Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks - 5/23/21 NBA Picks and Prediction

Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks - 5/23/21 NBA Picks and Prediction Photo by Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks (41-31) vs Atlanta Hawks (41-31)

Game Info: Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 7:00 pm (Madison Square Garden)

Betting Odds: New York Knicks -1.5 -- Over/Under: 217 Click Here for the Latest Odds

The New York Knicks play host to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.

The Atlanta Hawks won seven of their final eight games of the regular season to finish with the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. Trae Young led the way with averages of 25.3 points and 9.4 assists per game, John Collins averaged 17.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, Bogdan Bogdanovic averaged 16.4 points while Clint Capela averaged 15.2 points, 14.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. As a team, the Hawks scored an average of 113.77 points per game while shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 37.3 percent from the 3-point line.

Meanwhile, the New York Knicks are coming into this series with plenty of momentum after winning 16 of their last 19 games of the regular season to finish with the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Julius Randle has enjoyed a career season with averages of 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, RJ Barrett averaged 17.6 points and 3.0 assists per game, Derrick Rose was the key recruit for the Knicks as he averaged 14.9 points and 4.2 assists off the bench while Immanuel Quickley averaged 11.4 points off the bench. As a team, the Knicks scored an average of 107.0 points per game while shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from the 3-point line.

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Looking at the betting trends, the Hawks are 0-5 ATS in their last five road games, 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 games following a win of more than 10 points and 2-7 ATS in their last nine games as an underdog. The Knicks are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 home games, 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 games against a team with a winning record and 35-15-1 ATS in their last 51 games overall.

Head to head, the over is 5-1 in the last six meetings overall, the Hawks are 0-6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings overall and the Hawks are 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings in New York.

The Knicks have been the feel-good story of the league this season as they’ve managed to return to relevancy seemingly overnight after years of despair. Julius Randle has been massive for the Knicks and he will be key in this matchup, but where the Knicks have been most impressive has been on the defensive end thanks to coach Thibodeau. The Hawks haven’t been too bad themselves and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this series goes the distance, but the Knicks are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 home games. I think we're going to see a bit of rust from both teams on the offensive end as they adjust to playoff basketball officiating, so I'm sticking with the better team on the defensive end which is the Knicks for me. 

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Peter’s Pick New York -1.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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