John Collins, Jimmy Butler
Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) looks to pass as Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)


Kyle Barrette

Well, last night was one of the most pathetic three-quarter stretches I have ever seen a team play. The boo birds came down hard from the Garden crowd, and rightfully so. I would have been booing right along with them had I been there. We move on. There is another trend that has been effective concerning one of the teams in this matchup, and I am ready to exploit it here. So let’s break down this matchup and see where the value is.

This team continues to win quietly without its full complement of players. Watch out for them when they finally get back to full strength. With their team not at full strength, the Heat are averaging just an above average offense, scoring 108 per contest, and they continue to play great defense, ranking fifth, only allowing 104 per game. If you have watched any of the Hawks games lately, you may have seen and even heard the broadcasters talking about how Atlanta gets down big early and has to fight their way out of it. Miami has the seventh best first half defense, allowing just under 53 points on average. These two teams played twice just a week ago, both of which resulted in Heat victories, but those Heat teams had Lowry and Herro, two guys that are scheduled to miss tonight’s game. Miami ranks 16th in first half points scoring 55, and there is not much of a difference as the Hawks rank eighth with 56.5.


They should be dubbed the comeback kings for their recent play. The Hawks come into this game on a two-game win streak, but man did they have to work for those two wins. They had a 12-point comeback against the Timberwolves and the Bucks the game before that. Taking a deeper look into Atlanta, their offense is a top 10 offense, scoring 111 per game, and their defense, as we have known for years, is one of the worst, ranking 25th and allowing 112 per game. What has been more puzzling, and is the focus of our edge here, has been their first half play recently. We just highlighted that they came back from 12-point deficits, and those were both first-half differences. Looking beyond those two games, the Hawks have lost their first half matchups in six of their last seven games. The only one in that stretch they won was the second game in a row on a back-to-back against the Heat, and only because the Heat had a terrible shooting second quarter where they only scored 17 points total after dropping 40 on them in the first quarter.

Heat vs Hawks the Pick: Heat First Half Money line
The first half numbers have been consistently bad for this Hawks team, and that is against all types of opponents. The Heat are definitely a better team than some that have been able to beat the Hawks in the first half recently, so look for them to try and get off to a fast start playing slightly short-handed.

Same Game Parlay
Miami Heat 1st Half ML, John Collins First Basket, Trae Young Over 28.5 Pts, Jimmy Butler to score 25+ Pts and Bam Adebayo to record 10+ Rebounds.

SGP Odds +17484

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