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NBA Betting Picks: Brooklyn Nets vs. Atlanta Hawks Preview

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Heat vs Nets 2021-22 NBA Season Preview, Predictions and Picks

The Brooklyn Nets (17-8 SU, 10-15 ATS) will travel to Atlanta to battle the Hawks (13-12 SU, 11-14 ATS) at State Farm Arena in a marquee matchup on Friday Night. Will the Hawks build off of their win in Minnesota Monday night? Or will the Nets bounce back from a road loss to the Rockets on Wednesday?

Brooklyn Nets vs Atlanta Hawks Betting Lines

All of the betting lines below are taken from BetUS. 

Point Spread: Atlanta Hawks -1.5
Money Line: Not listed at the time of writing
Total: Over/Under 227.5

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Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets Injury Report

For the Nets, Joe Harris (ankle surgery) is out, Kessler Edwards is out, Day’Ron Sharpe is out and of course Kyrie Irving will be out.

For the Hawks, Cam Reddish (wrist) is probable, Bogdan Bogdonoavic (right ankle) is out, Solomon Hill (hamstring tear) is out and D’andre Hunter (wrist surgery) is out.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets Preview

Hawks Elite Offensively

If there’s a word to describe the Atlanta Hawks, it’s offense. They rank 2nd in the NBA in Offensive Rating and 5th in eFG%. They also have the best 3P% in the NBA at 38.6%. Not only are they shooting the ball well, but they are also limiting turnovers and getting offensive rebounds. They are the best team in the NBA at preventing turnovers and are 10th in the NBA in Offensive Rebound %, per Cleaning the Glass.

So with all of this seemingly elite offensive production, why are the Hawks just 13-12? Well, their defense leaves much to be desired. The Hawks are 24th in Defensive Rating, per NBA Advanced Stats. And while they are good at preventing turnovers offensively, they are the worst in the NBA at forcing turnovers, per Cleaning the Glass.

Interested in placing a bet on the Hawks? Check out our Georgia betting guide to learn about the sportsbooks which you should line shop at to get the best odds.

Nonetheless, the Hawks have played better defensively in their last ten games and have gone 7-3 over that span. In their last 11 games, they are 11th in defensive rating. A lot of the Hawks poor defensive metrics this season could have something to do with a grueling West Coast trip that they went on earlier this season that saw them lose four straight games to the Jazz, Suns, Warriors and Nuggets. Of late, this team has been much closer to the one that many expected them to be.

Nets Building Defensive Identity

Let’s go back to last season for the Brooklyn Nets. They were 1st in Adjusted Offensive Rating, per Dunks and Threes, and were 25th in Adjusted Defensive Rating. Their philosophy was, quite simply, to outscore everyone they played.

This season, though, things have changed. Instead of being the offensive juggernaut that everyone became used to, they have actually started to build a defensive identity. This season they are 9th in Adjusted Offensive Rating and 9th in Adjusted Defensive Rating, per Dunks and Threes. What the Nets have really started to do well is defend the three point line well. Opponents are shooting just 30.3 % from 25-29 feet and 30.6% from 20-24 feet.

The Nets are also 1st in Opponent Effective Field Goal % and Opponent Effective 3-Point %, according to Dunks and Threes. Additionally, they are 3rd in opponent Field Goal % from the mid-range. Also, while James Harden has adjusted to the NBAs new foul rules, the Nets are still first in the NBA in Free Throw Rate, per Cleaning the Glass.

While this version of the Nets is not as pretty as the one we came to know from last season, it has given them a newer identity and one that is more built to last, especially against a team like the Hawks.

Atlanta Hawks vs Brooklyn Nets Prediction

While the Hawks have been playing well of late, I expect the Nets to bounce back in this spot. The Nets were without Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge in their loss to the Rockets on Wednesday, and the return of those two will be a welcome sight for this team. After all, the Nets are far better with either of them on the court. With Durant on the floor, the Nets are +7 on points per possession and +7% in eFG%. With Aldridge on the floor, they are +7.7 in points per possession and +3.6% in eFG%, per Cleaning the Glass.

Before their loss to the Rockets, they had just rallied to beat the Mavericks the previous night on the road. They were short handed and tired for, quite surprisingly, a red hot Rockets team.

I am pretty surprised that the Nets are underdogs here especially considering they are 4-2-1 ATS after a loss this season and should be able to exploit a pretty bad Hawks defense. Also, while the bet % is split on this game, nearly 75% of the money has come in on the Nets. Back Kevin Durant and the Nets to get back on track Friday night.

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