The 2021 NBA Playoffs betting action goes on Friday, June 11, as four teams take the floor, so here’s the best Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks betting pick for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
After splitting a couple of games in Philadelphia, the Hawks will host the Sixers as slight 1.5-point underdogs for Game 3, while the totals are set at 224.5 points on William Hill Sportsbook. Atlanta won the opener as a 4.5-point dog, 128-124, and Phila bounced back with a 118-102 victory in Game 2, easily covering a 6.5-point spread.
The 76ers put on a strong performance to tie the series
The Philadelphia 76ers yielded a whopping 74 first-half points in Game 1, so they tightened things up defensively last Tuesday and held the Hawks to 102 points on 45.8% shooting from the field and 36.7% from beyond the arc.
The Sixers also played some excellent offense for all 48 minutes. They committed just nine turnovers while handing out 29 assists. Phila shot 52.9% from the field and 46.2% from downtown (12-for-26), and Joel Embiid tortured the Hawks for 40 points on 13-for-25 shooting from the field and 12-for-16 at the line.
Tobias Harris continues to play well for the Sixers, averaging 23.9 points and 6.8 rebounds this postseason. He had 22 points last Tuesday, while Seth Curry added 21 including five triples out of six attempts from deep.
Ben Simmons tallied only four points and seven assists in 35 minutes on the floor but sacrificed enormously on the defensive end. The Sixers have allowed 111.4 points a night in seven outings this postseason, limiting their rivals to just 33.3% shooting from beyond the 3-point line.
The Hawks need to do a much better job on the home court
The Atlanta Hawks nearly blew a 26-point lead in Game 1, allowing the Sixers to cut the deficit to just three points with 61 seconds left in the fourth quarter. They lost the momentum and failed to cope with the 76ers in Game 2.
The Hawks were terrific in the first half of the opening clash. Trae Young scored 25 of his 35 points before the break, and the Hawks looked unstoppable on the offensive end. However, the second game of the series showed some flaws in the Hawks’ game, especially because Clint Capela got into foul trouble and Phila dominated in the paint.
The Hawks had no problems eliminating the New York Knicks in the first round. They needed five games and held the Knicks below 100 points on four occasions. The Hawks are scoring 107.1 points per game on the postseason, shooting 45.5% from the field and 37.3% from beyond the arc.
- 3-11 SU and ATS in the last 14 road games against Atlanta
- 13-7 ATS in the last 20 games against Philadelphia
- 13-0 SU and 11-2 ATS in the last 13 games at home
The Hawks are 4-1 straight up and 5-0 ATS in their last five home games against the Sixers. Atlanta is undefeated in 13 straight outings on the home court, going 11-2 ATS in the process, so I think the Hawks are capable of upsetting the odds here. They are 5-2 SU and ATS in the last seven showings at home as underdogs.
Phila is a better defensive team than Atlanta, no doubt. But the Sixers could easily struggle offensively if Clint Capela stays out of foul trouble and the Hawks force the Sixers to take more contested shots, especially from deep. The 76ers are not a great shooting team, and the Hawks take seven attempts from deep per game more than Phila this postseason.
Pick: Take Atlanta Hawks +3.5 at -150
The Sixers have won two of their three regular-season games against the Hawks, and the under is now 3-2 in their five encounters this term. Game 1 of the playoff series went way in the over, while Game 2 finished in the under of a 225.5-point line.
The Hawks’ lone regular-season win over Phila came in January, 112-94, and in each of the other four tilts, Atlanta allowed the Sixers to surpass a 117-point mark. The hosts have to show up defensively in Game 3 if they want to upset the odds, so I’m backing the under.
Pick: Go under 224.5 points at -110