The red-hot Atlanta Hawks will host the struggling Philadelphia 76ers. This is a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference SemiFinals and even though both teams are mostly the same as far as their roster, there is a different dynamic about both squads. Let’s take a closer look at this matchup to see if we can cash in tonight. Let’s see the NBA odds.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks
Friday, December 03, 2021 – 07:30 PM EST at State Farm Arena
Hawks Starting to Find Their Feet
After an improbable run to the Eastern Conference Finals last year, it's to be expected that the Hawks would come into this season with huge expectations. If you look at their top seven players from last season in terms of minutes played, only two of them are over 24 years old. When you have that many young players gaining the invaluable experience of leading their team to the brink of the NBA Finals, the expectation levels will inevitably go up.
That could be part of the reason this team started off the season 4-9. The weight of expectation looked like it was a little heavy for them but that's also an oversimplification of what was wrong with this team. A closer look at the advanced metrics makes it very clear why they've been able to win 8 of their last 9 since their slow start. During their 4-9 start to the season, the Hawks ranked 24th in the league in net rating, 14th in offensive rating, and 28th defensively.
Since then, they rank 1st in net rating, 9th in defense, and 1st in the offense. The numbers speak for themselves and if the Hawks can continue at this pace, there is no reason they can't accomplish what they did last year and beyond. As for tonight, they opened as -3 favorites but action on Philadelphia has seen that number move down to -1.5 at most of the top online sportsbooks.
Sixers Really Need to Get It Together
The Sixers have had the complete opposite start to the season from Atlanta. Philly started the season 8-10 before a slew of injuries combined with the poor defense has seen them go 3-9 since then. For a better perspective on how bad that is, only Orlando has won fewer games during that stretch with 2 wins.
During that stretch, both their offense and defense have really let them down. At the moment, Philly is 18th in defensive rating and that simply isn't good enough. Last year they finished second on defense which has been the identity of this team for several years running.
During their 8-2 start to the season, they were ranked number one in the league in terms of offensive efficiency. That seems like a lifetime ago when you watch their offense at the moment. Since then, they are 25th in terms of offensive efficiency. Combine their subpar defense with their offense that continues to decline sharply and you have the situation that Doc Rivers needs to figure out.
My official NBA pick tonight's Hawks -1.5 which is a number I still don't fully understand. I get why the public might look at this as a revenge game for the Sixers but honestly, they've got bigger fish to fry. How can a team that has lost 9 out of their 12 be in a position to think about revenge?
Also, since getting back Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris among other starters, the team hasn't improved all that much. Until I see them get a quality win, they are absolutely not a bet on the team.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.