Suns vs. Hawks NBA Odds & Picks: Back Efficient Offenses to Keep Rolling (Wednesday, May 5)
David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Paul.
- Two hopeful contenders meet on Wednesday night in Atlanta when the Hawks host the Suns.
- Phoenix won in overtime on Tuesday night, but that doesn't necessarily mean its betting value is gone.
- Austin Wang breaks down why he has eyes on the total.
Suns vs. Hawks Odds
|Moneyline||-140 / +115|
|Time||Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday and via BetMGM|
We are officially less than two weeks away from the NBA playoffs, and we have a new championship contender heading into the postseason.
After defeating the Utah Jazz last Friday, the Suns became the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Going into Wednesday’s games, Phoenix has a 47-18 record and is tied with the Jazz, but the Suns own the tiebreaker thanks to sweeping the teams’ three regular-season meetings.
On Wednesday night, the Suns will be visiting Atlanta, where the Hawks look to complete a sweep of their three-game homestand after getting Trae Young back from injury and easily beating the Trail Blazers and Bulls. The Hawks have been dominating at home, going 12-2 against the spread (ATS) since the All-Star break. However, the Suns will be a step up in competition.
The side is not appealing to me, as I’m not willing to step in front of this Suns’ train, nor am I comfortable with fading the Hawks at home. Instead, I have my sight set on the total.
The Suns will be on the second game of a back-to-back. The lowly Cleveland Cavaliers forced overtime on Tuesday night, but the Suns ran away with the game in the extra period, outscoring the Cavaliers 20-4 and leaving Cavaliers +12.5 bettors disgusted.
Since the beginning of April, the Suns have gone 12-5-1 to the over, per the Sports Data Query Language database. Their offense is a well-oiled machine with Chris Paul running the show. Since the All-Star break, they have ranked third in the league in Offensive Rating (117.0), third in Assist-to-Turnover Ratio (2.09) and second in Effective Field Goal % (56.6%), per NBA Advanced Stats.
On the flip side, their Defensive Rating has slipped to 11th in the league in that span. Phoenix has been able to rely on its offense to lead it to the top of the West. They face a Hawks team that has an efficient offense of their own that is getting healthier with Young, Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic all expected to suit up. That is a lot of firepower that the Suns will have to contend with.
One predictive metric I found in recent performances that has a high correlation with totals is Assist-to-Turnover Ratio. The Suns have continued their stellar run of a high Assist-to-Turnover Ratio by dishing out 35 assists to only seven turnovers against the Cavaliers.
The Suns have had an Assist-to-Turnover Ratio of 2.88, 2.3, 2.45, 2.7 and 5.0 in their last five games. Since 2018, teams with an Assist-to-Turnover Ratio of 2.25 or more in their three previous games are 127-71-4 (64.1%) to the over, per the SDQL database. This is active on the Suns, and I expect them to keep the high-octane offense rolling.
Away favorites coming off no rest and an overtime game have gone 36-16 (69.2%) to the over since the 2010-2011 season, per the SDQL database. This is also active on the Suns. I believe the market assumes that the team coming off an overtime game with no rest will struggle on offense and lean toward an under, while the results and data show the contrary.
The Hawks are also in battles for favorable playoff seeding in the Eastern Conference. They currently sit as the fifth seed, looking to supplant the New York Knicks in an effort to get home-court advantage in the first round.
As mentioned, the Hawks have been playing extremely well at home, so getting that is crucial. They also need to continue their high level of play to fight off the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics to avoid falling into a potential play-in-tournament scenario.
Since the All-Star Break, the Hawks are ninth in Offensive Rating (114.6), per NBA Advanced Stats. This is also with them missing key players on offense: Young (missed seven games), Gallinari (eight), Bogdanovic (two) and John Collins (nine).
The Hawks only averaged 105.3 points during the seven games that Young missed and the on/off numbers show that their Offensive Rating increases by 12.4 points per 100 possessions and their Pace increases by 3.4 possessions when he is on the court, per Basketball Reference. In the 23 games he has played since the All-Star break, the Hawks have averaged 115.2 points per game.
Since Young’s rookie season in 2019-20, in games that he has played and the Hawks are an underdog, they have gone 49-22 (69.0%) to the over, per the SDQL database.
The dynamic scorer keeps the Hawks’ offense running, and they tend to rely more on their offensive attack when the odds are stacked against them. To dig even further, in games that Young has played this season when the Hawks are home underdogs, they have gone 7-1-1 (87.5%) to the over.
Neither team plays at a fast pace, but I believe their offensive prowess will override that. With all the injuries to the Hawks over the course of the season, I do not believe the market has fully accounted for how impressive this offense can be when it’s healthy.
Meanwhile, the Suns’ scoring attack has been unstoppable, and I believe they can continue to roll against a Hawks team that is strong in interior defense with Clint Capela and Collins protecting the paint. Atlanta doesn’t have much on the perimeter to contain Paul of Devin Booker.
I believe the total of 227.5 is a few points short. I expect this game to go into the 230s without too much effort. My recommendation is to play the over on the total, up to 229.5.
Pick: Over 227.5 (up to 229.5)
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