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NBA Play of the Day for March 11th, 2020

by March 11, 2020

Two of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference are set to face off in what amounts to a potential Anthony Edwards/LaMelo Ball bowl. Both of these teams are more concerned with their lottery odds than winning games, and it has shown. The season series is split one game apiece, with the Hawks winning the last contest by five points. The consensus point spread for this contest opened at -4.5 at Atlanta, a number it has stood pat at overnight. Let’s dig in. 

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Details

  • Opening Lines: The consensus point spread for this contest opened at -4.5 on the Atlanta Hawks. The consensus over/under total opened at 230 points. The point spread has held steady at -4.5. The over/under total has climbed to 230.5.
  • Current Line: Atlanta -4.5
  • O/U: 230.5
  • Location: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Start Time: 7:30 PM EST, Wednesday, March 11th
  • Last Meeting: Atlanta defeated New York 140-135 – February 9th

Overview 

The New York Knicks are 20-45 on the season. They are currently in 12th place in the East, but they are just one game ahead of the last-place Cleveland Cavaliers. The Knicks have lost nine of their last 12 contests, and they appear content to lose as many more games as possible. New York is a mess, and as long as James Dolan owns the team, things are not expected to change. They struck gold with Canadian superstar R.J. Barrett, but the rest of their roster outside of Julius Randle is an absolute disaster. The Knicks have allowed 120 or more points in three of their last five contests, and they are in danger of making it four of six. They will try to take the season series lead with a win tonight against the Atlanta Hawks, but they are going to have their work cut out for them. There is a legitimate debate as to whether or not they even want to win this game, but better lottery odds are not going to magically improve their scouting department. 

The Atlanta Hawks currently sit at 20-46 on the season. Atlanta is in 14th place in the Eastern Conference, and they are just half a game ahead of the last-place Cleveland Cavaliers. The Hawks are in injury tank mode, as they refuse to put Clint Capela back on the court to make his team debut, as his addition to the lineup would make them too competitive. John Collins is banged-up but is expected to play tonight. Trae Young has been sensational for the Hawks this year, as he’s currently fourth in the NBA in scoring with 29.4 points and second in assists with 9.3. Trae became the fastest player in NBA history to reach 350 three-pointers made, beating Damian Lillard’s record by two games. However, he has the worst field goal percentage of any of the players who have made 350 or more threes in the last two seasons. As good as Trae has been from a volume scoring perspective, he has shot the ball at a G-League level percentage-wise. Atlanta will be looking to win their second-straight game against the Knicks to go up two games in the season series with a win tonight. 

Trends 

  • New York is 4-1-1 ATS in their last six contests against Atlanta.
  • Over is 8-3 in the last 11 contests between these two teams. 
  • New York is 34-30-1 ATS on the season. 
  • New York is 16-15-1 ATS on the road this season.
  • Atlanta is 29-35-2 ATS on the season. 
  • Atlanta is 19-12-2 ATS at home this season. 
  • New York is 5-5- ATS in their last 10 contests.
  • New York is 1-3-1 ATS in their last five road contests. 
  • New York is 4-1 ATS in their last five contests. 
  • New York is 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight contests against teams with losing records. 
  • New York is 0-4-1 ATS in their last five contests played on zero days of rest.
  • Atlanta is 4-5-1 ATS in their last 10 contests. 
  • Atlanta is 0-3-1 ATS in their last four contests. 
  • Atlanta is 8-3-2 ATS in their last 13 home contests. 
  • Atlanta is 4-1-2 ATS in their last seven contests as a home favorite.
  • Atlanta is 0-3-1 ATS in their last four contests against teams with losing records.
  • Over is 5-0 in New York’s last five road contests. 
  • Over is 7-2 in New York’s last nine contests. 
  • Over is 4-1 in New York’s last five road contests against teams with losing home records.
  • Over is 4-0 in New York’s last four contests played on zero days of rest.
  • Over is 20-8 in Atlanta’s last 28 home contests.
  • Over is 18-8 in Atlanta’s last 26 contests. 
  • Over is 13-5 in Atlanta’s last 18 contests against teams with losing records.
  • Over is 4-1 in Atlanta’s last five contests played on one day of rest.

Prop Bets 

John Collins over 22.5 points (+100)
I am not sure how this line is magically at 22.5 points with 22 cents juice on the under when FanDuel was on maintenance for four hours, but that is where we currently sit. As such, I suggest that you wait it out in the hopes that the point total drops to the 21.5 that this line should sit at. Collins has been excellent for the Hawks over the last six weeks, and he averaged 25.6 points per game in February and 24.4 points per game in the 10 games since the All-Star break. 

Collins has been an over machine for this column, and he looks like a strong bet to hit the over again. Collins poured in 32 points against the Knicks in his only meeting against them this season, and he is primed for another big game. He was banged up in the Hawks’ contest against the Charlotte Hornets, but he’s expected to play a full complement of minutes tonight. 

Collins has scored 23 or more points in 12 of his last 17 games, making him still a strong value for those who wish to chase the even money. For those who value win probability more, waiting for the 21.5 is suggested, as he has scored 22 or more points in 14 of his last 17 contests. The 21.5 has a much higher win probability, and it would be a multi-unit play if you can find that line at FanDuel or elsewhere. At 22.5, this is just a one unit play. 

Bottom Line 

The Atlanta Hawks are the much better team in this contest, and they are expected to take the straight-up victory. With that said, the Hawks are inconsistent enough to drop this game, which makes the Knicks a moneyline option. The trends suggest at least tapping the over is in order here, and it’s a suggested one-unit play. 

As far as the spread is concerned, Atlanta seems to have the value edge. Atlanta is 4-1-2 against the spread in their last seven contests as a home favorite, and they are 8-3-2 in their last 13 home contests. New York is 1-3-1 against the spread in their last five road contests, making them a risky play here. If this game was played in New York, the Knicks would be the play at this spread. 

The consensus point spread for this contest is larger than one would expect, so consider buying points to make this a three-point spread. For those who do not wish to suffer the extra juice, the Hawks at -4.5 at -110 at FanDuel, and over 230.5 at -110 at FanDuel are the plays.

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Pick: Atlanta Hawks -4.5 (-110) and over 230.5 (-110)

Raju Byfield is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Raju, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyContext.

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