NBA Odds, Picks, Picks: How Our Experts Are Betting Hawks vs. Heat, Hornets vs. Bulls On Friday (April 8)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Trae Young #11 and Bogdan Bogdanovic #13 of the Atlanta Hawks.
The sports calendar is shifting, baseballs are flying, Tiger Woods is roaring and the 2022 NBA Playoffs are right around the corner. But before we put the regular season to bed, there are still three days and plenty of games to bet.
With nine games on Friday night’s slate, our two betting analysts are focused on the Eastern Conference. Read on for in-depth analysis on their picks and predictions based on NBA odds for Friday night.
NBA Odds & Picks
Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heat
Austin Wang: With the season winding down, the Atlanta Hawks are one of the few teams that still have something to play for. They are currently the ninth seed, but they have a chance to get up to the eighth seed or fall down to the 10th seed depending how things shake out with the Cavaliers, Nets and Hornets.
In the month of March, the Hawks are averaging 63.9 PPG in the 1st half and allowing 59. They are tied with Minnesota for the most average points scored in the first half this season at 59.2. The Hawks have gotten off to extremely fast starts but have seen their pace and efficiency decline in the second half.
The Hawks have had a strong Assist-to-Turnover Ratio recently, which I’ve found to be a great indicator for overs. They’ve eclipsed a two-to-one Assist-to-Turnover ratio for seven consecutive games. They are taking care of the ball well, moving the ball well and this is leading to an efficient offense that is putting up points.
With John Collins out, the Hawks will play a smaller lineup — they started Danilo Gallinari last game and I expect the same tonight. Bogdan Bogdanovic are currently not on the injury report, so the Hawks will have two of their most potent scorers tonight.
The Heat have clinched the number one seed, so they have little incentive to give it their all. They are known for their stifling defense, but I can definitely see them resting a lot of their players tonight. PJ Tucker has already been declared out, which will make their defense worse and open things up on offense.
This opens up opportunities for Tyler Herro and Max Strus to get plenty of usage. Both are strong scorers that can take advantage of an extremely weak Hawks defense.
Both offenses are top 10 in Offensive Rating for the season. Both have excellent over/under records in the first half, with Hawks at 44-34-2 to the over and Heat at 45-35 to the over.
Charlotte Hornets vs. Chicago Bulls
Raheem Palmer: The Bulls have been slipping recently, losing three straight games and four out of their last five.
The Bulls are a team that has been on the fade list for me, but this feels like a good spot to buy low against the Hornets playing a back-to-back and their third game in four nights.
The Hornets haven’t done well in these spots, going just 1-13 straight up and 3-13 ATS on zero days rest and I don’t expect that to change here as they face a Bulls team that has defeated them six straight times.
Although Alex Caruso is questionable for the Bulls, with their big three of DeMar Derozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, I expect them to get the job done. The Bulls tend to struggle with the elite teams in each conference but the Hornets are far from elite. Lay the points with the Bulls.