The Atlanta Hawks are the hottest team in basketball right now, having won eight straight heading into their contest with the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night at Staples. The Hawks have shot up to the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference during this stretch while the uneven play of the Clippers has seen them slip to fourth in the Western Conference.
Free Picks: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Atlanta Hawks
Hawks Look To Keep Streak Alive Against Clips (Season Betting Record: 64-70)
The Atlanta Hawks’ eight straight Ws are the longest active winning streak in the NBA, and they haven’t been simply beating up on bad teams. The streak began with a win over the Miami Heat—who they just passed in the standings—and their most recent win came against the Los Angeles Lakers, who sit just above the Clippers in the Western Conference table.
While Atlanta has been getting hot at the right time, the Clippers have fallen into a spell of inconsistency that seems like it might never end. The Clippers have not won or covered the spread in back-to-back games in over a month—35 days, to be exact—and have yet to show that they can emerge from this extended slump.
Los Angeles has failed to cover the spread in their last six straight contests following a win, meanwhile the Hawks have been solid following a victory, going 11-9-1 ATS in those spots so far this season. Despite the recent play of both teams, the Clippers are still getting a pretty big spread, so we’re going to take the scorching hot underdogs with our first NBA pick on this matchup at +7.5 points and solid -128 NBA odds.
The Hawks have been especially potent against Western Conference foes, going 10-7 ATS against them this season, including a recent 5-1 ATS run when facing the West. And while Atlanta has gone 16-9 ATS when playing on equal rest, the Clippers have gone just 11-12 ATS in those situations. The Clippers have also struggled after a win (11-15 ATS) and playing on one days rest (11-17 ATS).
Atlanta seems like they’re in a pretty good position to maybe even keep their winning streak alive, if not at least cover the spread. They’re 7-5 ATS this season as a road dog and they’ve also gone 16-11 ATS when they’re playing on regular one days rest.
The Hawks also won the most recent meeting between these squads, a 108-99 triumph in late January, and have covered the spread in three of the past four matchups. Atlanta has also shown an ability to keep games competitive with the high-powered Clippers, especially at Staples Center, where they are 5-2 ATS over the past seven clashes.
Another of our best bets for today is the over on Kawhi Leonard’s 26.5 points prop at delectable -120 NBA odds. Leonard has topped 25 points in just one of five games since the All-Star break after topping that milestone in 10 of 14 games before the break and averaging 28.0 points in February.
Leonard has been seeing the same inconsistencies as the rest of his teammates lately, failing to score 25 in four straight games. The only other time the Klaw has had a four-game scoring drought like this, he came back and dropped 36 in the fifth night to bust the streak. We’d expect him to do something similar on Monday night against the Hawks: players of Leonard’s caliber don’t stay down for this long.
- Atlanta is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Los Angeles
- Los Angeles is 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games following a win
- Atlanta has won and covered in each of their past 5 games
- Kawhi Leonard is averaging 26.7 points against the Eastern Conference this season
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The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.