Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Atlanta Hawks - 3/26/14
Atlanta Hawks (31-37) at Minnesota Timberwolves (34-34)
NBA Basketball: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Target Center)
The Line: Minnesota Timberwolves -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Atlanta Hawks will be hoping to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight to stay in the playoff race.
The Timberwolves were slowly making headway towards the eighth spot in the Western Conference, but their playoff plans have been interrupted by three straight losses. On Monday, the Wolves looked lethargic coming out of the gates and quickly found themselves behind by 15 points by the end of the first quarter and looked dead in the water by halftime. It's not like they were down by 30 points, but they were playing on the second night of a back to back set, and could never threaten the lead with Kevin Love scoring only 16 points. In a pretty miserable game, the only bright spot was the play of Gorgui Dieng who had a 11 points and 17 rebounds, just four nights after posting 22 points and 21 rebounds. As it stands, Minnesota sits seven games out of the final playoff spot which means that they have no realistic chance of playing past the regular season.
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Meanwhile, the Hawks are currently occupying the last playoff spot in the East but three straight losses have left the door open for the ninth-placed Knicks to make a play. On Monday against the Suns, Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll led the Hawks with 19 points apiece while Jeff Teague and Louis Williams added 17 each, but there was just no hanging with the Suns who shot 51.4 percent from the field and 12 of 24 from the three-point line. Also, Kyle Korver missed his second straight game with back spasms and is listed as questionable for tonight's game.
In ATS trends, the Hawks are 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall and 2-10-1 ATS in their last 13 road games, while the Wolves are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games following a loss of more than 10 points and 1-7 ATS in their last eight games overall.
Head to head, the Hawks are just 1-3-1 ATS in the last five meetings overall but a healthy 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings in Minnesota.
Given that the Hawks have much more to play for than the Wolves, I'll definitely be taking them to win on the road here, but I'll have to wait for the line before I give my free pick.
The line is out and it's actually the Wolves who are favored by 5.5 points at home so the Hawks with the points seem like a gift to me, especially because they actually have something to play for in this one.