Heat vs Hawks Picks and Predictions: Hotlanta Goes Down in Flames

The Heat and Hawks are both missing key pieces heading into Friday night's showdown in Atlanta. But after Miami won the previous two clashes - and remains one of the most consistent teams in the East - we like the Heat again in our betting picks.

Last Updated: Jan 20, 2022 8:15 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Bam Adebayo Miami Heat NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat travel to Atlanta to face the Hawks on Friday night. While the Heat have been one of the NBA's most consistent teams all year, they'll be without star point guard Kyle Lowry once again, and shooting guard Tyler Herro will miss the game due to health and safety protocols.

Will those absences give the Hawks enough of an edge to pull out a victory on what is essentially a pick 'em spread? Read our best free NBA betting picks for Heat vs. Hawks for more. 

Heat vs Hawks odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

The Hawks opened at -1 with a game total set at 217.5. While both have stayed close to their original numbers, the Heat can be had at +1.5 at some books at the time of this writing.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Heat vs Hawks predictions

Predictions made on 01/20/2022 at 8:15 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Heat vs Hawks game info

Location: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA
Date: Friday, January 21, 2022
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports Southeast - Atlanta

Heat vs Hawks betting preview

Injuries

Heat: Kyle Lowry PG (Out), Tyler Herro SG (Out), Victor Oladipo SG (Out), Markieff Morris PF (Out), KZ Okpala SF (Out).
Hawks: Bogdan Bogdanovic SG (Out), Danilo Gallinari SF (Questionable), Gorgui Dieng C (Questionable), Clint Capela C (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 4-1 in the Heat's last five games. Find more NBA betting trends for Heat vs. Hawks.

Heat vs Hawks picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

It's a tale of opposites clashing. The Hawks own the NBA's second-best offensive efficiency, trailing just the Utah Jazz, while the Heat deploy a Top-6 defense. So, which will prevail? The Hawks are favored by a single point despite being outside the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference with a 19-25 record. That's not basement-dwelling territory, but Atlanta hasn't been competitive. 

Miami, meanwhile, sits atop the East standings at 29-16. Yes, Kyle Lowry's absence is particularly troubling considering how much of a linchpin he is on defense, but the Heat don't lay down and die when he doesn't play. They beat Portland 104-92 on Wednesday without Lowry or Tyler Herro active and Jimmy Butler played only 15 minutes.

Like the Trail Blazers, the Hawks don't know the meaning of the word "defense." Only the Houston Rockets have a worse defensive efficiency than Atlanta does this season, and the only team in the Eastern Conference to allow more points per game this season is the Charlotte Hornets.

The Heat are 15-5 in their last 20 games, which includes a pair of dominant wins against Friday's opponent. If the Hawks are getting the very slight betting edge because they have home-court advantage, it can't be trusted. The Heat smoked the Hawks 115-91 in Atlanta on Jan. 12 and beat them 124-118 when the setting moved to Miami two days later. 

Losing Herro's scoring and Lowry's overall play hurts, but Butler and Bam Adebayo should provide enough of an attack to thwart the Hawks. Caleb Martin has also seen an uptick in minutes of late, and he's parlayed that into some positive results. He scored 26 and added eight rebounds in Wednesday's win over Portland and notched a double-double the last time Miami went to Atlanta. 

Prediction: Heat +1.5 (-110)

The Heat play stellar defense most nights, but Lowry is a major part of that success. And while they held the Trail Blazers to just 92 points on Wednesday, the Hawks are generally a different beast. Trae Young averages 27.9 points and 9.5 assists. A defensive liability at times, Young makes up for it as one of the most thrilling offensive players on the court. 

But, the Under feels like the right play. Both teams are missing key pieces. Sure, Lowry isn't a scoring dynamo, averaging 13.4 points per game, which is his lowest since 2012-13, but Herro is second on the team in scoring at 20.7 ppg. The Hawks have both Young and John Collins healthy, but Bogdan Bogdanovic and Clint Capela are usually featured players who help carry the load. Neither team is too beset by injuries, but those who aren't available really make the difference.

Miami plays at a snail's pace, averaging 98 possessions per game, which is third-fewest in the NBA. And for all the scoring they do, the Hawks don't exactly run-and-gun at a high tempo, ranking 19th in pace. It's a modest total, but this could easily come just under the number.

Prediction: Under 217.5 (-110)

The Under is tempting for the reasons stated above, but Young can push a game toward the Over by himself if he has a strong outing. He's scored 29 or more in three straight, and while he didn't score with his usual ease in his last two games against the Heat, he's talented enough that he can rebound, especially if Lowry isn't riding him all game. 

The Hawks' inability to stop opponents from scoring, no matter how many buckets Young drains - they lost to Portland when he dropped an absurd 56 points in December - plays into the Heat's hands. If they can hit the half with a lead, expect them to slow things down in the second half. If the spread shifts to favor the Heat, they should still be the safe bet provided it doesn't get out of hand.

Pick: Heat +1.5 (-110)

NBA parlays

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