Atlanta Hawks vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction: Can the Depleted Lakers Keep It Close in Atlanta?

Both the Lakers and Jazz were supposed to head up the West standings this season, but in part due to injuries, both have struggled to varying degrees. Things won't get easier today. Jonathan Macri is here with his predictions and picks for Sunday's NBA.
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Atlanta Hawks vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction: Can the Depleted Lakers Keep It Close in Atlanta?

Hawks vs. Lakers Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

When: Sunday, January 30, 1:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: NBA League Pass

Click Here for Hawks vs Lakers Odds

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Hawks vs. Lakers Line Movement

Atlanta Hawks vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction

We're past the point of wondering if the season the Lakers thought they were going to have can be salvaged. Now it's simply about triaging the injury.

Los Angeles is in something of a tailspin, having lost seven of their last 10 games to fall into 9th place in the conference, a full four games behind the 6th place Nuggets. It now appears to be a certainty that they will be a play-in team come April.

Perhaps that's why they're playing things so cautiously. Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis continue to miss games, as James is out for this contest with the Hawks while Anthony Davis is questionable and Russell Westbrook is listed as day-to-day. Russ will likely play because he always does, but against a Hawks team that has won and covered six straight (the latter of which is the longest current streak in the league) that won't be enough.

Allow this to be your weekly reminder that LA is one of four teams that have covered less than 43 percent of their games. They are 7-6 as a road dog, but with a 6.7-point average margin of defeat - a number greater than the spread here and coming against a team that is playing far better than its record would indicate.

Go with the team with the best net rating in the NBA over the last six games. Give the points at home.

Hawks vs. Lakers Pick

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Utah Jazz Prediction

When: 8:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: NBA League Pass

Click Here for Timberwolves vs Jazz Odds

The fact that you can get this game as a pick'em or something very close to it speaks to two truths: no one respects the Wolves, and everyone thinks too highly of the Jazz.

Let's start with Utah, who is missing both Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. They have overcome the losses of both players at times, but their absences over the last three weeks are starting to take their toll. Utah has just two wins in their last 12 games, and a negative 5.0 net rating that ranks 24th in the league over that time. That is not a the profile of a team who should be viewed as being on even ground with a solid opponent on the road.

And Minnesota, for all their faults, is solid. Over the same 12-game time frame, they have the 9th best net rating in basketball at positive 4.1. While it's true they have just two wins against the spread in their last nine games, their outright losses have all been respectable in that time, with each one coming on the road, and against the Suns, Warriors, Hawks, Grizzlies and frisky Pelicans at that.

The Jazz will once again deserve our respect, but they need to get healthy first, and this is an important game for Minny to stay in the race for a top-six seed. Give the points at home.

Timberwolves vs. Jazz Pick

Timberwolves vs. Jazz Line Movement

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Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.

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