NBA Pick: Under 234 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
The total on the current odds board for Tuesday’s game between the Atlanta Hawks and New Orleans Pelicans is just way too high – as usual.
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Atlanta Hawks vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 – 07:30 PM EST at Smoothie King Center
Dang, that’s a lot of points.
We’ve got another massive over/under on the NBA odds board for Tuesday night’s tilt between the Atlanta Hawks and New Orleans Pelicans; BetOnline has their total at 234 points as we go to press, up from 233 at the opening number.
I know the sharps like to hammer the Over for their NBA picks as soon as the ticket window opens, knowing that it will usually be the best price they can get before game time. And the Hawks have one of the most profitable Over records in the league at 32-22, while New Orleans isn’t too far behind at 31-24.
Still, 234 points is a lot of points. The projections we’re looking at here at the ranch have the Pelicans winning this game by somewhere around 118-115, which is one point shy of the mark; it’s tempting to take New Orleans ATS instead, now that they’ve dipped from –2.5 to –2, but the Under looks like the better basketball pick with all these injuries in the Big Easy.
Is Zion Williamson Back Yet?
Probably not. Williamson (plus-4.9 EPM, as per Dunks and Threes) remains out with a strained right hamstring; he was due to be re-evaluated Monday, but we’re still waiting for a status update – and Williamson has been idle since January 2, so the Pellies will presumably give their best player a chance to get his conditioning back before he returns.
It’s been a very difficult month-plus for New Orleans. They’re just 5-13 SU and 7-11 ATS since Williamson last played, splitting the totals down the middle at 9-9. But he’s not the only one in the infirmary:
- SF Brandon Ingram (toe)
- C Jonas Valanciunas (quad)
- SG Dyson Daniels (ankle)
Of this trio, Daniels (minus-1.4 EPM) is the only one likely to miss Tuesday’s contest; Ingram (plus-2.3 EPM) and Valanciunas (minus-1.5 EPM) are listed as probable.
Both sat out Sunday’s game against Sacramento, but that was at the tail end of a back-to-back after both played against the L.A. Lakers on Saturday.
It’s a bit strange to see Valanciunas rated this low by the analytics. He’s still a positive force on offense (plus-1.5 EPM), but rebounding aside, Valanciunas has turned into a liability on defense (minus-3.0 EPM), much as the affable Lithuanian was in his early years with the Toronto Raptors. Hang in there, big guy.
Have the Hawks Figured Things Out?
It seems that way. The first couple of months were tough for the new backcourt combo of Trae Young (plus-3.0 EPM) and Dejounte Murray (plus-1.4 EPM), but they’re meshing a bit better now; the Hawks are 8-5 SU and ATS since mid-January, with the Over at 9-4.
That’s a scary Over record for Tuesday’s basketball picks, but again: 234 points. Atlanta has faced a total that large four times during this span, with the Under cashing in at 3-1 in those games.
Somewhere along the way, SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (minus-2.0 EPM) lost his touch. Maybe it was the knee and quad injuries that cost him the first half of the season, but then again, Bogdanovic is shooting just 36.9% from downtown, after shooting 36.8% last year – well below his career-high of 43.8% from his first season with the Hawks in 2020-21.
Bogdanovic is also very much trending in the wrong direction. The fine folks behind DARKO have Bogdanovic at minus-1.4 on their DPM Improvement charts, colder than anyone on the team except backup swingman Justin Holiday (minus-1.6).
Will Trae Young Play Tuesday?
All signs point to Yes. Young missed Saturday’s game against the Denver Nuggets with a non-COVID illness, but he’s not on the injury report for Tuesday’s contest – fortunately for the Hawks, but less so for our Under pick.
Actually, Young’s return might play into our hands. With their offensive sparkplug out of commission, Atlanta fell 128-108 to the Nuggets, going Over the 229-point total; that was one of the smallest totals in recent memory for the Hawks, likely pushed way too low by casual fans over-reacting to Young’s absence.
Perhaps they’ll flip the script for Tuesday’s tilt now that Young is expected back.
We’ve already seen some upward movement on this total since the open, and we can expect even more as we get closer to tip-off, so time your bets accordingly, and may the sphere be with you.
NBA Pick: Under 234 (-110) at BetOnline
*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.