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NBA Best Bets
Record: 78-51-1 | Units: +23.1u | ROI: 16.4%
Things have certainly gone sideways for the Toronto Raptors recently. The team is 1-8 SU/3-6 ATS in its last nine games. It has dropped its last four both SU and ATS, and in those contests the team has been outscored by 13.2 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. To make matters worse, both Immanuel Quickley and Jakob Poeltl – both of whom missed the loss to the Clippers – are injured and likely out tonight.
That puts Atlanta in a very advantageous position. Despite being the worst ATS team in the league (11-34 ATS, 24.4%), the injuries to the Raptors make the Hawks worth backing.
Poeltl’s absence looms large in this meeting. Atlanta has plenty of size up front to punish the smaller center rotation that Toronto has rolled out without Poeltl. Clint Capela, Onyeka Okongwu and Jalen Johnson are a formidable rebounding trio. Those three will be able to win the rebounding battle against the small and lanky frontcourt of Thaddeus Young, Chris Boucher and Scottie Barnes.
On the other end, the Raptors’ offense will lack direction without Quickley. Dennis Schroder is the team’s lone true point guard right now. Head coach Darko Rajaković elected to start Bruce Brown against the Clippers to disastrous results. Schroder should get the nod, but regardless of him starting or not, the minutes without him on the floor will be aimless.
This is a risky play considering Atlanta is not only the worst cover team in the league, but it is also just 4-17 ATS at home. However, the advantages the Hawks have due to the injuries the Raptors are suffering from are too good to pass up. Let’s give the lowly Hawks a shot tonight.
Play: Hawks (-6.5) – Playable to (-7)
NBA Best Bets