Hawks vs. 76ers Odds
|Moneyline||+333 / -450|
|Time||Friday, 7 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Thursday and via BetMGM|
Two nights after the Philadelphia 76ers handed the Atlanta Hawks a 44-point spanking, the two teams meet again.
The Hawks were shorthanded, to say the least, forced to start Lou Williams, Brandon Goodwin and Solomon Hill. Hill recorded a -35 plus/minus, while Goodwin finished at -39.
No 76ers starter played more than 26 minutes, and their stellar starting five was back together. With few games left in the regular season, that could prove crucial for Philadelphia heading into the playoffs.
Let’s break down the betting value on Friday night:
Trae Young has missed the Hawks’ last four games, during which they are 2-2, due to an ankle sprain.
Atlanta’s goal is to avoid the play-in tournament. The Hawks are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference, one game ahead of the seven-seed Miami Heat.
A healthy Hawks team would be one that no one would want to face in the playoffs. They’ve been without Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter for a while, although the latter is nearing a return and is likely to get some regular-season action under his belt before the playoffs.
Young could return this weekend, as well. Kevin Huerter missed the game on Wednesday but shouldn’t be a long-term absence.
Atlanta is 6-4 over its last 10 games, although its -1.8 Net Rating indicates some good luck to reach that mark.
The best part of April for the Hawks has been the breakout play of Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Serbian shooter is averaging 21.9 points in 15 April games, shooting 49% from the field and 48.5% from 3-point land.
The biggest development of late for the 76ers has been the return of Ben Simmons. While he played just 23 minutes on Monday against the Thunder and 16 against Atlanta on Wednesday, Philly won those games by 31 and 44 after dropping four straight.
The Sixers are a different team with their starting five of Seth Curry, Danny Green, Simmons, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid. Unfortunately, there have been periods in the second half of the season when Simmons and Embiid have been out, so they haven’t been able to get in much of a rhythm.
Philadelphia’s defense is so good, though, that it can compete with anyone on any given night. Simmons is hugely valuable on the perimeter given his size, while Embiid is a one-man wrecking crew down low. Offensively, the 76ers’ combination of size and athleticism allows them to thrive when healthy, despite not having many knockdown 3-point shooters in a league that seemingly requires them.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because there are a lot of similarities to last season’s Lakers team. The emphasis is on defense, while there’s enough individual talent for the offense to know that the scoring will come.
Despite having a 38-point loss on the docket against the Bucks, against whom they didn’t have either Embiid or Simmons, the 76ers are 6-4 over their last 10 games. In that stretch, Philly’s 107.4 Defensive Rating is tied for fourth in the NBA, and its 7.5 Net Rating is sixth. The ninth-ranked Offensive Rating is solid, as well, and likely to improve.
Both the Hawks and 76ers are six games over .500 against the spread this season, but only one is healthy and playing well at the moment. Philadelphia will be able to ramp up everyone in its rotation’s minutes and handle this one comfortably.
The 76ers are rolling, while Atlanta has lost two straight and isn’t anywhere near healthy. If Young does return, which sounds unlikely, look to get this number as low as you can.
Pick: 76ers -9