Hawks vs. Sixers: NBA Betting Preview From the Wells Fargo Center

Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers
Saturday, 3/31/12, 7:30 PM EST, TV:  NBATV
Opening Point Spread:  Philadelphia -6
Current Betting Line:  Philadelphia -6
Opening Total:  179
Current Total:  177
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Philadelphia 76ers have won four straight games in their series with the Atlanta Hawks entering Saturday night

Atlanta snapped a two-game losing streak by capturing a 100-90 win over the New York Knicks as three-point home favorites last night, while also going “over” the total for the third time in four games.  The Hawks will now be focused on snapping a four-game losing streak in their series with the 76ers, which includes a 98-87 defeat as three-point home favorites on Feb. 4.  Atlanta is 10-4 ATS when playing on back-to-back days and the “under” is 10-6 in that situation.

The Hawks have tallied an even 14-14 record on the road this season, but they’ve managed to drop eight of their last 12 away from Philips Arena.  Atlanta will need leading scorer Joe Johnson to up his production against Philadelphia, as he’s averaged just 10.8 points over the last four games in the series.  Power forward Josh Smith has really come on of late offensively, averaging 22.8 points per game over the last eight contests before pouring in 23 against the Knicks.

Philadelphia will look to bounce back from its worst loss of the 2011-12 campaign, dropping a 97-76 decision to the Washington Wizards as eight-point road favorites on Friday night.  The 76ers have now alternated wins and losses over their last seven games.  “For whatever reason, we weren’t ready,” commented 76ers head coach Doug Collins about the effort.  The team has been very inconsistent in posting a dismal 8-14 record since mid-February, which has caused the franchise to fall in the Eastern Conference standings.  Philadelphia is 2-5 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points and the “under” is 4-3 in that situation.

The 76ers are 18-10 at home this season, including an impressive 14-5 mark versus teams out of the East.  Philadelphia is looking to win five straight games in this series since rattling off eight victories in a row from Jan. 15, 2000-Nov. 16, 2001.  All-Star forward Andre Iguodala has been rather quiet in the two previous meetings this year, averaging 10.0 points on 29.6 percent shooting, but has 16 assists and just two turnovers.  He returned to the lineup last night after missing two games with left patella tendinitis, contributing seven points in 33 minutes.

Bettors will likely back the Hawks due to the underdog being 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings, while the 76ers are 0-4 ATS when playing on zero days rest.

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