Atlanta Hawks vs. Philadelphia 76ers – NBA, April 30, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| April 30, 2021 9:22 am PDT

The 76ers host the Hawks at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia tonight. This has all the makings of a classic as both teams have their battles going on.

Having led the Eastern Conference for most of the season, the 76ers want to return to the top spot after being replaced by the Brooklyn Nets. The Hawks lead the Southeast Division, but they have Miami snapping away at their heels. Both teams will be going all out to pick up the win here.

Things have been tight between these two in recent years as they have alternated wins over the previous six meetings. Should that continue tonight, it will be the Hawks that claim the victory this evening.

However, it will not be an easy task as it’s also worth noting that this fixture has been won by the home team on the previous four occasions it has been played. The last time it was played was only two days ago when the 76ers were rampant in a 44-point win – one of the most significant winning margins of the season.

As the score suggests, it was a dominant display from Philadelphia as they won all four quarters of the match. The Hawks appear to struggle when visiting the Wells Fargo Center as of late as they have lost four of the last five games there by margins of 10, 21, 17, and 44.

Although the last ten encounters between these two have been split, with each team winning five games each, the 76ers have averaged five points more per game than the Hawks in those matchups. During those games, each team has attempted precisely 345 three-pointers each with Philadelphia successfully making seven baskets more than Atlanta.

However, it’s probably the 76ers that will try more tonight as the Hawks look to reduce their number of shots taken from deep and concentrate on working the ball to the basket more.

Here is my Hawks vs. 76ers betting preview.

Hawks vs. 76ers Odds

Hawks +9-110
76ers -9-110
Hawks to Win+340
76ers to Win-420
Over 222 Points-110
Under 222 Points-110

Although the 76ers crushed the Hawks only 48 hours ago, you must feel Atlanta surely can’t play as badly as they did that night and that these teams are closer matched than the handicap suggests.

However, what I find slightly odd is that the handicap hasn’t changed since that night. The bookmakers are wary of a Hawks backlash this evening.

Despite the points total rising a full nine points from their previous game, I still believe it looks low. But again, it’s strange that it has been increased by such a large amount, given the teams only produced 210-points two days ago.

The 76ers have only lost two of their 17 home matches against fellow Eastern Conference teams.

How are the Hawks Performing?

The Hawks have been dreadful in their last two matches and need a drastic improvement to get anywhere near the 76ers tonight, as well as their 44-point annihilation by tonight’s opponents; they went down by 16 against the struggling Pistons.

Their biggest problem has been a miss-firing offense that has posted scores of 86 and 83. Their form on the road is amongst the best in the Eastern Conference, but I think that says more about the Conference than it does anything else.

They have won 16 and lost 18 of their 34 away fixtures this season. They have lost their last three games on the road, which is the first time that has happened since the beginning of March.

What is even more damaging is the run of defeats started against their Eastern Conference rivals, the New York Knicks. The win for the Knicks lifted them above the Hawks in the standings, and it appeared to knock the stuffing out of Atlanta. The game could have gone either way, and it took overtime to separate the two teams.

It was also a missed opportunity to halt the Knick’s momentum as that win made it eight victories in a row for them.

Here are the latest betting trends for Atlanta.

Against the Spread

  • Atlanta is 11-5 in their last 16 matches.
  • The Hawks have only lost two of their previous eight games against the 76ers.
  • They have only one on one of their last five visits to Philadelphia.

This shows that perhaps the Hawks aren’t playing quite as badly as some of their recent results suggest. However, it does also highlight they have struggled when traveling to Philadelphia.

Points Total

  • Seven of their last ten games have gone under the betting total.
  • Only one of their previous five matches on the road has failed to go under the points total.
  • The total has gone over in eight of their last ten games against teams based in the Atlantic Division.

There is nothing to go on here as the stats contradict each other.

Other Pointers

  • Atlanta is 11-5 in their previous 16 matches.
  • They have only lost four of their last 15 games against Eastern Conference opponents.

This shows that overall, the Hawks have done well recently. It also highlights that the bookmakers have called their matches well recently as their straight-up record is precisely the same as the record against the spread.

The Hawks have an average offense this season that has consistently struggled from the field goal range. However, it’s not their shooting ability that is lacking, as they have been amongst the top five teams at shooting from the free-throw line this season. Therefore, you must feel they aren’t creating enough scoring opportunities.

They have a great offensive rebounding unit that will undoubtedly give the 76ers a game this evening.

Their defense is also very average-looking, despite the fact they have a fantastic full-court pressing game. However, for a team that presses so well, they aren’t making any steals per game which is odd.

There is no doubt that one of the stars of the season for the Hawks has been the big man, Clint Capela. However, he is struggling for form since returning from injury, and he has put in some dreadful performances.

You have to wonder if Atlanta has rushed their Swiss superstar back too soon. The Hawks have listed him as questionable to play tonight, which confirms my concerns.

As well as Capela, they also have Bogdanovic and Young listed as questionable to feature, and Huerter is doubtful to play. They are hopeful that Snell will recover in time from an ankle injury to play this evening. The Hawks are also missing both Hunter and Reddish, who have long-term injuries.

How are the 76ers performing?

Philadelphia appears to have put their worst losing run of the season well and truly behind them as they have picked up emphatic wins in their previous two games.

They have been brilliant at both ends of the court by scoring over 120-points each game while conceding 90 or below. Their form at home has been impeccable this season as they have only lost seven of their 31 matches played in Philadelphia.

They have alternated back-to-back wins with back-to-back defeats over their last six games, and they will be hoping to snap that trend tonight.

Here are the latest betting trends for Philadelphia.

Against the Spread

  • Philadelphia has only lost three of their previous 11 matches played on a Friday.

This is self-explanatory.

Points Total

  • Ten of their last 13 games have gone under the betting total.
  • Only one of their previous five home matches has failed to go under the points total.

All signs point to a low-scoring game tonight.

Other Pointers

  • The 76ers have lost four of their last six games.
  • They have only lost three of their previous 12 matches against teams from the east coast.
  • Philadelphia has won all five of their most recent encounters with teams in the Southeast Division.

These stats contradict each other, but there is a slight bias towards the 76ers form, meaning they are in decent shape tonight.

The 76ers have a marginally better offense than the Hawks do this season. However, when you look at their attack at home this season, it is streaks ahead.

What are they doing at home that is so different? It’s simple. They are shooting much better from all over the court, which can only be down to the comfort of their familiar surroundings.

Their defense has been excellent this season, although they have been known to struggle against teams that shoot well from a distance. However, that shouldn’t be the case tonight, as we have learned that the Hawks intend to reduce the number of three-pointers they are currently taking.

They make many steals each night, which is almost certainly a battle they should win tonight, which could mean they see more of the ball.

The 76ers have also been superb at blocking this season, and their figures are only marginally bettered by one other team in the NBA, the Pacers.

Although the 76ers have so much to play for this season, they are already planning their assault for next year as they look to bring in the Raptors Kyle Lowry in the offseason.

Lowry is highly touted, and it is said his preference is to join Miami. However, that hasn’t deterred Philadelphia, and they will go all out for his signature.

Philadelphia is almost at full strength tonight, with only Scott listed as questionable to play tonight as he recovered from a hip injury.

Hawks vs. 76ers Prediction and Pick

This is another potential enthralling matchup ruined by injuries which seems to be the trend this season. It’s hard to know who will play for the Hawks tonight, and therefore you can’t make a play at the winner of this game without any confidence.

However, you have to feel after only mustering up 83-points last time out; the emphasis will be on attack for them tonight. We already know the 76ers offense is firing on all cylinders at present, which should hopefully mean we see a high-scoring game tonight.

Their combined average over the last ten meetings is 229-points, and their combined totals this season average 225-points which both sit above the total set tonight. Therefore, I will take over the points total here.

Pick
  • Over 222 Points
    -290

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