Do the Hawks offer the best value?
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) – With the 2014 NBA playoffs kicking off on Saturday, which first-round series offers bettors the best value?
Atlanta will face the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs and the Hawks will have a chance to knock off the #1 seed. There are a few key factors that stick out to me that give the Atlanta Hawks a legitimate shot of shocking the world and advancing to the next round as a #8 seed.
Atlanta is now healthier than they have been all season long. They have some key veterans on this team with Paul Milsap and Elton Brand who have playoff experience. These two guys are rebounding machines and can pose a threat to the Pacers in the paint. The Hawks also have a 6'11" center Pero Antic that not many have heard of, but he will put a body on Roy Hibbert who has lost all confidence in his game. I look for him to frustrate Hibbert and to be a major disruption. The Hawks also are a team that can shoot the three-point shot with consistency. Kyle Korver we all know has unlimited range and can be streaky. If Korver gets hot, then the Pacers will be in trouble. Shelvin Mack is another guy coming off the bench that can heat it up from the outside. The Hawks are the #2 team in the NBA shooting 27 three's a game. They love to shoot the three and this is a dangerous team that can trade 3's for 2's vs. Indiana as the Pacer's are ranked 25th in the NBA in three pointers taken a game. The Hawks also rank second in the NBA with 24.8 assist a game and this is another advantage for them as the Pacers continue to struggle at the point guard position. Teague has a decisive advantage over George Hill and has the ability to dominate this series.
The Pacers troubles down the stretch are well-known and there is a tremendous amount of pressure on them in this series. All the pressure will be on them and Atlanta has nothing to lose. Look for the Hawks to let it all hang out in this series and steal 2 games in Indiana. During the regular season, these teams split 2-2. The Hawks won the most recent meeting on 4/06 as they embarrassed the Pacers 107-88 in Indiana. Indiana's biggest concern is their lack of offense and I do not see this team correcting their problem in this matchup. No matter how good the Pacer's defense is, if they cannot score, they cannot win. They have the 29th ranked offense since the All-Star Break which is a major red flag and cause of concern for Indiana.
This is a rematch from last year's playoffs when the Pacer's won in 6 games. Each team protected their home court the first 5 games before the Pacers closed the series out in game 6. I expect Atlanta to steal either game 1 or 2 in Indiana this time though as this will more than likely go 7 games with Atlanta taking game 7 in Indiana as well to end the Pacer's season that supposed to have been a promising one. It will be back to the drawing board for Indiana and Atlanta will get prepared for the next round. As far as value goes, this is a great 'Low Risk-Huge Reward' wager that I has an excellent chance to cash in for us.
Play on: Atlanta Hawks to WIN SERIES over Indiana Pacers