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Predictions For Hawks Pistons Betting – Atlanta Tries To Right Its Ship In Detroit

Posted by Craig Parsons on 1/1/2013 5:43:14 PM

The Atlanta Hawks endured an ugly night in Houston on New Year's Eve. They will try to build some momentum in 2013 when they travel to Auburn Hills, Mich., for a game on Friday night.

Atlanta Hawks @ Detroit Pistons – Friday, January 4      
Online sports betting line: No line

Why Atlanta Will Win

Few college football betting experts thought that Stanford would win the Pac-12 championship or that Kansas State would win the Big 12 championship, but those two schools reached the next level in their sport in 2012. The Atlanta Hawks have spent the last two months of 2012 playing at a higher level than in seasons past. The Hawks enter 2013 with a 19-10 record, the product of better and more prudent performances at the offensive end of the floor. It's no idle coincidence that the Hawks have gotten better this season because they jettisoned one of their more unreliable and exasperating offensive players, shooting guard Joe Johnson.

There was and is no question that Johnson is immensely skilled, but he took so many bad shots and also hogged the ball, bringing ball movement to a halt. Johnson could make crunch-time jumpers from long distances in the faces of good defenders, but he would just as often mess up late-game possessions with his decision making, particularly his shot selection. Atlanta's offense is moving more freely, and the ball is getting shared, without Johnson around to gum things up. The Hawks are making forward strides as a franchise.

They haven't figured everything out, but they are evolving and generating an appreciable degree of progress. With two full days off before this game against Detroit, Atlanta's legs should be fresh and its minds should be clear. When a good team plays an inferior team, it should be able to win as long as the rest-and-travel equation is not stacked against it. This is certainly the case for the Hawks, who are not in a position to let down their guard here.

Why Detroit Will Win

The best betting reason to take the Pistons in this game is that they, too, will have two full days off before this contest, but that fact actually doesn't encompass the full rationale for picking Detroit on Friday against Atlanta. Whereas Atlanta has two days off in the midst of a long road trip, Detroit will have two days off in the midst of an extended homestand. The Pistons played at home on Sunday night and then on Tuesday night.

They will have been staying at home all week long. A team that started the season so horribly in November, losing its first eight games, has picked up the pace in December. Now, this extended period at its home base will allow Detroit to regroup even more. This team is in a spot where it can play a really good game against Atlanta.

Who Will Win

Ultimately, the fact that Atlanta will enter this game without a negative rest differential (relative to Detroit) is what should enable the Hawks' superior talent to emerge in full relief. Take the Hawks here.

NBA Basketball Betting Pick: Atlanta

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