FG%) is another weapon in the low post. The Wizards will struggle to come out on top even if they manage to keep it close down the stretch.
Pick: Take Atlanta -3.5 at -150
Two of the last four games between Atlanta and Washington went in the over, producing a whopping 266 and 288 points in total. The other two produced 212 and 230, so we should expect to see another high-scoring affair.
The Hawks have improved a lot defensively while recording 99.5 possessions per 48 minutes (19th in the NBA). However, the Wizards lead the NBA with 104.7 possessions per 48 minutes, so I wouldn’t be surprised with a shootout in this one.
Pick: Go over 232.5 points at -110