Under normal circumstances a matchup between the Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks wouldn’t get a sniff from the networks. This season has been anything but normal. The Hawks are jostling with New York for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference while no team will benefit more from the new play-in format than the Wizards. A late season surge vaulted the Wiz into the No. 10 spot and they have a chance to move up a few more spots. The brilliance of Russell Westbrook carried the club to 15 wins in the past 20 games.
This NBA matchup takes place on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 and will air live on ESPN with tip off at 7 p.m. ET from State Farm Arena. BookMaker.eu will have betting options for every game on the NBA schedule.
Washington Wizards vs Atlanta Hawks Odds
Spread: Washington Wizards +6 | Atlanta Hawks -6
Season to Date
A loss to Toronto on Apr. 5 put Washington at 17-32 and had them as an afterthought in the East playoff picture. If the league distributed awards for the second half of the season Scott Brooks would be the top coach and Westbrook the runaway MVP. The Wizards have been one of the top teams in the league since that loss to Toronto going 15-5 SU and 15-4-1 ATS climbing to the 10th seed. Nothing has been secured but a getting a win over the Hawks would get Washington a step closer to clinching a spot in the play-in tournament. They lost both games to the Hawks this season, including a few days ago when Westbrook collected his NBA career-best 182nd triple-double. Russ missed a potential game-winning shot in the 125-124 setback but the Wizards covered the 8-point line improving to 16-4-1 ATS in their last 21 games.
The Hawks have been equally surprising turning their season around after a coaching change earlier in the campaign. Their win over the Wizards on Monday was a big one putting the Hawks tied with the fourth-place Knicks with 38 wins though Atlanta has lost one more game. And they are just a half game up on sixth-seed Miami. It’s unlikely the Hawks fall out of the top six and they can guarantee that doesn’t happen with another win over the Wizards. Thanks to a healthy offense the Hawks won for the fourth time in five games with Monday’s verdict going 3-2 ATS in that span. They scored at least 123 points in four straight games with Trae Young dropping at least 30 in the last two. The OVER is 4-0 over that stretch. Overall the Hawks are 38-31 SU and 37-31-1 ATS.
While Westbrook gets plenty of attention for his assault on Oscar Robertson’s triple-double record, the importance of Bradley Beal can’t be overlooked. Thanks to Beal’s sharpshooting Westbrook has compiled a league-leading 11.6 assists per game collecting at least 21 dimes twice in the last five games. Russ collected another triple-double on Monday dishing out 21 assists even without Beal by his side. The Wiz spread the offense around with six players reaching double figures in the opener led by 28 from Westbrook.
Beal probably would have been the first option for the game-winner in Monday’s game. He sustained a leg injury in Saturday’s win over Indiana dropping 50 on the Pacers. “I’d love to have Brad back as soon as he can, but if it’s next week it’s next week. We can do nothing about it. We can’t put him out there in harms way if he’s not ready,” Brooks said. Instead the Wizards will once again rely on Westbrook to lead the offense.
A quirk in the schedule had the Hawks taking three full days off before winning the opener of this two-game set. It was a nice rest late in the compacted season but the Hawks were eager to get on the court after dropping their previous game to Indiana. They had a jump in their step early bolting out to a big lead only to see Washington trim the 19-point lead to a single point. The difference with this Hawks team is that they regained their composure and finished the deal, though it wasn’t without drama.
As they’ve done pretty much all season, Young and John Collins paced the offense. The pair led the charge on Monday pushing the Hawks within a half game of the Knicks for fourth in the conference. Young, who leads the team with 25.6 points per game, scored 36 and Collins had 28. The Hawks also got a boost with the return of De’Andre Hunter, who scored six points in 14 minutes after missing the previous 24 games. Hunter is a key piece averaging 15.2 points while adding depth to the rotation.
Wizards vs Hawks Predictions
Our picks: Atlanta Hawks -6 and OVER 239
Despite what the stats say and what most people think Westbrook can’t do it all. The absence of Beal for another game will play a huge role in the Hawks getting another win over their Southeast Division rival.