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The Atlanta Hawks (22-29) will look to get back to winning ways after dropping back-to-back games when they take on the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers (30-20) in the City of Brotherly Love on Friday.
The Hawks recently climbed to the tenth seed in the Eastern Conference but are still seven games under .500 and have the worst record against the spread. Meanwhile, Philly has one win in its last eight games and made a couple of moves at the trade deadline as they remain optimistic about their postseason future.
Here, we will analyze the odds and share our favorite betting pick for the Hawks vs. 76ers matchup in Philly.
The Hawks are favored by 4.5 points on the road. It’s always risky betting road favorites, especially since Atlanta is a dreadful 15-36 (29.4%) ATS and only 2-5 (28.6%) ATS as a road favorite.
The Sixers are 29-21 (58%) ATS but only covered twice in their last 10 games. They were home underdogs four times this season and only covered once.
|Over 243.5 (-105)
|Under 243.5 (-115)
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The Hawks decided against trading away Dejounte Murray at the deadline, keeping their rotation the same heading into the business half of the regular season.
Atlanta started the year as one of the best offensive teams in the league. They went through a cold stretch but returned to that form recently, claiming the seventh-best offensive rating over the last 10 games.
The team’s main source of frustration this season has been on the defensive end. Despite having a decent personnel group with guys such as Murray, De’Andre Hunter, Onyeka Okongwu, and others, they allow third-most points per 100 possessions.
Most of the Hawks’ offense flows through the hands of Trae Young. The 25-year-old was named as an injury replacement for the All-Star Game after averaging 27.1 points and 10.9 assists, a standard he’s been right on over his last 10 games.
When Young isn’t pulling the strings, the Hawks do a great job crashing the glass (fourth in offensive rebound percentage, 12th in rebound rate) and capitalizing on their opponents’ mistakes (ninth in steals, sixth in points off turnovers).
Atlanta isn’t much worse on the road than they are at home. They’re only outscored by an extra two points per 100 possessions outside of their building, which is actually a decent standard.
That said, they lost five of their last six road games, though they also beat an Embiid-less Sixers squad 139-132 in the State Farm Arena on Jan. 10.
This version of Philadelphia cannot be compared to the one that existed at full strength. While the team dominated opponents and a variety of metrics, they aren’t even a facsimile of their usual selves without Embiid in the lineup.
In four games since the reigning MVP went down injured, Philly has the fourth-worst net rating in the league (-12.8). They also went 4-12 with a -6.6 average scoring margin without Embiid thus far.
Even without their burly center, the Sixers have great speed and length at the wings. Even that is starting to fail them, however, as their elite perimeter defense fell to 17th in three-point percentage allowed over the last 10 games.
Tyrese Maxey is coming off a couple of rough outings in which he scored a combined 27 points—that’s despite averaging 25.2 points and 5.2 assists in 13 games and scoring 20+ points in eight straight games prior without Embiid.
The Sixers could be even more short-handed than usual because of their activity at the trade deadline. They traded Patrick Beverley and Furkan Korkmaz and received Cameron Payne and Buddy Hield, but it’s unlikely (though not impossible) that either plays. De’Anthony Melton and Nicolas Batum are also out, which means the rotation could be quite compact.
The Sixers have been one of the best home teams in the league all year, but once again, those numbers have very little significance given the context of the team and matchup at hand.
Look, it’s hard to love picking the worst-performing team against the spread in basketball, but we’re leaning toward the Hawks in this matchup.
Atlanta played some nice basketball recently before suffering back-to-back losses against the Los Angeles Clippers and the Boston Celtics, arguably the two best teams in the league. They also have a high-powered offense and should dominate the boards while Embiid is gone.
Philly is going to need a Maxey masterclass and more strong individual performances to have a shot here, especially if Hield and Payne don’t suit up. We could see this game being close but believe it’s worth laying the points with the Hawks.
Hawks vs. 76ers pick: Hawks -4.5 at BetMGM
When: Friday, Feb. 9, 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
TV: NBA TV
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Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
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