The hottest NBA team, the Los Angeles Clippers, roll into Atlanta to take on the Hawks who could be short-handed thanks to lingering injuries. The Clippers are moderate favorites per online betting odds and have covered in four of their last five games.
The Atlanta Hawks have covered three of their last four and could be without starters G Trae Young and C Clint Capela and are still missing backup guards Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kris Dunn.
This will be the first of three games this Tuesday as we look at the first of our NBA betting picks.
Betting Preview: Quick Look at Each Team
Clippers Look To Stay Hot
After a slow start, the Clippers are now hitting their midseason form with seven straight wins and a second-best 116.8 offensive rating. Most notably, L.A. improved on its defense bumping it up to 16th at 109.1 when they ranked in the bottom-seven just a week ago.
Star forwards Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have been unstoppable scoring 25.9 and 23.9 points per game, respectively. Both are also posting 50-40-90 shooting numbers and are over a +5.2 in the offensive box plus-minus.
A slight area of concern would still be the defense as all but four Clippers are negative in the defensive box plus minus including George and starting C Serge Ibaka. But as they say, the “best defense is a great offense”. The Clippers are not stressing over letting opponents score when they’re outsourcing them.
Although Leonard’s and George’s hot streak is unsustainable and they will come back down to Earth, it will take a great defensive team to slow them down.
Keep tuning in to NBA news to find out the health of Young and Capela as they are the best offensive and defensive players on the Hawks, respectively. Without either one, the Hawks will have a rough time against the Clippers.
Young leads the team in scoring (25.3) and assists (8.7) while Capela has emerged as an all-star caliber big man with 14.2 points, 14.5 boards, and 2.3 blocks. He punctuated this with a triple-double last week where he became just the 33rd player in NBA history to accomplish this feat.
Both Young and Capela sat out against the Bucks and were quickly run out of the building. If they’re both dressed against the Clippers, they can slow down the Clippers with their eighth-best defense (108.3).
The Hawks only allow opponents to shoot 32.4 percent from deep (2nd), which would be effective against the Clippers who score 39.4 percent of their points from deep via NBA Advanced Stats. If Atlanta’s perimeter defense holds, look out.
Hawks May Just Slow Down the Clippers
I’ll bank on the Hawks as one of my underdog NBA betting predictions. The Clippers have been impressive, yes, but they’re too reliant on the talents of two superstars who are shooting at an unsustainable rate. They have also bumped up their stats because they went up against teams who were either no good on defense or just no good overall.
The Hawks will be the first solid team the Clippers will face on the defensive end. With Capela anchoring the middle, versatile defenders like F John Collins, F DeAndre Hunter, and G/F Cam Reddish can play more loosely and be aggressive against the Clippers’ dynamic duo.
Atlanta also has more depth than the Clippers. It speaks a lot to how poorly the rest of the team is playing when F Nicolas Batum is sometimes the third-best player on the team. They need more out of the likes of G Lou Williams and G Luke Kennard.
As for Atlanta, they need to take care of the ball and limit turnovers. Their defense will hold. On the BetUS sportsbook, they are moderate underdogs. You can take them to win straight-up, but I like for them to at least cover.