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Monday's Top Action
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Monday NBA Betting Preview
Atlanta vs. Charlotte

Sportsbook.ag Odds: Charlotte (-6); Total set at 204.5

With only a few weeks left in the regular season, the Charlotte Hornets are trying to do everything they can to leapfrog multiple teams in the East and sneak into the postseason.

Two wins over their last six games hasn't exactly helped that cause, but tonight they host an Atlanta team that they are already 2-0 SU and ATS against.

Will it be three in a row tonight or will the Atlanta Hawks finally step up and beat this pesky Hornets squad for the first time this season?

Atlanta isn't exactly playing great basketball at the moment either as they have lost three in a row, with the last two being double-digit defeats when they entered the game as favorites. They won't have F Paul Millsap available to them tonight as he'll sit with a sore knee and that's a big loss for Atlanta considering he scored 20+ in both prior meetings with Charlotte. Millsap was one of the few Hawks that did have two solid games vs. Charlotte this year but this team is much different then they were a few months ago and the last meeting between these two was back in mid-December.

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The Hawks were wavering back and forth between the decision to “tank or not tank” at the time, and dealt away Kyle Korver a few weeks later. Clearly Atlanta thought it was best to take their run at a title this year as they now sit 5th in the East and with Charlotte well behind them now (11th), this is not a situation where the Hawks can afford to no-show again.

Granted, both of those earlier defeats came in close contests (lost by 4 and 8 points) but with how the rest of the season has gone for both teams since their last meeting, six points is a few too many to be giving the better team tonight, even if they have lost three in a row.

That being said, the better betting opportunity might be on the total tonight as the majority of bettors according to VegasInsider.com numbers are riding with the prevailing trend of these two teams playing low-scoring games.

VegasInsider.com shows about 90% of the bets so far on this total are on the 'under' as both meetings this year cashed that side, as well as the last seven meetings between the two clubs. However, the total has actually moved up a point despite all that action to the contrary and in spots like that it's better to side with the move and be in the visible minority.

I've already touched on the fact that both teams aren't playing great at the moment, and for Atlanta, it's been poor defensive play that's been at the root of the issues. The Hawks have allowed three straight foes to reach the century mark against them, and overall on the year they allow 104.5 points per game. Combine that number with Charlotte giving up an average of 104.2 points per game this year and there is significant room for error on a number of 204.5.

Finally, despite the long string of 'unders' the past few years, the last 17 times they've played in Charlotte the 'over' has gone 12-5, and the Hawks are on a 9-3 O/U run at the moment when a losing team is on the other side of the floor.

Streaks like this are meant to be broken and with bettors flooding to the low side of this number, the number going up, and the fact that both teams have to view this game as a must-win and will rely on their strength (offense) to get it done, this is a great spot to go against the grain and take the high side of this total.

  
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