This series is tied up at one game apiece as Atlanta stole Game 1 in Philly and the 76ers bounced back with a big win of their own in Game 2. Philadelphia couldn’t have been thrilled to lose just its eighth game of the season on its home court, but now there’s a chance to steal two games in Atlanta and close out the series at the Wells Fargo Center. It won’t be easy against a Hawks team that has looked great this postseason.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the 76ers-Hawks odds.
NBA Odds: 76ers-Hawks Odds
Philadelphia 76ers -1 (-110)
Atlanta Hawks +1 (-110)
Over 224.5 Points (-110)
Under 224.5 Points (-110)
Why The 76ers Could Cover The Spread
The 76ers are still in a great position in this series despite dropping Game 1 on their home floor. They bounced back with a big 16-point victory in Game 2 and still look like the better club through the first two games. With both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons finishing runner-up in their respective award races, this team should have the motivation to go out and prove they have what it takes to win a championship.
MVP runner-up Joel Embiid has shown his dominance in this postseason despite a torn meniscus. Embiid put up a combined 79 points over the first two games of this series. He had a phenomenal all-around performance in Game 2 as he added 13 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block in the win. He will have to dominate again in Game 3 if his team wants to roll into Atlanta and get up in this series.
The depth that Philadelphia possesses makes them a tough matchup for anyone. Of course Embiid leads the way for this club, but guys like Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry are no pushovers on the offensive end of the floor. Harris and Curry put up a combined 43 points in the Game 2 win. With the way that the 76ers play defense, they should be able to knock off the Hawks in a hard-fought series.
Why The Hawks Could Cover The Spread
The Hawks are in a great position in this series tied 1-1 heading to State Farm Arena. The Hawks shouldn’t be written off in this series by any means. They have been highly productive on the offensive end and have brought an impressive energy on defense as well.
Trae Young has been absolutely phenomenal during the postseason but finally came down to earth in Game 2, with Ben Simmons taking on more of the defensive responsibility against him. Young took a playoff-low 16 shots in Game 2 and was highly inefficient in the loss. His 21 points were in large part due to getting to the charity stripe and taking nine free throws. The young superstar has attempted 22.2 shots per game during the playoffs and needs to get back to that pace in an efficient way in Game 3.
The outside shooting has been the facilitator for the Hawks, so guys like Bogdan Bogdanovic need to be better than 6-of-16 from deep in order to knock off the 76ers. Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari, and Kevin Huerter have been great during the playoffs and need to spread the floor for guys like John Collins and Clint Capela down low. If they’re able to shoot efficiently from the perimeter and match the 76ers’ energy on defense, this is going to be a wild series with some surprises in store.
Final 76ers-Hawks Prediction & Pick
I respect the fact that this is only a one-point spread and actually agree with it. Based on what we’ve seen from these clubs this far, this game could truly go either way. I am siding with the 76ers here for a few key reasons. Trae Young is exciting to watch and is highly productive, but Joel Embiid is clearly the best player in this series. Philadelphia also possesses a huge advantage defensively and can slow the Hawks’ perimeter offense again, giving them the edge.
FINAL PICK: Philadelphia 76ers -1 (-110)