Gary | Sun 16/04/2017 - 02:13 EDT

Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards Betting Guidance

Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards Betting Guidance
Will the Washington Wizards march past the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs? Or do the Hawks have some surprise fight in them? We find out now!

By Dan Favale

Washington Wizards (-225) vs. Atlanta Hawks (+185) 

Many people won’t be inclined to give the Atlanta Hawks much of a chance in this series. Their efforts to close the regular season were less than ideal, and they’ve entertained breaking up the band so much over the past year, there’s a stigma against the current core, even if it’s not fair.

To be sure, some of the concerns are warranted. The Hawks rely a lot on Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kent Bazemore rather than conventional floor generals to fill time as the secondary playmaker, and the offense has been hot garbage overall for a while now. Over the last 31 games of the season, Atlanta placed dead last in points scored per 100 possessions, behind even the Orlando Magic—a standing that causes problems no matter how well you are defending.

Fortunately for the Hawks, in the grand scheme of things, they’re catching the Wizards at the right time. Though Washington has one of the best records in the NBA since Christmas, it’s fallen off lately, particularly on the defensive side.

On top of that, fatigue might already be an issue for them. They don’t have much of a bench, even with Bojan Bogdanovic and Kelly Oubre Jr. playing competent minutes, and are forced to lean heavily on their starting five.

The lineup of Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris, Otto Porter and John Wall wasn’t just the most-used five-man combination for the season; it was one of the most-used units from the past decade, period. That’s absolutely, positively absurd into today’s age of resting players.

Everyone with the exception of Gortat is still in their primes, but we saw this group taper off as the season wore on. Porter’s scorching-hot three-point clip ebbed after March 1, Morris was up and down almost the entire year, and the aggregative defensive effort dropped off a cliff in the waning weeks.


There’s always the chance the Wizards regain their mojo during the postseason. There will be more rest in-between games, and the Hawks don’t run an offense that demands they can get in transition too frequently. And there’s little to no chance the Hawks catch fire on offense themselves. They’ve been struggling to space the floor all season, and the battle has only gotten tougher since they traded Kyle Korver to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But remember: Atlanta ended up fourth in points allowed per 100 possessions during the regular season, just behind the Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. Defense-heavy attacks like this one become much more dangerous in the playoffs, when the pace slows down and the refs allow a more physical brand of basketball to be played. 

Beat up Wall and Beal in the half court, and the Hawks will not only find themselves putting up an adequate fight, but potentially leading the series. They are a real threat, and the Wizards must treat them as such. So although Washington enters as the semi-heavy favorite relative to most four-seed vs. five-seed matchups, we cannot guarantee they traipse into the second round of the playoff bracket unscathed.

The Pick: Washington Wizards (-225) in six games

Results / FixturesNBA

Leave a comment
More articles...
Sports - 16/09/19
2019-20 NHL Betting Preview: Best Teams, Odds, Stanley Cup Predictions 
Last year the St. Louis Blues stole the NHL's show, winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Though they certainly factor into the title race this season, other contenders loom, most notably the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vegas Golden Knights and Boston Bruins. Which team is your smartest bet? Let's figure that out.
Read this article 
Sports - 09/09/19
2019-20 Champions League Preview: Betting Odds, Best Sportsbook Values, Predictions 
Welcome back, Champions League! The 2019-20 season is finally here, and everyone who's anyone is asking the same question: Which team will be crowned above all at year's end? Many believe that Liverpool is primed to repeat as the ultimate champion, but other powerhouses like Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid loom. Let's find the clubs laying the best betting value, shall we?
Read this article 
Sports - 06/09/19
UFC 242 Betting Odds: Khabib vs. Poirier Headlines a Stacked Fight Card 
The lightweight title will be on the line at UFC 242 when Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier take to the Octagon. They're not the only big names squaring off, though. UFC 242 has mission-critical fights galore. Let's parse them all for the best possible bets.
Read this article 
Sports Betting News - 22/08/19
US Open 2019 Betting Odds: Can Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic Defend Their Crowns? 
The world's best tennis players are once again headed to New York! That's right: The 2019 US Open is upon us, and it remains littered with rock-solid betting opportunities. Last year's champions, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka, enter as No. 1 seeds in their field. Will they repeat as champs? Let's parse the betting field!
Read this article