NBA Odds Slightly Favor Hawks Against 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers visit the Atlanta Hawks with a long list of injuries. This includes reigning MVP Joel Embiid and the team’s third-best scorer, Tobias Harris. As such, the 76ers vs Hawks matchup odds have the Hawks favored if only by one possession. Betting Philadelphia as an underdog seems enticing until you discover it is only 2-7 as one this season. But laying points on Atlanta is more daunting. So who is more bettable here?
With Philadelphia’s Injuries, the Best Bet Could be in the Total
Not too long ago, the 76ers were the second-best team in the NBA standings as it roared to a 20-8 start. It had a top-three offense thanks to Embiid being among the NBA stat leaders in scoring with his 35 points per game. But thanks to the injury bug, Philadelphia has now dropped four of its last seven.
Four main 76ers could miss Wednesday’s action against Atlanta. Other than Embiid and Harris, guard De’Anthony Melton and forward Robert Covington are also injured. Altogether, that’s four players on the rotation with a combined scoring average of nearly 56 points.
“Even though we were missing five guys, those guys can collectively play together better than that,” 76ers head coach Nick Nurse said following the defeat on Monday. “They can execute better, they can defend better than that.”
Philadelphia’s offense has deteriorated without three of its best scorers. The team averaged just over 100 points in its last four games. The totals all went under. But against the Hawks, a team that gives up a whopping 126.3 points at home, Philadelphia could get going. That’s why the total is set at 244.5 points in this 76ers vs Hawks matchup. Hawks games have been high scoring, especially in Atlanta where 11 of the 14 totals have gone ‘over’.
Most Sixers games have also gone over. If we exclude their last four games, 67.7% of Philadelphia’s games have gone over the total (21-10-0). Only the league’s top offense, the Pacers, has a higher ratio. Still, 244.5 points is a lot of points so betting against it might be the sharp play here.
Atlanta Can Score, Hence the High Total
The Hawks are not winning many games but they are putting up a lot of points, at least. Atlanta is just 2-12 against the spread (ATS) at home. That’s the worst mark among hosts thanks to nonexistent defense. The Hawks are scoring 125 points but giving up 126.3 in return. The average home game has a total of over 251 points. So is the 244.5 total a discounted line here?
Let’s look at the totals more closely. Atlanta has had totals of over 244 points nine times this season. The ‘over’ cashed in seven of these games, so 77.8% of the time. The two times the total went under were against Sacramento (227) and Washington (244).
Atlanta had a two-day break before Sacramento. The team shot just 39.4% from the field. And against Washington, Atlanta held the Wizards to just 108 points. These are the third-fewest points the Hawks have given up. Forward De’Andre Hunter was still active. He’s now out for the season.
Now, it seems unlikely that Atlanta will shoot that poorly again nor should the team hold its opponent to “only” 108 points given this 76ers vs Hawks matchup. Philadelphia has the seventh-best defensive rating as a visitor at 113.1. And at home, the fewest points the Hawks have given up is 113 points.