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East vs. West here as the Atlanta Hawks host the Sacramento Kings. The Kings have really struggled so far under Luke Walton, and enter this one at 2-6. The Hawks are 3-4, and just got Trae Young back from an ankle injury. Oddsmakers have this game is virtually even, so it should be a good one.
Kings StrugglingThe Kings were a surprisingly decent team last season, and they ended up finishing in the ninth spot in the Western Conference. Nobody predicted that happening before the season, and it seemed to be a pretty clear success and step in the right direction for the franchise. Ownership clearly didn't see it the same way, as they elected to fire Coach Dave Joerger after the season. They had a better record than the Lakers and were the most competitive that they'd been in years, so the move made no sense to me. They brought in Luke Walton to replace him, and so far things haven't been going too well.
They enter this one at just 2-6, and have a -8.4 points per game point differential. One of their two wins against the Knicks, and the other one came by one point. The Kings have a bunch of solid players but they don't yet have a true superstar, even though both De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield look very promising. They're also going to be without stud second-year big man Marvin Bagley III, as he's dealing with a thumb injury. Without Bagley out there, the Kings don't have much talent at the 4 or 5. Fortunately for the Kings, Atlanta big man John Collins is suspended for this one, but Sacramento could still have some trouble on the boards here. The Kings have also struggled covering numbers, going just 3-8 against the spread in their last 11 games.
Hawks Get Young BackAfter a couple of years of rebuilding, the Hawks were hoping to be a sneaky playoff team this season. The East is wide open, and I think Atlanta is going to be in the mix for one of the final few playoff spots when the end of the season arrives. Atlanta looked great to start the season, with wins over the Pistons and Magic. After a close two-point loss to the 76ers, Trae Young got hurt during their game against the Heat. Fortunately, it turned out just to be a minor ankle sprain, and he only missed one contest. Right after returning, he helped lead them to a win over the Spurs. Atlanta has had some really solid performances so far, and they've only really laid one dud.
Trae Young just messing with LaMarcus now pic.twitter.com/pGIJUpc0ek— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 6, 2019
The Hawks have been a great team to bet on recently, as they are 21-10 against the spread in their last 31 games. They were dealt a tough blow when big man John Collins was suspended for 25 games for a PED violation, and they've been playing a lot of small ball without him in the lineup. Young has started to turn into a bonafide superstar, averaging 24.2 points and 7.5 assists per game while shooting 41.3 percent from three. Jabari Parker has been a great source of scoring as well, averaging 15.1 points in only 24.4 minutes per game. The Hawks will miss Collins' defense around the rim greatly, but that blow will be lessened by the fact that Bagley isn't playing in this one.
Trends, courtesy of Covers.com: Hawks are:
- 21-10 ATS in their last 31 games overall
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Western Conference
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points
- 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games playing on 1 days rest
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS win
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Getting the Hawks here as a home underdog is a steal. Sacramento has been awful to start the season, and they have simply no size without Bagley. Pugs being without calling is a tough blow, but without Bagley being there it won't matter too much. Atlanta has quietly put together some great efforts this season, and they've already beaten some very good teams. Young is a true superstar, if you shooting over 40% from 3 in the Hawks are going to be very hard to beat. I think Sacramento made a major mistake in hiring Walton and is already starting to show.
Prediction: Hawks +1
Full-Game Total Pick
I also think the over makes some sense here. Young is playing at an incredibly high level and shooting lights out while Fox and Hield are both scoring a ton as well. With Collins and Bagley both out here, both teams are missing their big men to protect the rim, and I think both teams will be able to easily score in the lane. Collins is a truly elite shot-blocker. Neither team has a great defense to begin with, and both like to play fast and shoot a lot of threes. This one has shootout written all over it.