Toronto Raptors at Atlanta Hawks (-5.5, 206 o/u)
The top two teams in the Eastern Conference will square off tonight as the Atlanta Hawks (43-11) host the Toronto Raptors (36-17) at Philips Arena (7:30 p.m. Eastern).
Neither team made any moves at the deadline, giving a vote of confidence to their current rosters.
The Hawks used a 19 game winning streak (which stretched from late December to the end of January) to open up a big lead at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. However, the team has gone just 3-3 since then, dropping road games to the Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Celtics.
The Hawks will have home-court advantage tonight, though, and will be facing a Toronto team that they have already beaten twice this year (including a 110-89 demolition at the ACC in mid-January).
“That team is a well-oiled machine,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said of the Hawks after the loss in January.
The Raptors bring a modest three-game winning streak into Atlanta, having downed a trio of title contenders – the Clippers, Spurs, and Wizards – to conclude their recent homestand.
The Raptors haven’t fared as well on the road lately, though, going just 3-5-1 ATS in the last nine.
They have also struggled in Atlanta straight up, going 3-10 in the last 13, but have been decent for bettors with a 5-2 ATS record in the last seven in ATL.
All in all, I see a motivated Raptors team keeping it close and covering the 5.5-point spread.
(Photo credit: michalkajzerek (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)