No.1 Miami Heat vs No.8 Atlanta Hawks Game 1 Betting Preview and Prediction
The Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat square off against each other in the first round of the eastern conference on Sunday at 3:30 PM at the FTX arena in Miami.
The Miami Heat host the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the eastern conference on Sunday at 3:30 PM at the FTX arena. The Heat are 29-12 at home this season and have won 15 of their past 23 matchups since the all-star break. Miami kicks off the postseason with a banged-up roster, as Markieff Morris (hip), Dewayne Dedmon (ankle), and Haywood Highsmith (hip) are all listed as questionable for Sunday’s Game 1. Gabe Vincent is dealing with a big toe contusion, Bam Adabayo has just exited COVID-19 protocol, and Tyler Herro is returning from a sore left knee injury as well as PJ Tucker from a calf strain.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks are 16-25 on the road this season and have won 16 of their past 25 matchups since the all-star break. After injuring his knee on Friday night, Clint Cappella will be unavailable as Lou Williams (back) and John Collins (finger, foot) status is unknown for Sunday.
Bam Adebayo paced the Heat past the Hawks with 24 points to go along with six rebounds in a 113-109 victory on April 8th. Miami is 3-1 vs. Atlanta in the season series.
Miami Heat Betting Preview: Heat Look to Prove Themselves
Although the # 1 seed, critics have doubted the Heat are the truly the top team in the eastern conference as they only finished two games ahead of the Celtics, Bucks, and 76ers. A popular concern for the squad is that they don’t have as much playmaking ability compared to other championship contenders (18th in the league in points pre game at 110) which is critical when it comes playoff time.
However, the Heat do shoot the ball extremely well which has been a key factor in their success as they lead the league in three point field goal percentage at 37.9%. With that being said, Miami has their eyes on the prize:
“I know that we all want to win a championship. That’s our goal…But I really, really, really think we got a good shot at this thing,” shooting guard Jimmy Butler said.
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Atlanta Hawks Betting Preview: Hawks Look for Fresh Start
The eight seeded Hawks aim to disregard their regular season and treat the postseason as a fresh start. After a thrilling win on Friday night, Atlanta has momentum to feed off headed into the first round. The Hawks can capitalize on their scoring over Miami as they average 114.1 points per game (sixth in the league). Trae Young was sporadic against the Cavaliers, notching 32 of his 38 points in the second half to lift the Hawks over the Cavaliers for the No.8 seed. With Young’s ability to heat up mixed with the Heat’s three-point talent, this series could turn into a three-point duel.
Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks Betting Pick and Prediction
Money line (ML): Hawks -125 (bet $125 to win $100) | Heat +102 (bet $100 to win $102)
Against the spread: Hawks -1.5 (-112) | Heat +1.5 (-108)
Over/Under: 229.5 (O: -115 | U: -107)
I expect this game to be a nail-biter. With the Heat banged up, I believe they will struggle early on but will find a rhythm in the second half to ultimately bring out a 109-105 victory. The Atlanta Hawks will come out energized and hot after their inspiring play-in win on Friday but Miami will catch up in a compelling game one win that games down to the last minute.
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