San Antonio Spurs vs. Atlanta Hawks – NBA, February 12, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| February 12, 2021 2:05 am PDT

These two teams are relatively evenly matched as the Spurs sit at the top of the Southwest Division, and a win here for the Hawks will take them to the top of the Southeast Division.

The Hawks have enjoyed playing against the Spurs recently, having won the last three matchups between them. However, the last time they met, they were only separated by a single point, highlighting how tight things are between them. The previous five matches in Atlanta have been won by alternating teams. If that pattern continues tonight, then it will be the Spurs that come away with the victory.

Although things have been close between them over the previous ten games, the Spurs have a six-point higher average, suggesting that it’s usually a little more convincingly when they win. They have also tended to start the games better, averaging five more half time points than the Hawks.

Now I will analyze the game odds, look at each teams’ strengths and weaknesses and conclude with my Spurs vs. Hawks betting pick.

Spurs vs. Hawks Odds

Spurs (+2) -110
Hawks (-2) -110
Spurs To Win +110
Hawks To Win -120
Over 228.5 Points -110
Under 228.5 Points -110

All of the early money has come for the Spurs, and the bookmakers have reacted by cutting the handicap by a point and a half since the betting opened. The points total looks very high to me, so it would seem that pricing this game up hasn’t been the bookies’ most sufficient work. However, this does offer more opportunities for us to exploit.

The Hawks have a solid record as the betting favorite this season, having won eight of their 12 games.

Spurs Preview

The Spurs had a three-game win streak ended last time out when they lost the second match of a doubleheader against the Warriors.

They won’t mind returning to the road tonight as they have an excellent record on their travels of 7-3 from their ten games. The Spurs have won three of their previous four matches on the road and still come into this game full of confidence.

Here are the latest betting trends for San Antonio:

  • The Spurs have a poor record of 2-4 against the spread in their last six matches.
  • Four of their previous five games have gone under the betting total.
  • They have only won one of the last five games against Atlanta when betting on the handicap market.
  • San Antonio haven won 15 of their previous 19 games against the Hawks.
  • Only one of their last five matches on the road has gone over the points total.
  • This is the very same record in their previous five visits to Atlanta.
  • The Spurs are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games against teams based in the Eastern Conference.
  • They have won their previous five games in a row against teams in the Southeast Division.
  • San Antonio has not enjoyed playing in February against the spread, having lost six of their last eight games.

The Spurs have a weak offense bogged down by a low field goal percentage of 44%. This is such a shame when you see how good they are at holding on to the ball and dictating the pace of the game. They move the ball well and have made the least number of turnovers this season. I believe they are overplaying things at times, which isn’t leaving them very little time to get their shots off.

Their defense is better but still has a lot of improvements and adjustments to make. They need to make life much more difficult for their opponents as there is a fine line between having a disciplined defense and being too easy to play against, and they have certainly been the latter more often than not.

Veteran LeMarcus Aldridge has been criticized for his defensive performances a lot this season, with many suggesting that he needs to spend more time on the bench this season. I hate to single one player out in a team, but perhaps they need to start thinking about taking a different approach. He is currently out with a hip injury, and while it’s never nice to see a player hurt, perhaps it’s as good a time as any to try something new.

Apart from Aldridge, the Spurs have no other absentees tonight.

Hawks Preview

The Hawks are in really poor form right now, so facing a team, they have a poor record against is probably not what they want right now. They have lost four of their previous five games heading into this one. However, there has been significant improvement in their last two performances. They beat the Raptors comfortably by 12 points and then went down by a single point to the Mavericks, which was an improvement on their other recent loss to them. However, they did show signs of fatigue in their loss to Dallas as they let a nine-point lead slip in the final quarter.

They have a slightly negative record at home of six wins and seven defeats from their 13 matchups. Before their win over the Raptors, they had lost their previous four home games.

Here are the latest betting trends for Atlanta:

  • The Hawks are 8-4 against the spread in their last 12 games.
  • The total has gone under in 14 of their previous 20 matches.
  • This trend has continued against the Spurs as five of their last six meetings have gone under the betting total.
  • This pattern doesn’t stop there as ten of their previous 12 games against teams from the West have also gone under the points total.
  • They have done relatively well against the spread when playing against teams in the Southwest Division, as they have won 13 of their last 20 games.
  • The Hawks have also done well against the spread when playing on a Friday night, having won five of their previous seven matches.

The Hawks have an average offense, which like tonight’s opponents, doesn’t shoot very well. They often rely on a good rebounding game in attack to get them out of trouble.

Their defense matches up reasonably well to their attack, making them difficult to beat as at least one of these components does well most games. They close down their opponents very well, and they don’t give up many easy baskets. However, I would like to see them make slightly more steals each game than they are currently averaging.

They rebound very well in defense, which makes them a well-rounded rebounding unit. Clint Capela, the ‘Swiss Bank’, has been the anchor in their defense this season, and there is no wonder he is drawing many comparisons with the great Dikembe Mutombo when you look at his stats. This is definitely Capela’s house now!

Trae Young has often been at the heart of the team this season, and his passion for the Hawks spilled over last time out against the Mavericks when he criticized the officials for a call; he believed they had gotten wrong late in the game. He was later fined for his actions.

The Hawks have a few injury concerns at present, and they will miss Rondo, Dunn, Bogdanovic, and Hunter tonight.

Spurs vs. Hawks Betting Pick

This is a clear under pick for me tonight. Neither team is shooting well this season, and they are both defending pretty well. Their combined average total score in their previous ten meetings is 208 points, 20 points lower than the total set. Although their combined totals this season is 222, it’s still significantly lower than the total set tonight.

Pick
  • Under 228.5 Points
    -110

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