Hawks vs. Wizards Game 1 Pick
Will the Washington Wizards hold off a streaking Atlanta Hawks team when the two meet today at 1PM ET in Game 1 of their series?
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Wizards are favored at home, as they are getting odds of -5 points against the Hawks. The over/under total for the game is listed at 209 points. Washington won three of four meetings with Atlanta this season, but each team covered the spread twice.
Washington was hot for a long period of time this season, but the Wizards come into the postseason just 3-5 in their last eight games. The Wizards are 49-33 overall to be the fourth seed in the East and they are 42-39-1 against the spread. Washington averaged 109.2 points per game on offense this season while allowing 107.4 on defense. Over their last five games, the Wizards are putting up 106.8 while allowing 106.2. John Wall has led the team with 23.1 points and 10.7 assists per game. He has been battling a quad injury, but is expected to be a go today. Bradley Beal is adding 23.1 points per game as well.
Atlanta closed the season on a loss, but had won four straight prior to that, beating the Cavaliers twice and the Celtics once in that run. The Hawks are 43-39 overall this season and 39-43 against the spread. Atlanta averaged 103.2 points per game on offense this season while allowing 104 on defense. Over their last five games, the Hawks put up 110.4 points per game and allowed their usual 104. Atlanta has good balance, with six players averaging double figures in scoring. Paul Millsap leads the way with 18.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest while Dennis Schroder adds 17.9 points and 6.3 assists per contest.
Washington coasted a little bit down the stretch, but Wall was being rested and there wasn’t much to play for in the closing games. With the playoffs rolling along, expect the Wizards to get back to form, especially at home. Washington had 30 wins at home this season and it averages 110.4 points per game at the Verizon Center. The Hawks weren’t a great road team this season and I think they will get overwhelmed by a hyped Washington crowd and team.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: WASHINGTON WIZARDS -5