The Atlanta Hawks will return home to host the Indiana Pacers in the third game of the highly contested series. The Hawks stole the first game in Indiana, only to get blown out in game two as the Pacers returned to form to knot the series at one game apiece. Have the Pacers completely snapped out of their funk and returned to the form that the held for most of the season? Game three could tell the story as the Hawks look to prove to the rest of the NBA that they still intend on making this a series.
The odds makers believe that it will be a good game as the Pacers are listed as just two point favorites in game three. That is a very small number considering the fact that Pacers dominated the last outing by double digits. The public is buying in on the Pacers as 67 percent of the early betting cash is coming in on the road team in this game.
The Pacers played better in game two because they clamped down on defense. Jeff Teague scored a playoff career-high 28 points in Game 1 but was held to 14 in Game 2 as Paul George took over the defensive assignment and kept Teague out of the lane. Atlanta missed 12 straight shots during the decisive stretch and shot 29 percent in the second half. George will most likely be lined up against Teague again in this game.
The latest betting basketball trends indicate that the Hawks have the edge in game three. The Pacers are 3-14 against the spread (ATS) in their last 17 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game, 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points and 7-20-1 ATS in their last 28 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game. The Hawks are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 1 days rest and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
The Pacers played so well in game twio because of the burst from the bench. Indiana Luis Scola scored 20 points in 19 minutes off the bench in Game 2 after reaching 20 points only once previously this season. This is not something that will happen all the time and without it, the Pacers will be in trouble. The Hawks get a big boost from playing at home and win the third game to take the advantage in this very interesting series.
NBA Playoffs Picks: Atlanta Hawks +2.5
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.