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Knicks Hawks Betting - Knicks And Hawks Offer A Clash Of Familiar Faces

Posted by Craig Parsons on 4/20/2012 2:47:52 PM

The New York Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks will not have a very difficult time studying film or formulating their game plans for this Sunday's contest. Their coaches know each other very well.

New York Knicks @ Atlanta Hawks - Sunday, April 22 
Sports betting line: No line

Why New York Will Win

The professional basketball analysts who will be assessing this contest will tell you that in a late-season push, the online betting calculus shifts in favor of the team that's playing for outright survival as opposed to a higher seed in the playoffs. The Knicks are that team, not the Hawks, due to the fact that they're tied for seventh place in the Eastern Conference, just two games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks at the present moment. New York was in a more precarious position a week and a half ago, but the steady downfall of the Philadelphia 76ers, combined with a New York win over Milwaukee last week, has considerably brightened the Knicks' outlook.

Nevertheless, New York still has work to do in its attempt to lock down a playoff spot, and that should give the Knicks a strong jolt of intensity and energy as they head down to the state of Georgia for a Sunday afternoon tip-off. One other reason to go with the Knicks in this game is that their star player is acting like one. With Jeremy Lin and Amare Stoudemire out of the lineup, Carmelo Anthony is answering the call for head coach Mike Woodson. Anthony is scoring in the mid-30s to the low 40s on several occasions, taking this team on his back and asking for the ball in crunch time.

It might not be elegant basketball, but in the star system of the NBA and a culture which demands that the best-paid players take the majority of the shots in big situations, Anthony is doing enough to bring the Knicks to the postseason. He should play well against Atlanta and give New York a very good chance to win in the fourth quarter.

Why Atlanta Will Win

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this game, one thing to keep in mind is that the two coaches in this game know each other well. New York bench boss Mike Woodson was Atlanta's coach for a few years before getting fired after the 2010 season. The man who stepped in to fill the void as the Hawks' new head coach was Woodson's right-hand man, assistant coach Larry Drew. When this season began, Woodson was a New York assistant under head man Mike D'Antoni, but when D'Antoni got fired this past winter, Woodson became the interim head coach.

When these two teams play, they'll know that their coaches are acutely aware of each other. The thought process here is that this will favor the Hawks. Atlanta's players will want to show that they can defeat their former coach. The Knicks won't experience that same emotional dynamic on Sunday. It will make a difference.

Who Will Win

It’s a small and nuanced element of this contest, but it could very well mean something. Atlanta will want to win this game for Drew against Woodson. The Hawks will feel more motivated; they'll view Sunday's contest in a more personal way, and that matters to a professional athlete. Take Atlanta in this contest.

NBA Basketball Betting Pick: Atlanta

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