Heat vs. Hawks Odds, Pick, Prediction: Side With Trae Young & Co. in Atlanta (January 16)

Heat vs. Hawks Odds, Pick, Prediction: Side With Trae Young & Co. in Atlanta (January 16) article feature image

Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks.

Heat vs. Hawks Odds

Heat Odds-1
Hawks Odds+1
Time3:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

We are getting a playoff-rematch between the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks on Martin Luther King Day.

The Hawks have been inconsistent all season, while the Heat are starting to resemble the team that made the Eastern Conference finals last season. Both teams are in a tight race in the East as they are separated by 1.5 games and two spots in the standings — the Heat are seventh and Hawks are ninth.

This division matchup should be tightly contested, so let’s dive into Heat vs. Hawks odds and figure out who may have the ever so slight edge in this spot.

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Miami Heat

The Heat have managed to go 24-20 despite their uninspiring/injury-marred season thus far. If the season ended today they would be the seventh seed and be forced to win a play-in game in order to make the playoffs.

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra certainly wants to avoid that scenario and they should look to ramp it up entering the second half of the season and getting progressively healthier. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are both back in the lineup but starting guards Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry missed their most recent game against the Bucks on Saturday. They will need those guys back here to match the offensive impact of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray tonight.

Expect Butler to dominate here as the Hawks just don’t have enough quality wing defenders to contain him. Butler will likely hunt switches and be extremely aggressive with Lowry out of the lineup. His pointsprop line is set at just 20.5 and I think that the over could be a great look here.

Bam Adebayo should dominate against this Hawks defense that ranks 28th in rim rate and 25th in defensive rebound rate. The Hawks just don’t defend the rim well without Clint Capela in the lineup and it is the primary reason their defense has struggled so much as of late. The Hawks are allowing opponents to attempt 39.5% of their shots at the rim (third percentile) with Capela off the floor, according to Cleaning the Glass.

Defensively, the Heat will need guys like Gabe Vincent, Victor Oladipo, and Caleb Martin to step up if they want to contain this guard tandem of Young and Murray. Oladipo and Vincent have both been ruled in but Caleb Martin is currently questionable. Martin being ruled in would be a huge addition for this Heat defense as he ranks in the 92nd percentile of defensive rating swing (-6.7) when he is on the floor. Martin is an extremely intelligent, athletic, and switchable defender who would be especially valuable against this heavy pick and roll based offense.

The Heat been average in pick-and-roll coverage this year, allowing 0.90 points per possessions and a 49.8% effective field goal percentage. Miami’s defense has actually faced the second-lowest pick-and-roll frequency in the NBA so it will be interesting to see how they hold up against this Hawks team that ranks No. 1 in pick-and-roll rate.

Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks have also had a disappointing season up to this point. They have been subject to endless trade rumors as fans and media personalities call for them to blow up the current roster. The expectations following their offseason acquisition of Murray just have not been met but maybe they can get hot here in January.

Focusing on this matchup we can expect the Hawks to be able to get up some more 3s against this Miami Heat defense that ranks 29th in opponent 3-point attempt rate. The Hawks’ inability to generate clean looks from deep has been a massive issue for them all season as they rank last in 3-point rate.

While 3s aren’t everything, in the modern NBA they certainly are important if you want to win games consistently. There is a direct correlation between 3-point attempt rate and Offensive Rating. Eleven of the top-15 offenses also rank inside of the top-15 in 3-point attempt rate.

The Hawks need to figure out a way to start generating 3s if they want to make a run here and this is a great spot against a Heat offense that isn’t particularly elite at defending pick-and-rolls or limiting 3s. With Lowry and potentially Caleb Martin out, I expect Murray and Young to be explosive and aggressive in creating good looks for themselves and their teammates.

Defensively, this Hawks team will have to figure out a way to limit Butler as they only have one true “wing” defender in Deandre Hunter. If he gets in foul trouble they will likely have to ask rookie AJ Griffin to defend Butler. None of these are optimal matchups for the Hawks and I expect Butler to get his today.

There is a small chance that Clint Capela (questionable) returns to the floor today and that would massively raise their defensive ceiling. Talked about it above, but this Hawks defense is much better at finishing possessions and limiting rim looks when Capela is anchoring their defense. The Hawks allowed 58 points in the paint against this Heat team when they first matched up.

Monitor injury news here, but if Capela is out again expect the Hawks to struggle preventing paint looks here.

Heat-Hawks Pick

This is a very tough one to predict, but I lean towards the home team in this spot. The Hawks played well defensively when these teams matched up back in November but lost because they shot awfully from deep (27%). Their process was sound however, as they were able to generate 38% of their shot attempts from beyond the arc.

I think we see some positive shooting regression with Bogdanovic back in the lineup here for the Hawks and that will be enough to win in this spot. The potential return would be a mighty boost to the Hawks chances and if he is ruled in I like the Hawks up to -2.5.

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Nick Sterling
Jun 16, 2024 UTC