May 1, 2015 (Posted at 5:00 PM ET)
Picks will be posted at 6:00 PM ET on Saturday.
Take the UNDER 199 total points in Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets risking 3% of the bankroll.
The series heads back to the Barclay Center as the Brooklyn Nets will look to keep their playoff hopes alive tonight in what is a very pivotal Game 6. While this is no doubt an important game for both sides with the Nets looking to stay alive in the series while the Hawks are looking to close their opponents out and move on to the semi-finals, we don't feel that the value in tonight’s game lies with either side. This is a game that we feel could go either way in terms of which team covers the spread; however we do find value in the total. In Game 5 we felt that the Over presented quite a bit of value and were correct as the two clubs combined to score 204 points. In Game 6 however, we believe the 'under' is the most likely outcome.
We have all heard the old adage, "defense wins championships" and while a championship will not be won in this game tonight, it does lend itself well to this situation. It is unlikely that the Nets will defeat the Hawks in a shootout; we simply don't see that happening in this contest. How the Nets win this matchup and force a Game 7 will be on the defensive end. Brooklyn's best chance at a victory tonight is to limit the damage the Hawks can do on the offensive end and buckling down and playing a smothering defense is the best way to achieve that. There is no doubt the Nets will be motivated heading into this contest with their season on the line and when a player is motivated and playing with a purpose, they naturally and instinctually play a much tougher brand of defense. Their hands and feet are more active and their contesting shots much more readily. That is what we expect to see out of Brooklyn tonight.
Both teams have been shooting the ball well in the last 2 games, but it's important to remember that in the first 3 games of this series, both teams struggled to shoot efficiently with neither team cracking the century mark! In the last 2 games alone both teams have managed to connect on at least 10 3-pointers (each) and have shot an average of 48% from the field. We expected both teams to shoot the ball well in Game 5 and they proved us right, however tonight we don't believe their hot shooting will continue and wouldn't be surprised if one or both teams fail to hit the 100 point mark tonight. Brooklyn is on the brink of elimination and simply cannot allow the Hawks to continue to get open looks. Lionel Hollins will be demanding a better defensive effort from his players after they gave Al Horford and others uncontested shots all game last time out.
Unlike the crowd at Philips Arena, fans at Barclays Center won't necessarily be demanding an offensive shootout to entertain them. Hawks fans have been somewhat spoiled this season with some of the high scoring, highlight reel style of play their team has put on this season, the Nets for the most part have not been a flashy team and have employed more of a grind-it-out style of play that focuses more on slowing down the pace and taking a higher percentage of shot. The Hawks are a team that likes to get out in transition and distribute the ball, there is a reason why they are one of the top ranked teams when it comes to assists. The Nets will need to cut them off and force them to play in the half court. That is the style that we expect Brooklyn to revert back to tonight. The pace of this game will be likely be played at a slower tempo than the previous two games and that deliberate approach should help cause this game to stay under the listed total.
Another factor that should come into play tonight is turnovers. Whether in form of offensive fouls, travelling or steals, turnovers are something that severely disrupts the flow of the game and can have a major impact on the scoreboard. Both clubs have done a good job with ball security ball over the last couple of games but not in the prior contests and that is something we don't see continuing. Turnovers were a big problem for both teams in the first three games of this series and while both have appeared to shore up that issue for the time being, we would be surprised if both teams continue to be so protective of the basketball tonight. One if not both teams should revert back to at least their seasonal averages when it comes to turnovers tonight. We believe there is a reason why this total has dropped from the opening line. It is our opinion that if this contest can avoid an unlucky overtime and the players do not commit stupid fouls when the game is already out of reach, then the final tally will land under 199 points.
Other notable facts to consider:
- 6 of 8 Atlanta games have gone 'Under' as favorites of 3.5 to 6 points!
- 14 of Atlanta’s 20 Friday night games have gone 'Under' this season!
- The Under is 28-19 when the Nets have been underdogs this season.
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