Charlotte Hornets at Atlanta Hawks
Phillips Arena, Thursday 14th April, 7:00pm (EDT)
The first ‘win or go home’ game sees the Atlanta Hawks hosting the Charlotte Hornets. The winner here goes on to face the loser of the Nets v Cavaliers showdown, for a chance to lock up the #8 seed and a first-round clash with the Miami Heat.
Glancing at the recent form of both teams, there is not a lot to choose between them. The Hawks are 12-5 in the last month, whilst the Hornets are 11-4. The Hawks have been brilliant at home, with a 19-3 record at Phillips Arena over the past 2 months. The Hornets’ away form has been solid, winners of 7 from 11, so a look purely into the form lines will not get it done in this one.
The teams met on 4 occasions this year, splitting the series 2-2. The home court didn’t make a difference either, with both teams going 1-1 at home. It is difficult to differentiate the two sides from a handicap perspective, and there is a tremendous amount of volatility that both sides play with which could make this a blowout to either team, or a game that goes down to the wire.
Given the stakes at hand, I lean towards the tight contest. Because of this, I like the Hornets with the 4.5-point start, and believe they are a good chance of winning the game outright. The Hornets are a team with several mid-tier players who can get the job done on any specific night, whereas the Hawks desperately need Trae Young to lead them to victory. If the Hornets can keep Young in check, a Hornets win is a big chance.
I love the overs in this game. I believe it’s a track meet, with both sides having runs of scoring when they look like they will not miss. The final quarter could be absolutely mental, with the pace being increased and both teams throwing up plenty of shots.
Charlotte Hornets +4.5 (-110) 1u
4th Quarter Over 55.5 (-115) 1u
Trae Young Over 31.5 points (-110) 1u