Hawks vs. Heat NBA Picks and Odds Breakdown

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Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat controls the ball. Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP.

The Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat are set for their second leg of a home-and-home matchup series on Friday. Miami dominated Atlanta on Wednesday, so should we expect more of the same now that they have moved to Miami? Let’s break down the NBA odds for this match.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heat

Friday, January 14, 2022 – 08:00 PM EST at FTX Arena

Hawks’ Spiraling Downward

Atlanta is a far cry from the team that took the Eastern Conference Playoffs by storm just under a year ago.

The Hawks are now losers of three straight, 9 of their last 12 and since the start of December, they are 6-13 SU over their last 19 games.

Defense has been their Achilles heel all year and after showing they could defend with the best teams last year and in the playoffs, that ability has gone as fast as it came to Atlanta.

Over their last 12 games, Atlanta ranks 28th in defensive rating, allowing opposing teams to score an average of 118.9 points per 100 possessions for the game and 121.9 points per 100 possessions in the first halves of those games.

At some point, we have to put the nail in this team’s coffin for this season. They have shown little to no ability to improve their defense and now that they have traded one of their better young pieces on offense, their offense might continue to struggle against Miami.

In their last game against one another on Wednesday in Atlanta, the Hawks only mustered up 91 points and it was the second straight game where they failed to reach 100 points.

First halves have been tough for this team lately as well and it’s where I’m choosing to fade them tonight in Miami.

I know the narrative of the team who won the first meeting usually being a good fade in these home-and-home matchups, but what have the Hawks done to make you want to bet them lately?

Add in the Heat might have their best player back tonight, and at least for the first half, I like the Heat here for our NBA picks.

The Sharp Pick

Jimmy Butler has missed the Heat’s last three games with an injury, but he could be back tonight in Miami.

The injury report has Butler officially listed questionable and if he is able to come back and add some consistency on offense and defense for the Heat, that’s all I need to lay the -2.5 in the first half with Miami at the top-rated sportsbooks.

Not only have the Hawks struggled to defend in first halves and in general, but it’s also one of the areas the Heat excel in, especially at home.

Miami owns the 7th-best home defensive rating in the NBA and their first-half defense is almost three points per 100 possessions better at home than on the road this season.

Add in Cameron Reddish no longer being there for the Hawks, plus Clint Capela being out and Butler potentially coming back for Miami, I see the Heat taking control of this one early.

NBA Pick: Heat -2.5 1st Half (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Heat -2.5 1st Half (-110)
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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.