Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers – Wells Fargo Centre at 00:00
Thursday night Basketball sees the lowly Philly 76ers host the Atlanta Hawks in a Midnight tip off, UK time.
Ordinarily a trip by any side to the 76ers would be an automatic recipe for success. However after sliding to a comical 1-30 record after their first 31 games of the season, the 76ers have shown more fight in recent days going for 3-3 over their past 6 games.
Part of Philly’s recent success is the re-acquisition of Point Guard Ish Smith. Smith stepped up to the plate with a 21 point, 11 assist double-double against the Timberwolves, including chipping in with 3 steals.
The Hawks have been a story of inconsistency in 2015/16. Currently still holding a winning record of 21-15 so far, they have combined hot streaks (won 6 straight during the Christmas period) with cold snaps (lost 3 of their last 4 including 2 to the Knicks).
Coach Mike Budenholzer was quoted after the latest loss “I credit our guys for fighting and competing, but we have to be better for more of the 48 minutes.”
They were 16 points behind in that game before getting the game to within 2 before the Knicks held on late on.
Despite the decent little run the 76ers are having by their standards, and the odd injury niggle the Hawks are carrying, the Hawks undeniably have the better squad and be thankful for as soft an assignment as this to get things back on track.
Paul Millsap and the Hawks are a well supported team. The Hawks rank third in the NBA in assists at 25.0 per game, dishing out at least 25 helpers more than 20 times. The Hawks have handed out at least 21 assists in all but two games this year. They should be way too much for the 76ers to handle.
In the last meeting between these two, the Hawks jogged away to win by 21 and despite Ish Smith showing some metal in recent games, his hands will likely be too full tonight.
At a spread of -8.5 for the Hawks, this looks at least a three pointer too shy. Take them to cover comfortably.
Handicap Betting Recommendation: Atlanta Hawks -8.5 at 1.90
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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