NBA Pick: Suns -1.5 (-107) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
Two teams hovering around .500 continue their push for playoff spots when the Atlanta Hawks head to Phoenix to face the Suns.
Let’s review the NBA odds on this cross-country NBA clash and keep cashing our NBA picks!
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Atlanta Hawks vs. Phoenix Suns
Wednesday, February 1, 2023 – 10:00 PM EST at Footprint Center
The Hawks are playing the second game of a five-game road swing through the Western Conference. They lost in Portland on Monday night to drop their second straight game and fall to a game below .500.
Despite the losing record, Atlanta still holds the eighth spot in the East, a half-game ahead of Washington and 1.5 behind New York.
The Suns have won two straight, including a home win Monday over Toronto, and have won in six of their last seven games.
They are seventh in the West, two over the break-even mark. Phoenix is in a virtual tie with fifth-place Golden State and sixth-place Dallas and is just a half-game ahead of Minnesota.
The Hawks got good news on the injury front as Trae Young has been listed as probable for Wednesday’s game. Young, Atlanta’s top scorer and best player missed Monday’s game with a right ankle injury.
Young leads the Hawks in scoring at 27.2 ppg and assists at 9.9. He had been red hot recently, topping 30 points in his last two games and 25 in four of the last five. He also had at least 10 assists in four straight.
His return moves Aaron Holiday who started in his absence, back to a bench role. It also means the team will need fewer minutes from reserves Dejounte Murray, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and De’Andre Hunter. Murray had a big game with Young out, scoring 40 against Portland.
More Opportunities, But Defense Remains a Concern
On the flip side, several Hawks players, the most notably big man John Collins, will likely see their production increase with Young threatening from outside and getting them the ball in the paint.
With Young likely to play, that means that Atlanta’s biggest concern, once again, will be its defense.
The Hawks have allowed seven of the last eight opponents to top 120 points against them. Atlanta is No. 20 in the league in defensive rating and opponents’ second-chance points and No. 23 in defensive rebounding percentage and fast break defense.
The Hawks are also in the bottom five in the league in defending the paint.
The Suns did not get the Hawks’ luck on their injury news. Devin Booker, who has not played since Christmas Day as he deals with a groin injury, was expected to return at some point this week.
However, Booker has been ruled out for Wednesday’s game. He is expected to be evaluated and given a return date prior to tipoff. He had been having an All-Star season, averaging 27.1 ppg 4.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists prior to the injury.
Also out for Phoenix will be guard Landry Shamet. The 9.5 ppg scorer has missed the last seven with a foot injury and has played just once in the last 11 games.
CP3 Rises to the Occasion
The team is also playing without guard Cameron Payne, who has played in just two of the last 24 games as he recovers from a foot sprain.
The rash of injuries puts a heavier workload on guard Chris Paul, and he has responded, upping his 14.3 ppg scoring average on the year to 21.6 in the last five games.
He’ll also be focusing on getting the ball to big man Deandre Ayton, who will take advantage of Atlanta’s shaky interior defense.
Ayton has averaged 22.5 ppg and 10.5 rebounds in his last two outings.
The Hawks may be healthier, but the Suns have the firepower to take advantage of Atlanta’s porous defense.
The Suns have the fourth-best home record in the West at 19-8 and have won five of their last six home games.
Look for the Suns to get the decision in a high-scoring affair.
Score Prediction: Suns 118 - Hawks 115
NBA Pick: Suns -1.5 (-107) at BetOnline
NBA Pick: Over 230.5 (-107) at BetOnline
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