The Phoenix Suns (41-9) travel to the Big Peach Thursday to play the Atlanta Hawks (24-26). The tip-off at State Farm Arena is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Suns vs. Hawks odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
Phoenix has won 11 consecutive games with the latest being a 121-111 home victory over the Brooklyn Nets Tuesday as a 7-point favorite. The Suns have a 3-game cushion on the Golden State Warriors for first place in the West.
A Trae Young-less Atlanta had its 7-game win streak snapped Monday by losing 106-100 to the Toronto Raptors at home as a 2.5-point underdog. The Hawks are 5-1 straight-up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) over the last two weeks.
The Suns won their first meeting with the Hawks 121-117 Nov. 6 as 3.5-point home favorites. Phoenix G Devin Booker scored a game-high 38 points on 14-for-21 shooting (including 55.6% from behind the arc).
Suns at Hawks odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 12:15 p.m. ET.
Money line: Suns -180 (bet $180 to win $100) | Hawks +145 (bet $100 to win $145)
Against the spread: Suns -4.5 (-107) | Hawks +4.5 (-115)
Over/Under (O/U): 226.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)
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Suns at Hawks key injuries
C Deandre Ayton (ankle) probable
PF Jae Crowder (wrist) probable
PG Trae Young (shoulder) questionable
SF De’Andre Hunter (ankle) probable
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Suns at Hawks odds, lines, picks and predictions
Suns 118, Hawks 109
PASS ON THE MONEY LINE.
Even though Phoenix is obviously the right side, and 16-2 SU as a road favorite while Atlanta is 1-3 SU as a home underdog, the -180 tag is just too pricey.
Against the spread
BET the SUNS -4.5 (-107) for 1 unit.
Phoenix has edges in the pick-and-roll (PnR), “clutch” situations and this is a better spot for the Suns, especially since they dominate bad defenses.
Both teams run a ton of PnR action through their All-Star point guards but I’ll literally take Suns’ Chris Paul over any other point guard in NBA history in a PnR battle. Phoenix also has better offensive efficiency than Atlanta in PnR action through the ball handler.
The Hawks are 27th in defensive rating and the Suns beat up on bad defenses. Phoenix is 15-2 SU versus bottom-10 defenses with the best adjusted net rating (plus-13.8) and the second-best ATS margin (plus-5.3), according to CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG).
The Suns will also blow past the Hawks if this game is close late. Phoenix is 20-3 SU in the “clutch” with the best net rating (plus-45.1) whereas Atlanta is 9-13 SU with the second-worst net rating (minus-21.2). “Clutch” is defined by games within a 5-point margin with five minutes remaining.
Finally, the Suns are 12-3 ATS as a road favorite with a plus-6.2 ATS margin and 6-3 ATS on the road versus teams with a winning record whereas the Hawks are 1-3 ATS as a home underdog with a minus-4.1 ATS margin.
BET 1 unit on the SUNS -4.5 (-107).
PASS ON THE TOTAL.
For what it’s worth, I “lean” towards the Over 226.5 (-108) because the Over has cashed in five straight Suns-Hawks meetings and Atlanta is 4-0 O/U in its last four home games versus a team with a winning record.
However, I’m staying away because we’d be getting to the party late since the Suns-Hawks total has been steamed up from the 224.5-point opener.
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