Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
The Atlanta Hawks are 26-35 and lead the Detroit Pistons by three games in the standings for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks lost Al Horford for the season just 29 games in, and it has been a struggle without its All-Star big man. Paul Millsap has kept the team afloat, and the Hawks will enter the game tonight in Utah as two point favorites according to NBA oddsmakers at Bovada.
Millsap has assumed a role much like he did in Utah and is leading the Hawks in scoring at 17.5 points per game, while also getting 8.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Jeff Teague has become a good and steady NBA point guard, though while not spectacular has posted 16 points and seven assists per game.
The Hawks bench is primary comprised of castaways and D-leaguers, but in the East that is good enough to be a playoff team. With Horford this may have been a team capable of putting a scare into an upper tier team, but the likely destiny of this Hawks team is to be first round sweep fodder for Indiana or Miami.
The Jazz are 22-41 and are headed for a high pick in the 2014 NBA draft. The team has some nice young talent, but its best player Gordon Hayward, is a restricted free agent at season’s end. Derrick Favors is a good strong big man, but his ceiling may not be as high as Utah brass had hoped. The same likely applies to Enes Kanter and Rudy Gobert, though both have shown immense signs of potential.
Trey Burke appears to have a Jameer Nelson-like upside, and that’s not bad return on the Michigan product. Utah really won’t assume a direction until it spends its 2014 pick, and it should be a top-five pick, which could turn the franchise around quickly.
ATL Trends: 0-4 ATS in last 4 after scoring 100 or more in previous game; OVER 7-0 in last 7 road games vs teams with losing home records; OVER 11-1 in last 12 vs teams with winning percentage below .400.
UTA Trends: OVER 6-0-1 in last 7 home games vs teams with road winning percentage below .400; OVER 7-0-1 in last 8 home games vs teams with losing road records; UNDER 10-1-1 in last 12 when opponent scores 100 or more in previous game.
Head-to-head: Hawks 5-0 ATS in last 5 meetings; OVER 4-1 in last 5 meetings; Hawks 4-1 ATS in last 5 meetings in Utah.