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Hawks Might Find More Urgency This Friday Night

Posted by Craig Parsons on 4/11/2013 7:29:19 PM

The Atlanta Hawks know that playoff seedings are important. This might explain the team’s recent slide… and its desire to regroup as the postseason approaches.

Milwaukee Bucks @ Atlanta Hawks – Friday, April 12      
Online sports betting line: No line

Why Milwaukee Will Win

Few online horse betting experts or other casual basketball fans probably think that the Atlanta Hawks are a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference, but with that having been said, the Hawks are performing below expectations at this point in time. Atlanta entered Wednesday night having lost three straight games.

The Hawks did show some life against the Philadelphia 76ers, but one must ask why the Hawks were so listless in previous games, one of them being an 11-point home-court loss to Philadelphia a week ago. An explanation could be found in this line of reasoning: The Hawks, knowing that they would not want to play the Miami Heat in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, are trying to lose enough times that they won’t get the fifth seed in the East, which feeds into the half of the bracket that includes the Heat in round two. The Hawks would rather see the Chicago Bulls get the fifth spot.

Atlanta would prefer to be the sixth seed against an injured and limited Indiana Pacer ballclub. Once a team turns down its level of effort in service of a strategic goal, it’s hard to recover the same degree of intensity each and every night. Yes, Atlanta played well against Philadelphia on April 10, but will it be able to get up for the Bucks on April 12?

Milwaukee has ample talent with Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings, and J.J. Redick all able to score buckets in bunches. The Bucks can make the Hawks’ defense look very silly if the perimeter shots are falling for Milwaukee.

Why Atlanta Will Win

The best betting sites will tell you that even though the Hawks are not the epitome of a steady and even-keeled team, they're better than the Bucks. Atlanta has consistently outpaced Milwaukee all season, and it has to be said that the Bucks are going to be the only sub-.500 team in the 16-member playoff field.

Milwaukee is under .500 in its last 10 games and has simply been unable to turn on the jets for any prolonged period of time. Remember, too, that the Bucks are operating under an interim head coach, Jim Boylan, whose hold on power is quite tenuous. This is just not a good situation for Milwaukee, and that’s the best reason to pick Atlanta here.

There’s another reason to take the Hawks, though. Atlanta might be playing for the sixth seed, but Boston has crept up on the Hawks, threatening to overtake Atlanta and push the Hawks to the seventh spot. Atlanta would like to play Indiana in the 6-versus-3 matchup. That motivator might draw a better performance out of the Hawks this Friday in Georgia.

Who Will Win

Ultimately, the fact that Atlanta wants to avoid the seventh seed will indeed get the Hawks to wake up a bit. Atlanta should play with a sense of urgency, and that will spell doom for Milwaukee.

NBA Basketball Betting Pick: Atlanta

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