Game: Atlanta Hawks @ Miami Heat
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Hawks +7, Heat -7
Miami has a chance to end its first-round playoff series with Atlanta tonight at home. The Heat has spent most of this series proving why they are the East’s No. 1 seed. The defense has been outstanding holding a top-10 scoring team – the Hawks – to just 98.2 points per game. Atlanta star Trae Young has had two games in the series in which he was held to single-digit points. All that is left for Miami is to deliver the knockout blow and doing it at home is just a bonus.
Young, who averaged over 28 points per game during the regular season, isn’t even the Hawks leading scorer during the postseason. Deandre Hunter is leading Atlanta with 17.8 points per game. Young follows with 16.5 points and 6.0 assists a game. If Atlanta is going to have any chance at staying alive in this series, Young needs to have one of his scoring outbursts. If not, this series is likely to end sooner rather than later.
With its win in Game 4, Miami has now won nine of its last 11 games. The Heat is also 9-2 ATS in those 11 games. Atlanta will have a tough time tonight as the Heat is 8-1 SU in its last nine games against Atlanta at home at the FTX Arena. Miami is also 5-0 ATS in its last five games at home.
Miami controlled Game 4 after falling behind 37-29. The Heat went on two separate runs of 15-0 and 11-0 to go up 55-41 at the half. Miami took 92 shots compared to just 75 for Atlanta. The Miami defense forced 15 Hawks turnovers too. Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 36 points and four others scored in double figures for the winners.
Atlanta was playing well down the stretch in the regular season. The Hawks actually have 10 wins in their last 15 games, but they have lost three of four in this series. Atlanta is now 1-4 SU and ATS in its last five games against the Heat. The Hawks are the best of road teams either. They are 17-27 SU on the road and just 15-29 ATS in those 44 away games.
All four games in this series have gone Under the game total. A big part of why is the Miami defense. The Heat has been a top-5 defense all season long and, as mentioned, they have held Atlanta to an average of under 100 points per game so far. Tonight’s total is the first one which is less than 220.
Both teams are trending Under. Five of the Heat’s last six games have gone Under while all six of the Hawks’ last six have resulted in the Under. Five of Atlanta’s last six road games have also seen the total go Under. Remember, Miami has an O/U record of 48-37-1 for the season. The Heat’s O/U record at home is 22-20-1.