Game: Atlanta Hawks @ Miami Heat
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Hawks +2, Heat -2
Both Atlanta and Miami need wins tonight to secure playoff seeds. The Heat can clinch the No. 1 seed in the East with a win tonight. Miami owns a two-game lead over second-place Milwaukee and can wrap up the top seed tonight. Atlanta needs a win in its last two games and then needs Brooklyn or Chicago to go 1-1 to clinch the seventh seed in the play-in tournament. The Cavs currently hold the No. 7 spot and are one game ahead of both the Nets and the Hawks who each have 42-38 records.
Both teams have been at their best down the stretch. Miami is 5-0 SU and ATS in its last five games. Atlanta is 6-1 SU and ATS in its last seven. Against other Southeast Division teams, Miami is 12-2 this season. Atlanta actually has one of those wins over the Heat this year. To get another one, it will take a huge effort from Hawks star Trae Young.
Without John Collins in the lineup, the Atlanta offense is essentially Young. When playing really good defensive teams (like Miami), the Hawks struggle unless Young goes off for 40 points. Case in point is Atlanta’s loss to Toronto on Tuesday night. Young played a solid game with 26 points and 15 assists. The problem is the rest of the lineup. Atlanta couldn’t keep up with the Raptors and Toronto ended up with a 118-108 victory.
The other issue is that the Hawks struggle against the number on the road. Fading Atlanta in road games has been a solid strategy this season as the Hawks are just 13-26 ATS on the road this season. In their last 19 games away from home, Atlanta is just 5-14 ATS. Still, the Hawks have a lot to play for as the No. 7 seed is the one to have if you have to play in the play-in tournament.
While Miami has covered in each of its last five games, the Heat are just 2-6 ATS in their last eight home games. The Heat has won and covered the one game against the Hawks this season that was played at FTX Arena in Miami. The Heat won 124-118 as a 5.5-point favorite back in mid-January. Miami is 28-12 SU at home this season but just 20-20 ATS. The Heat does have six players listed as questionable on the injury report but only P.J. Tucker is out tonight.
With one of the best defenses in the NBA, Miami rarely sees totals this high. Atlanta is a top ten offense which is why the total is over 225. Since Feb. 1, the Heat has seen just five totals above 225. Three of those games were against Charlotte, another top ten offense, and four of the games went Under. The only Over was just two days ago when Miami beat the Hornets 144-115. As good a defensive team as Miami is, four of their last five games have resulted in the Over.