NBA Handicapping Picks: Utah Jazz at Atlanta Hawks

Utah Jazz at Atlanta Hawks
Friday, 11/12/10, 7:00 PM EDT, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Atlanta -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Atlanta -4
Opening Total:  201
Current Total:  200.5

Utah Jazz have overcome major deficits on its current road trip against the Eastern Conference heading into Atlanta

Utah may be living on borrowed time in this contest after picking up three straight wins by overcoming big deficits when heading into Atlanta on Friday night.  “It says we have a lot of fight in us, but we can’t keep relying on getting down and coming back, especially on the road,” said point guard Deron Williams.  “It happened to us two nights in a row, but consider us lucky.”  With three consecutive comebacks against the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat and Orlando Magic of 18 points or more, the Jazz became the first team in the shot clock era to win three consecutive games after trailing by at least 10 points at the half.  The Jazz are 3-0 versus the Eastern Conference this season and hold a 47-39 all-time edge against the Hawks, including a 31-12 record at home and 16-27 mark on the road.  The team is 7-14 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to six points and the NBA lines page finds them getting four currently.

The Jazz are still being led by star point guard Deron Williams, who is averaging 27.0 points and 11.7 assists during the comeback wins, but the emergence of forward Paul Millsap has many experts talking.  Millsap is averaging 23.9 points, 10.1 rebounds this season, while shooting an incredible 61.4 percent from the floor.  “We got a lot of weapons on this team and that’s hat we rely on is different guys on different nights,” said Williams.  The team will finish a four-games-in-five-nights Eastern Conference road trip with tonight’s game and Saturday night in Charlotte.

Atlanta is still trying to figure out what happened in its 108-91 home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.  “It’s hard to explain what happened,” said Al Horford.  “I don’t know what happened.  The Hawks led by 13 points early, but then endured a 35-6 run by the Bucks reserves before halftime.  “We can’t take a step back,” said guard Joe Johnson.  The team started the season with six wins and now has dropped three straight games.  Forward Marvin Williams’ injury has really caused the team to lose momentum, having to move Al Horford from center and starting Jason Collins in the middle.  Atlanta is 0-4 ATS at home this season.

The Hawks new motion offense that was installed by head coach Larry Drew has the team leading the league in field goal percentage at 49.8 percent shooting, while ranking 11th in scoring.  Atlanta swept Utah last year, 2-0, in the season series for the first time since the 1992-93 campaign, including a 96-83 win at the Philips Arena.  Overall, the team has a three-game winning streak over the Jazz and has also captured three games in a row at tonight’s venue.

Bettors will find that the Jazz are 0-4 ATS as a road underdog of 0.5 to 4.5 points, while the Hawks are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games overall.

Don’t miss out on NBA expert picks with a full night of hardcourt action on the card for Friday night!

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