76ers vs. Hawks Odds, Game 6 Preview, Prediction: Total Has Value in Potential Closeout Game (Friday, June 18)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks, Matisse Thybulle #22 of the Philadelphia 76ers.
- After two straight fourth-quarter collapses, the Hawks look to close out their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the 76ers.
- Atlanta has been great value against the spread at home this season, but Kenny Ducey sees value elsewhere in Game 6.
- Ducey breaks down the matchup, delivering his analysis and best bet for Friday night's massive matchup.
76ers vs. Hawks Game 6 Odds
|Moneyline||-150 / +130|
|Time||Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday and via PointsBet.|
What seemed to be developing into an academic five-game backdoor sweep for Philadelphia has turned into a nightmare, with the top seed in the East heading into Atlanta to try and force a Game 7.
Have we learned anything in the first five games that will help us predict how this one will go? Let’s have a look at the numbers.
We can get into all the things going wrong for the Sixers in a minute, but we should first state what’s going right for Philly. The Hawks entered this series as one of the most intimidating offenses in the league, and were fresh off a brilliant performance on that end against the New York Knicks.
To the Sixers’ credit, their defense has held serve so far. Philly has posted a 110.6 Defensive Rating in the second round series, and it’s 108.4 if you removed Game 1 from the equation. Since dropping that opening game, the Sixers have been able to slow Atlanta’s roll.
The issues are on offense. It’s easy to simply say that Joel Embiid needs to lift this team, considering they are 23.6 points per 100 possessions better on offense when he was on the floor this season (that number sounds outrageous but it’s absolutely true), but there are problems with that.
For starters, Embiid’s got a partially torn meniscus in his right knee, and is once again listed as questionable for Game 6. The other issue here is that other than Game 4, when he was clearly hampered by the knee, Embiid’s been great. He’s averaged 32 points and 13 rebounds in 36.5 minutes.
The supporting cast has really floundered, though. Seth Curry was the only one scoring alongside Embiid for the entirety of Game 5; Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris combined for 12 points. Simmons has given the Sixers little on offense, considering the open shooters he’s passing to aren’t converting on their looks and he can’t score himself, and Harris has had a so-so series to this point.
Losing Danny Green to injury didn’t seem like the biggest deal in the world with Philly up 2-0, but now it sure seems to be one with Furkan Korkmaz failing to do much of anything in his place.
If the Hawks are going to close this series out, you’d think it would be here. At home this season — including the playoffs — they’re now 26-14 against the spread, winning by an average margin of six points. That means they’ve covered 65% of the time. Interestingly enough, the over is just 18-22 in these games.
Atlanta’s issue, like the Sixers, has been scoring the basketball. It makes sense, considering it’s going against one of the best defenses in all of basketball, but it’s still rather surprising considering the relative ease in which they handled a strong Knicks defense.
One thing I’ve been watching all series has been the Hawks’ 3-point performance. Hawks head coach Nate McMillan seems to have put less of an emphasis on 3s, considering the Hawks have sandwiched two games without many 3-pointers around a 12-for-40 performance in Game 4.
In Game 3, they shot a playoff-low 23 triples, hitting six, and in Game 5 they tried just 26, knocking down nine. It’s bizarre considering how well they shot it against the Knicks, but not quite as strange when you consider the Hawks took a 3-pointer just 38.3% of the time during the regular season.
Whatever the reason, Atlanta hasn’t been able to lean on the deep ball like they have several times now this postseason, but it hasn’t stopped them from moving a game away from advancing.
Without the real threat of a 3-point barrage from the Hawks, and considering how lost the Sixers are on offense, I’m inclined to believe this will be another low-scoring affair.
The Sixers have slowed the pace considerably in this series, and have played good defense. As a result three of the five games in this series have gone under.
While we think of the Hawks as an exciting offensive team, 10 of their past 13 games have gone under, dating back to the last week of the regular season.
The market has corrected here, but I don’t think it’s corrected enough. With the Sixers facing elimination, they should make this game painfully slow.
Pick: Under 221.5 (-105)