The Atlanta Hawks warded off elimination by winning Game 4 of their second-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers. The underdogs will get a chance to go up 3-2 against the Eastern Conference’s top team on Wednesday, and Joel Embiid’s worsening knee injury could give them an edge on the road.
Below is a look at a number of predictions ahead of Wednesday night’s game for the DraftKings Sportsbook NBA Playoffs pool.
Which team will cover the spread? Sixers -6.5 or Hawks +6.5
The 76ers fell apart in the second half of Game 4, and Embiid’s poor form had a lot to do with Philly getting outscored by 16 in the third and fourth quarters. The star big man was 0-for-12 from the field and was visibly hobbled by the knee injury he suffered in the first round of the playoffs. Getting a day of rest could help Embiid recover, but Atlanta is a threat to secure an upset if his condition doesn't improve considerably. Running with Clint Capela from the opening tip will be extremely tough for Embiid, so the Hawks should cover in a close loss or pull off the road win with Philly’s top scorer on one leg.
Total points scored? Over/Under 223.5
The Hawks and Sixers have eclipsed reached 220 points twice, and games have tended to be shootouts or defensive battles. Philly has thrived at home so far and is averaging 121 points per game at the Wells Fargo System. That state alone should be enough to convince bettors on taking the over, as Embiid’s defensive prowess will likely be hampered by his ankle, and Atlanta is hardly ever held to 100 points or less.
Which team will reach 30 points first? Hawks or Sixers
Atlanta hasn’t won the first quarter since it scored 42 points in Game 1. Since then, Philly’s bounced back with strong starts and has won the first frame at home and on the road. We like the Sixers’ odds to continue this trend.
Which team will make more 3-pointers? Hawks or Sixers
The Sixers have lost some shooting now that Danny Green is out for the foreseeable future. While Seth Curry has been unconscious from deep, Philly doesn't have a second consistent shooter from outside. Every Hawks starter but Clint Capela will fire from a distance, and their bench players will too, so we like the Hawks to outshoot Philly from beyond the arc.
Total points and rebounds for Joel Embiid? Over/Under 40.5
Embiid’s 21-rebound performance in Game 4 was an anomaly, so he’ll likely have to score 30 or more points in Game 5 to hit this over. While it’s unlikely that he’ll shoot 4-for-20 from the field again, his performance will likely be heavily affected by his knee. Embiid can impact the game but should fall short of this total.
Total points, rebounds, and assists for Tobias Harris? Over/Under 32.5
Harris has reached 32 points, assists, and rebounds in six of his last seven games and could be asked to carry a heavier load than usual if Embiid is hobbled. He’s been one of Philly’s most consistent performers and hasn’t scored less than 20 points in seven games, so we like the over here.
Total points, rebounds, and assists for Trae Young? Over/Under 40.5
Young’s playmaking never ceases to amaze. He’s averaging 27.2 points and 11.8 assists in the postseason, and his usage will only increase now that the series is close to being decided. He logged a series-high 40 minutes in his last game despite dealing with a shoulder injury, and a bounce-back shooting night should help him hit this total. Young’s rebounding can’t be counted on, but the rest of his game gives him an extremely high floor. he won’t need 18 assists again to hit this prop.
Which team will win the 4th Quarter? Hawks or Sixers
The Sixers have been plagued by bad free-throw shooting down the stretch and aren’t comfortable with Ben Simmons at the charity stripe in the clutch. The Hawks’ shooters have helped them pull away in second halves, and Embiid’s knee soreness will likely be a factor like it was in Game 4. We like the Hawks to win the fourth because of that.
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