- The Washington Wizards look to keep their playoff hopes alive as 6.5-point underdogs in Atlanta on Wednesday night
- Russell Westbrook set the NBA record for career triple-doubles in a loss to the Hawks Monday
- Read below for a breakdown and best bet on the game
Two teams with two different types of playoff aspirations meet again in Atlanta Wednesday night.
The Hawks, jockeying with New York for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, host the Washington Wizards, who are desperately trying to stay in the play-in tournament picture.
Atlanta is 2-0 against Washington this season, and haven’t lost a home game since April 15 against Milwaukee. The Wizards are a game behind Indiana in the standings, and will be without Bradley Beal for a second consecutive game.
Wizards vs Hawks Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total|
|Washington Wizards||+6.5 (-112)||+220||O 239 (-110)|
|Atlanta Hawks||-6.5 (-108)||-270||U 239 (-110)|
Odds as of May 11th.
The two played each other on Monday night, and Atlanta narrowly escaped with a 125-124 win. Sportsbooks are expecting more fireworks in the encore, as the projected total of 239 points is the highest of all games on Wednesday’s schedule.
Westbrook Continues to Turn Back the Clock
Although the Wizards lost on Monday, Russell Westbrook still made it a night to remember when he set the NBA record for career triple-doubles.
With 28 points, 21 assists and 13 rebounds, he passed Oscar Robertson’s mark with triple-double number 182. It was his fourth consecutive triple-double, and his 36th of the season.
Russell Westbrook’s journey to becoming the NBA's ALL-TIME TRIPLE-DOUBLES leader! pic.twitter.com/pTC9eE4nbq
— NBA (@NBA) May 11, 2021
Washington has averaged the third-most fast-break points per game over its last three games, and defensively, Atlanta has been slightly below the league average during that same stretch. Westbrook was the big story on Monday night, but Washington also made half of their three-point attempts. For the season, the Wizards have shot 35% from beyond the arc and Atlanta has had the third-best three-point defense in the league.
Can the Hawks Create Margin?
In the 14 games Atlanta was a favorite by six points or more this season, the Hawks are 9-5 against the spread. They entered last night’s game as eight-point favorites and Washington gave them all they could handle.
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 11, 2021
This season, point guard Trae Young has averaged more than 38 points per game over his two matchups with Washington, and he’s scored more than 30 points in four of his last six games since returning from an ankle sprain in late April. When the Hawks won by 16 points in late January, Young dropped 41 to lead all scorers, and he’ll likely need another big performance considering Monday’s outcome.
Atlanta’s bench has been the sixth-worst second unit in the league this season, while Washington’s has been a top-five unit. The Hawks have a couple of key role players that are hurt or expected to rest tomorrow night, so if they are going to separate on the scoreboard, it’s going to take another top-heavy performance from the starting unit.
Emptying the Clip
Westbrook has perpetually played with a chip on his shoulder for as long as he’s been in the league. The story on Monday was about his record but his DNA suggests his belief in single-handedly willing the Wizards into the playoffs.
Atlanta is a bottom-third team in terms of pace of play, but Washington is tops in the league in that category. Washington has surpassed projected totals in its last six games and the Hawks have in each of their last three.
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) May 11, 2021
The Wizards have rallied behind Westbrook and is playing for its post season life tomorrow night. Washington might not win or cover, but it is going to come out swinging after coming up just short on Monday.
The Hawks should be pressed to keep scoring, but considering Young’s productivity against Washington this season and a reliable supporting cast, they should have the firepower to do so. Even without Beal, there should be plenty of buckets to go around, and it should be another big offensive night in Atlanta.
The Pick: Over 239 (-110)
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