Indiana Pacers vs. Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers will meet for game one of the first round of the NBA playoffs on Saturday. These teams split the season series at two games apiece. The Pacers are -7.5 point favorites over the Hawks with an over/under point total set at 186.
The Hawks finished the regular season strong, winning six of their last eight games and beating the New York Knicks for the final playoff spot in the East. On the season, the Hawks average 101 points on 45.8 percent shooting and allow 101.5 points on 46.2 percent shooting. However, the Hawks have improved defensively, holding six of their last eight opponents to 98 or less points. Offensively, the Hawks go as far as Paul Millsap takes them, as he’s averaging 18.7 points and 11 rebounds in the month of April. The Atlanta Hawks are 38-43-1 ATS overall and 17-23-1 ATS on the road.
The Pacers won three of their last four games and looked a little like the team we were used to seeing earlier in the season. On the year, the Pacers average 96.7 points on 44.9 percent shooting and allow 92.3 points on 42 percent shooting. In order for the Pacers to reach their full potential, Roy Hibbert has got to return to Earth, as he’s shooting just 10.7 percent from the field and averaging 3.5 rebounds in his last four games. The Pacers are 15-0 in their last 15 games when topping 100 points. The Indiana Pacers are 38-43-1 ATS overall and 21-19-1 ATS at home.
The Hawks are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 5-21 ATS in their last 26 games playing on 2 days rest. The Pacers are 16-35-1 ATS in their last 52 games overall and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Conference Quarterfinals games. The Hawks are 1-3-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Indiana, while the favorite is 25-9-1 ATS in the last 35 meetings.
I’d take the Hawks and the points. I just don’t trust the Pacers right now with anything, especially covering such a large number.
Atlanta Hawks +7.5 Indiana Pacers