Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young (11) passes away from Brooklyn Nets' Joe Harris (12), Bruce Brown (1) and James Harden (13) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)


Patrick Werkmeister

Now that every team is about 25 games in so far, each conference has slightly taken shape as the season moves into full swing. For this Eastern Conference matchup, Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks host Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets. Last game out, the Nets were embarrassed by the bottom-tier Houston Rockets whereas the Hawks took care of the Timberwolves by 11. If the season were to end today, one would be at the top and the other would abnormally be out of the playoff picture. However, just because they’re inconsistent to start the year doesn’t mean they can’t also slingshot their way to the top. With this in mind, here are the best bets for this NBA Friday contest.

Hawks (-2)
Although these two squads stand at opposite sides of the Eastern Conference, the Hawks are two-point home favorites against the super team. Their floor general running the show, Trae Young, had a brilliant outing vs Minnesota where he dropped 29 points and 11 assists. Last time these two met in November, the Hawks fell nine-points short that then spurred a six-game losing streak. However, Atlanta then followed up with a seven-game winning streak and have been 9-3 ATS since their losing spell.  Contrarily, Brooklyn has been 1-5 ATS in their last six and have the worst record ATS in the NBA. However, with the third best record in the league they have no problem winning. With players eventually returning from injury, like De’Andre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic, for some added depth, Atlanta should have a fruitful regular season. This could be a sneak peek into a postseason matchup between these two as they are the most highly skilled rosters in the league. While they have glamorous superstars on their roster, the Nets have not been a trusty team to bet on as they just want to coast through the regular season. Atlanta has proven that they can threaten any championship contender, and they treat every night as Game 7. I like the Hawks in this big game at home to win over the Nets.  

Trae Young Over 27.5 Points
After scoring 29 points and getting his fourth straight double-double against Minnesota, Trae Young is seemingly in peak form now that the regular season is well under way. Young is averaging 26 points and nearly 10 assists per game and has been averaging a career high in three-point percentage. Trae has been the alpha in Atlanta ever since he got drafted and impacts their team in intangible ways by making the guys around him better. With no real big man in the middle, Brooklyn should have a hard time stopping Young from going to the basket and getting his shots. However, the Nets have allowed the 4th lowest points per game in the NBA, so he’ll have to push the pace in this one to get his. This prop has amazing value given his ridiculous numbers last time out. While he has a low of 13 points this season, I’m going to ride the hot hand and take him to once again produce at an efficient rate. Take ‘Ice Trae’ to score more than his total points prop with ease.

James Harden Over 9.5 Assists
After dropping 10 dimes in a loss against the Rockets, James Harden seems to be building his chemistry with the team and is improving in his role with this stacked Nets roster. Harden is averaging nearly 10 assists per game and has finally found a sustainable identity in this system. Harden has been the primary point man all season and that has allowed him to have more assist opportunities. With Harden as the only active healthy point guard on the roster, it will be difficult to imagine any player on his team out passing him. This prop has amazing value given his ridiculous numbers last time out. While he has a low of 4 assists all year, I’m going to ride with the passing hand of Harden and take him to once again produce at an efficient rate. Take him to have more than his total assists prop.

Same Game Parlay
Durant Over 27.5 Pts, Trae Young Over 27.5 Pts, Kevin Huerter Over 3.5 Rebounds, Durant Over 4.5 Assists, Harden Over 10.5 Assists, Trae Young Over 9.5 Assists, Harden Over 2.5 Made Threes, Kevin Huerter Over 2.5 Made Threes, Hawks to win by 1-10 Pts and Under 238.5 Total Pts.

SGP Odds +60740

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