Philadelphia (2-1) at Atlanta (1-2)
When: Monday, June 14th, 2021
Where: State Farm Arena,
Time: 7:30 ET | TV: TNT
Opening Odds: Philadelphia -2.5/223.5
The Philadelphia 76ers have seized control of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the Atlanta Hawks and will look to take a commanding lead back to Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday. Most teams this postseason have been dealing with key injuries to their starters and Philly is no exception. Shooting guard Danny Green sustained a right calf strain early in Game 3 on Friday, but the Sixers still managed to throttle the Hawks 127-111. It was Atlanta’s first home loss since the end of April. Head coach Doc Rivers hasn’t said who will start in Green’s place on Monday, but Matisse Thybulle and Furkan Korkmaz both filled in Friday. Atlanta couldn’t get anything going offensively on their home floor in the Game 3 loss, making just 6-of-23 attempts from 3-point range. After connecting on 20 in Game 1, the Hawks have been held to a total of 17 in the last two games – both losses. Star guard Trae Young has been held in check over the last two games by Philly’s Ben Simmons, making just 15-of-33 from the field. The 76ers are 4-2 straight-up and ATS this season against the Hawks and the Over/Under is an even 3-3. Game 5 will be back in Philadelphia on Wednesday, but will it be 3-1 or 2-2?
Joel Embiid had another terrific performance despite playing with a tear in his knee. The big man recorded 27 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks in 34 minutes. Tobias Harris chipped in 22 points to give him six-straight 20-point performances. Embiid is averaging 35.3 points on 53.3 percent shooting from the field so far in the second round. Korkmaz saw extended minutes and finished with a career playoff-best 14 points. He started 11 games during the regular season – including three missed by Green. The Sixers are 5-1 against the spread in their last six when their opponent surrendered 100 points or more in their previous game.
Young still managed to score 28 points on Friday, but was just 9-of-17 shooting from the field. John Collins had an impressive performance with 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting. The Hawks still need to improve their outside shooting or have no chance in this series. The Hawks are still shooting a respectable 37 percent from the 3-point area in the series and 36.3 percent in the playoffs. Young leads the team in the postseason with 28.8 points per game and 9.8 assists. The Hawks are 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games against a team with a winning record on the road.
With an extra day of rest before this Game 4, Embiid should be even stronger despite playing hurt. He is still dominating this series and the Philly defense is starting to lock down the Hawks’ outside shooting. I’m going to back Philly in this one as a small road favorite.
Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.
Pick: 76ers -3