Date/Time: February 2, 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: NBA TV
NBA Betting Odds From Bookmaker Sportsbook
Spread: Atlanta -4.5
The Atlanta Hawks take their 19-game winning streak on the road to New Orleans for Monday night’s matchup against the Pelicans. It may have been a little bit too close for comfort as the heavy underdog Philadelphia 76ers covered with ease. Could that be a foreshadowing for Monday’s game? The Pelicans have one of the game’s most dominant players in Anthony Davis and a key injury for the Hawks could be all that it takes to snap their record winning streak.
It’s amazing to think that the Atlanta Hawks started the season off with a 7-6 record through their first 13 games. Since then, they are 33-2 and have rattled off 19 straight victories. When a team is playing at that high of a level, it’s hard to imagine that anything can faze them, but the injury to Thabo Sefolosha will hurt the team’s chemistry and depth. Sefolosha will miss six-to-eight weeks with a calf injury. He was not a big part of the team, but the recipe has been working and the ingredients now need to be changed. After covering in 15 straight games, Atlanta has now lost three of their last four against the spread.
All-Star snub Kyle Korver is firing at 54 percent from beyond the arc, which is a weapon that most NBA teams don’t have. Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap were both named to the Eastern Conference team for this season’s festivities and they lead the Hawks in scoring. Millsap recently took over the team lead from Teague with 21.2 points per game over his last five. Al Horford has also chipped in 15.5 points and more than eight rebounds per game. It’s hard to find weaknesses on this Hawks team and their balanced scoring and rebounding is a major advantage of most NBA squads.
After hovering around .500 most of the season, the New Orleans Pelicans may be starting to put it all together. They have won five of their last seven games, including wins over the Clippers and Mavericks. This week will serve as a nice measuring stick for how close the Pelicans truly are to being a legitimate force in the Western Conference with games against Atlanta, Oklahoma City, and Chicago. New Orleans is just 10-14 against teams .500 or better this season, so these games are very meaningful.
There aren’t many players that contribute in as many ways as Anthony Davis does, but he is emerging as one of the league’s top five players. Davis has averaged 24.5 points and over 10 rebounds per game this season. He also leads the league with nearly three blocks per game. He alters games in so many ways that aren’t included in the box score and he is a truly special player. The supporting cast for Davis has not been bad either, as Tyreke Evans has scored 17 points per game and Jrue Holliday has added 15 points and seven assists. Omer Asik has also pulled down 10 rebounds per game. Ryan Anderson is one of the game’s best bench scorers with 15 points per game.
The Hawks are having a spectacular season in all facets, including their against the spread record. The Hawks are 40-8 on the season and 34-14 against the number, though they have lost three of their last four against the spread. The Pelicans are 25-22 straight up and 28-19 against the spread. For totals bettors, both teams are around a 50/50 split on overs and unders.
Free NBA Picks: New Orleans Pelicans
We’ll go out on a limb here and say that the streak ends on Monday night. The Pelicans have a lot of talent and they have a player that will enjoy being in the limelight to end this streak. The Hawks have squeaked by against some bad Eastern Conference competition of late and the pressure of the streak may be getting to them. Increased media exposure and attention is tiring and that’s something that Atlanta has had to contend with.
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Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.