Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM
Friday's Best Bet
It isn't the biggest of slates in the NBA tonight, as it's a rather light night in the entire betting market across numerous sports. The calm before the storm that is this weekend's action I guess, as betting markets have no shortage of options to find action on in the upcoming 48 hours.
There are seven games in the NBA to take a peek at though, but with six of the seven having favorites of -7 or greater, there may not be a whole lot of close games tonight. Chances we will see an underdog or two hang around at worst and at least make said favorites work for their desired result, but hopefully that's not going to be the case with today's betting selection.
Top NBA Picks - Atlanta at San Antonio (8:35 p.m. ET)
Best Bet: San Antonio -8.5
The Spurs aren't the dominant franchise they were anymore, as the core of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker in their primes aren't walking through their door. At 17-22 SU, there is still plenty for San Antonio to put together in terms of their overall play this year, but they have been taking some big steps in the right direction lately.
San Antonio is just 3-3 SU and 4-2 ATS in their last six games overall, but I'm not sure many other teams will have a tougher six-game stretch then what the Spurs had to begin 2020. There was a home-and-home with Milwaukee that saw San Antonio split the games outright and cover both point spreads, followed by a four-game road trip that took them to Boston, Memphis, Toronto, and Miami. Those are three solid-to-great teams from the East and a Memphis team that's hot right now, so San Antonio did well in splitting those four games both SU and ATS.
But tonight, things lighten up tremendously for San Antonio and I expect them to take full advantage of it. A 9-32 SU Atlanta Hawks team presents very few obstacles for opponents, and as long as the don't go lights out from distance with some of their extremely streaky shooters, Hawks opponents tend to leave with the victory they wanted.
I expect that will be the case tonight for this Spurs team, who's looking to continue that climb back to .500 and hopefully a playoff spot. We are still a ways away from really digging into games teams “need” for playoff purpose, but it is already the middle of January, and when you are five games under the break even point like the Spurs are, you've got to make you move now.
A win for San Antonio should be in the cards tonight, but it's still got to be by margin, and I'm confident that it will be. Atlanta hasn't won two games in a row since they opened the year 2-0 SU, and coming off a double digit win over Phoenix the other night, that history is working against the Hawks here. More importantly though, after those previous six other wins this year, Atlanta is 1-5 ATS the next time they step out on the court. Add in a 2-8 ATS run in their last 10 on the road, and things are really working against the Hawks tonight.
The sieve-like defense Atlanta plays should help a Spurs offense that's had a couple of tough nights lately bounce back in a big way, as the defense they'll see from the Hawks could feel to the Spurs like they are playing ghosts after dealing with what Toronto and Miami threw at them the last two times out. That's always a plus when you need to win by margin, and San Antonio has shown numerous times this year that this new core of players has no problem playing as fast as ever on the floor.
Finally, for as bad as Atlanta has been at covering numbers off a win this year, the Spurs find themselves in another favorable situation in that regard. San Antonio is on a 9-1-1 ATS run when coming off a loss, and with their current form being one that's relatively sharp, and extremely battle-tested, I like their chances of winning by double digits tonight.