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Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks Game 1 odds, picks and prediction


The 4-seed New York Knicks host the 5-seed Atlanta Hawks Sunday at Madison Square Garden for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at 7 p.m. ET. Below, we analyze the Hawks-Knicks odds and lines, with NBA picks and predictions.

Atlanta won the Southeast Division, finishing one game ahead of the Miami Heat, but are the 5-seed heading into the playoffs because the Hawks were swept in the season series by the Knicks.

New York clinched the 4-seed and homecourt advantage in the first round by winning its final three games and getting a little help from the Milwaukee Bucks who beat a Heat team that held the tiebreaker over the Knicks in the last week of the season.

The Knicks have won six of their last seven meetings with the Hawks (6-0-1 ATS) and a double-digit ATS margin in all six of those victories.

Hawks at Knicks: Odds, spread and lines

Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated at 1:30 p.m. ET.

  • Money line: Hawks -105 (bet $105 to win $100) | Knicks -115 (bet $115 to win $100)
  • Against the spread/ATS: Hawks +1 (-110) | Knicks -1 (-110)
  • Over/Under: 213.5 (O: -115 | U: -105)

Hawks at Knicks: Key injuries

Hawks

  • SG Cam Reddish (Achilles) out

Knicks

  • C Mitchell Robinson (foot) out

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Hawks at Knicks: Odds, lines, predictions and picks

Prediction

Knicks 113, Hawks 107

Money line (ML)

We are getting “reverse line movement” as the KNICKS (-115) have more money wagered and actual bets placed on them are becoming cheaper as this game opened with New York favored 2.5 points but is now a pick ’em.

Typically, bettors would be wise to avoid betting the more popular side that bookmakers are making cheaper under the “trap game” theory.

However, I’m okay rolling with the average Joe because we’ve seen this all year with the Knicks. They are one of the more popular teams in the NBA and New York is the feel-good story of the playoffs.

Oddsmakers keep giving the Knicks juicy odds, the “sharps” have continuously faded them, and New York backers have made a lot of money this season.

The Knicks’ 63.4% cover rate (45-26-1 ATS) is the highest mark in the NBA since the 2013-14 Phoenix Suns a 64.2% cover rate (52-29-1 ATS).

Finally, New York has the better coach and the best player in this series, and probable Most Improved Player of the Year, Julius Randle, has torched Atlanta.

Randle is averaging 37.3 points per game on 73.2% true shooting (.581/.500/.818), 12.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game in his three games against the Hawks this season.

GIMME the KNICKS (-115) for 1 unit.

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Against the spread (ATS)

PASS because the New York’s money line is only five cents on the dollar more expensive than Knicks -1 (-110), and we aren’t playing for a chop.

Over/Under (O/U)

Slight “LEAN” to the OVER 213.5 (-110) for a one-third unit because five of the last six Hawks-Knicks meetings have gone Over the total.

Also, these teams have a combined 19-6 O/U record when Atlanta is a slight ‘dog, and New York is a slight favorite (the spread is between 1-2.5 points).

My hesitancy is the Hawks actually play really good perimeter defense (third in defensive 3-point percentage), and both teams play at a bottom-10 pace.

Want some action on this one? Place a bet at BetMGM now. For more sports betting picks and tips, visit SportsbookWire.com. Please gamble responsibly.

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