A monumental collapse in Game 5 has left Philadelphia on the brink of elimination – and the Atlanta Hawks look ready to finish the job as they host the 76ers in Game 6 on Friday night. The 76ers (55-27 SU, 43-35-4 ATS) led by as many as 26 points Wednesday night before watching the Hawks (48-34 SU, 46-35-1 ATS) complete a shocking rally and take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven.
Sportsbook Odds Analysis
The 76ers came out as a surprisingly meek 1.5-point favorite, but the books were quick to adjust that line up to -3. The Sportsbook total of 222.5 has shrunk by a full point in most spots, with the odd 222 also available.
Philadelphia News & Notes
The knives are out for 76ers point guard Ben Simmons, who has been thoroughly outplayed by Hawks counterpart Trae Young through the first five games of this series. Simmons is shooting a blistering 66.1 percent from the field, but has made just 30.8 percent of his free throws against the Hawks – and his 4-for-14 effort Wednesday night single-handedly cost the 76ers a win.
Could the Hawks employ a “Hack-a-Ben” tactic in an attempt to keep the ball out of Joel Embiid’s hands? That would certainly fall in line with what other teams have done against opponents with bad free-throw shooters. And Simmons’ struggles haven’t only come against the Hawks: He shot 35.7 percent from the foul line in Philadelphia’s Sportsbook-round five-game triumph over Washington.
Atlanta News & Notes
It was no surprise to see Young at the center of the Hawks’ sensational Wednesday comeback in which Atlanta outscored the hosts by a 40-19 margin in the pivotal fourth quarter. Young finished with 39 points and helped guide the Hawks to their second win of the series in Philadelphia – an incredible feat when you consider that the 76ers were 29-7 at home during the season.
Young certainly wasn’t alone, however, in completing the comeback – and it’s the Hawks’ secondary scoring that could help them reach the conference final for the first time since 2015. John Collins had 19 points, Danilo Gallinari added 16 and Lou Williams poured in 15 for Atlanta, while Philadelphia had just two players score more than eight points in defeat.
Betting Pick: Hawks -3 (-110)
The Hawks are likely going to make Simmons beat them from the free-throw line – and if he can’t, they should be able to do enough offensively to put this series away.
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