Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks Odds & Picks
Two of the hottest teams in the League at the end of the regular season meet when the Knicks and Hawks open their best-of-seven first-round Eastern Conference playoff series in front of about three-quarters of a full house at Madison Square Garden Sunday night. New York, which played 16-4 down the stretch, may own home-court advantage for this series but Atlanta, which finished 7-1, is the favorite to win it at a price of -125. Here's what we look through when handicapping this game, with our free NBA playoffs betting pick at the end.
NBA Playoff Betting Odds
The NBA playoffs betting market opened New York at -1.5 for this game, with an over/under of right around 215. Both those figures were holding steady in the early betting.
Hawks-Knicks NBA Betting Preview
Atlanta played 41-31 this season, good for the No. 5 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks actually started 14-20 this season, then dumped Coach Pierce, replacing him with Coach McMillan. Atlanta proceeded to go 27-11 from there and finished really strong, with seven wins over its last eight games, including victories over Portland and Phoenix and two over Washington. Most recently the Hawks beat Houston last Sunday 124-95. So Atlanta is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2017. New York, meanwhile, also played 41-31 this season, beating out the Hawks for the tie-breaker for home-court advantage in this series by sweeping three games head-to-head. The Knicks only sat at 25-27 six weeks ago, then also finished hot, with 16 wins over their last 20 games, including victories over the Lakers, Dallas, Atlanta and the Clippers. Most recently New York beat Boston last Sunday 96-92, although that game was meaningless to the Celtics, who were already locked into their playoff spot. Nonetheless, the Knicks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2013. New York was also the best bet in Basketball during the regular season, going 45-26 ATS. As mentioned above the Knicks took the season series from the Hawks this year three games to none. And New York won all three of those games outright as underdogs. The Knicks won the first meeting back in January 113-108 at +7.5; then won 123-112 at +1.5 in February; then won 137-127 in overtime at +1.5 in April. New York out-shot Atlanta from the floor in those three games combined 50 percent to 47 percent and out-rebounded the Hawks by a per-game margin of 45-41.
- Get more details: Hawks vs. Knicks 5/23/21 Matchup Stats
NBA Betting Trends
- Atlanta played 16-20 SU, 16-19 ATS on the road this season.
- New York played 25-11 SU, 22-13 ATS at home this season.
- Atlanta played 16-21 SU, 17-19 ATS vs. teams that made the playoffs this season.
- New York played 17-20 SU, 23-13 ATS vs. teams that made the playoffs this season.
Unders played 37-35 in Hawks games this season. Unders played 40-32 in Knicks games this season. Overs played 2-1 in Hawks-Knicks games this season, which averaged (without overtime) 233 total points against an average O/U of 231.
Atlanta at New York Predictions Game 1
New York swept the season series from Atlanta. The Knicks are also the best defensive team in the NBA and they own the better record against playoff qualifiers. Finally, we get the feeling the 15,000 fans at MSG tonight will sound like 30,000. We like the Knicks here for our free NBA pick for Sunday.