Tonight we got a game between two top Eastern teams, trying to come a bit closer to Eastern top position.
Atlanta Hawks – Toronto Raptors
I failed to listen to my own advice a couple of times recently, fading the Hawks, after they got back Bazemore and it was a mistake and one that I hope I learned from.
We can be sure that bookies know their numbers better than us by far. Still, bookies look at public’s perception first of all and that is their Achilles heel. Injuries of marginal on paper players, like Bazemore, many times go under the radar and after he was injured, I faded Hawks few times and was on money (but forgot to switch back, when he returned).
Bazemore won’t be a star in the league. But with Carroll leaving to Canada, he got the starting gig and started the season hot as hell. He shoots the ball well, but his problem never was shooting, but rather his decision making and defense. Well he won’t make it to All Defense, but he shows effort and that’s already a big improvement. On top of that, Hawks system based on ball movement, so ball hog like Bazemore, needed to learn to fit in and he did and by doing so, improved his decision making a lot.
Atlanta and Toronto have similar records, with Hawks a head of the Raptors by one game. Toronto won both games in Atlanta last season, with Hawks losing only four games all season at home in regular season, to Eastern rivals – so 50% of the home losses to Eastern rivals were to the Raptors last season and Hawks, I’m sure remember that (the other two teams were Bucks and Knicks).
Hawks lost to the Spurs in SA, but won in Memphis and beat Thunder at home recently, so they are in good form, without a doubt.
Raptors also in great form, winning 4 in a row, including road wins in DC and over the Clippers and at home to Cleveland. But, their streak was stopped at home, by the Suns.
Raptors will be looking to start a new streak, but without Valancuinas it will be hard. Splitter is also out, but Val was Raptors starting Center and you could easily see, that the moment Scola and Byiombo returned to their usual abilities, the other shoe dropped for the Raptors.
Lowry in great shape, but DeRozen just can’t hit open three pointers.
There is a chance this one will be close, but still, the line is about 1.5 points off here I believe and since I believe that Hawks should win this one, 3 points line won’t stop me here.
Atlanta 104 – 97 Toronto sounds about right here.
Atlanta -3, 1.93 odds – 7 units play – Pinnacle
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Best of luck everybody!!!