NBA Eastern Conference Betting Picks: Milwaukee Bucks at Atlanta Hawks

inside-las-vegas-racebook-2340892Milwaukee at Atlanta
Time: 7:30 PM ET, Mar 13, 2014
Spread: ATL -8.5
M/L: ATL -420; MIL +320
Total: 210

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

The Atlanta Hawks are 27-35 and hold a three-game lead over the New York Knicks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks are 17-11 at home where it will host the Milwaukee Bucks in a game NBA oddsmakers are favoring Atlanta by 8.5 points.

The Hawks have won just two of its past 10 games and narrowly defeated the Utah Jazz 112-110 on Monday (Mar 10) night. Kyle Korver led the Hawks with 26 points and the swingman is averaging 12.2 points per game this season. The Hawks have been decimated by the loss of Al Horford, who was leading the team in scoring and rebounding prior to injuring his pectoral muscle and requiring surgery.

Free agent acquisition Paul Millsap has carried the Hawks in his stead, averaging 17.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. The majority of the Hawks roster, though, is comprised of D-league castaways and unknown role players, with guys like Shelvin Mack and Mike Scott receiving significant minutes.

The Bucks are 13-51 and hold the worst record in the East. Milwaukee sought to go in a different direction last offseason, letting Monta Ellis walk in free agency and trading Brandon Jennings to the Detroit Pistons. The Bucks have been unable to get it done offensively, as a result, and rank 29th in the NBA in scoring, averaging just 94.5 points per game.

The team has a host of good individual defenders, including John Henson of UNC fame and Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the lack of offensive options has hurt too much. Henson is averaging 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game this season, while also blocking nearly two shots a game in 27 minutes a night. Larry Sanders has been out for the majority of the season and underwent orbital surgery to repair a broken bone.

MIL Trends: OVER 5-0 in last 5 following an SU loss of more than 10 points; OVER 8-1 in last 9 after an SU Loss; OVER 7-1 in last 8 after allowing 100 points or more in previous game.

ATL Trends: OVER 4-0 in last 4 Thursday games; OVER 6-0 in last 6 home games vs teams with winning percentages below .400; Hawks 0-5 ATS in last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in previous game.

Head-to-head: Bucks 1-4 ATS in last 5 meetings; OVER 4-1 in last 5 in Atlanta; OVER 20-6-1 in last 27 meetings.

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