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College Basketball season is finally over so now we shift our focus over to the NBA. My attention is on a fairly high-profile matchup tonight between the Raptors and Hawks that could potentially have playoff-seeding implications. Let's break it down.
ANALYSIS

Atlanta Hawks vs Toronto Raptors Best Bet: Can the Hawks Stay Hot?

The Atlanta Hawks have been on a roll lately as they are playing extremely well at the moment and are looking to improve their position in the play-in tournament or possibly move up to the 6th seed to avoid it altogether. The Raptors are currently in that 6th seeded spot, so this is a very important game for both sides.

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The Hawks come into this game as winners of their last 5 games in a row including wins over the Warriors, Nets, Cavs, and blowout wins over the Thunder/Pacers. They have been getting the job done with their high-powered offense as they have scored over 120 points in each of their last five games and over 130 points in 3 of those contests. Over the Hawks' last five games, they have the highest offensive rating in the NBA but their offensive efficiency will be put to the test tonight as the Raptors have the highest defensive efficiency in the NBA over their last 5 games as well so this will truly be a game of contrasting styles.

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The Raptors play at a very slow pace and are more than comfortable playing a halfcourt game and the Hawks like to get out in transition with a more up-tempo style of play allowing Trae Young to create for himself and his teammates. The Hawks have been a different team this year at home versus on the road. They are currently ranked number 1 in the NBA in offensive efficiency at home this season which is a very impressive stat but then they drop all the way down to 8th in road games this season so there is a considerable drop in their offensive production on the road. Defensively is where the Hawks have had most of their struggles this season as they are currently ranked 26th in defensive efficiency in home games and 24th in home games so they have struggled on the defensive side of the ball no matter where they have played this year.

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I believe the Raptors will be able to take advantage of the Hawks' inefficiencies on defense as they have mismatches all over the court. While Trae Young, is an electric offensive player, he is a liability on defense and the loss of John Collins really hinders their ability to defend the wing and challenge shots at the rim. Capela is probably their best defender as he is an elite rim protector, but he also struggles to defend without fouling and at times has to come out of the game for multiple minutes at a time.

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The Raptors have had to deal with a lot of injuries this season, but they are finally starting to get healthy and regain their form. Fred Van Vleet, Siakam, Trent Jr, and Barnes are all finally back playing at relatively full strength and think they will be able to score at will tonight on this porous Hawks defense. With that being said, I am rolling with Raptors -4 at -115 for 1U as my most confident NBA play of the night, as I don't think the Hawks defense will be able to step up and slow down this Raptors offensive attack.

Atlanta Hawks vs Toronto Raptors Best Bet

1 unit - Raptors -4 (-115) (Bet $115 to Win $100)

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Article Author

NCAABNBAMLB

Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.

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