Basketball Plays of the Day for October 27: Free NBA Betting Picks

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John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks dunks. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

The Atlanta Hawks travel to D.C to take on the Washington Wizards in what should be a very exciting game. Both teams are off to a 3-1 start and will be keen on winning this one considering they are division rivals. Can the Wizards continue to play solid defense which or will they regress back to the mean? Let’s take a deeper look at the NBA Odds so we can find the value in this one.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards

Thursday, October 28, 2021 – 07:00 PM EDT at Capital One Arena

Wizards Defense Doing Great So Far

The Achilles heel of the Washington Wizards for several years running. Back in 2014-15, they were 5th overall in the NBA defensively. They finished that season as the five seed in the east and made a trip to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Since then, they have never finished better than 15th in the league in terms of defense. The low point came two seasons ago when they finished dead last.

This 3-1 start for the Wizards has to be attributed to their defense because it hasn't been smooth sailing so far offensively. They haven't been bad but they have a new coach, new philosophy and a host of new players that they are trying to integrate. It has to be encouraging for the new head coach that they have shown so much improvement in that area. That said, it's still too early in the season to make definite statements about anything because of the limited sample size.

The line for this game opened at -3 for the Hawks which is a very sharp number in my opinion. That's the reason I'm taking this game on the moneyline where the Hawks are available at -150 at most of the top online sportsbooks. I think Washington is an improved team but I know that the Hawks are for real so I'm rolling with the better side.

Hawks Look Like Real Deal

Last season after Nate McMillan took over from Lloyd Pierce, the Hawks were one of the NBA's best teams. They made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals which shocked most of the basketball world. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical that they could come back this season and replicate what we saw but so far so good. In order for the Hawks to take the next step in their evolution as a team, they need to improve defensively.

Last season they finished 21st but you could see that under McMillan, they were making strides. So far after four games, the Hawks are number two in the league in defensive efficiency. They are allowing 96.1 points per 100 possessions which is not a sustainable number. For context, last season the Lakers finished with the best defensive record allowing 106 points per 100 possessions.

While this number will inevitably rise, it's still a solid foundation for McMillan to build on. Considering the Hawks are a top ten offense (they rank 10th at 108.2), if they can stay top ten in defense as well, then they might just shock us all again and make it even further than they did last year. Add to that the Wizards current offensive struggles and you have all the reasons I'm taking the Hawks on the moneyline here.

NBA Pick: Hawks -150 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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*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.