Phoenix is the hottest team in the NBA, no pun intended. They are riding an 11-game winning streak after handling the Brooklyn Nets with ease on Tuesday night.
The Hawks were flying high until a visit from Toronto stopped their own seven-game winning streak. They did play the game without top scorer Trae Young, who is dealing with a shoulder injury. He is questionable for tonight, which will make it a challenge for the Hawks to turn things back around quickly.
Phoenix Suns vs. Atlanta Hawks NBA Matchup Info and Betting Odds
- Game Matchup: Phoenix Suns (41-9 SU, 28-22 ATS) vs Atlanta Hawks (24-26 SU, 22-28 ATS)
- Venue & Location: State Farm Arena (Atlanta, Georgia)
- Date: Thursday, February 3, 2022
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- TV: TNT
- Spread: Phoenix Suns -3.5 (-110), Atlanta Hawks +3.5 (-110)
- Total: OVER 226.5 (-110), UNDER 226.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Phoenix Suns -175, Atlanta Hawks +145
Odds are via BetMGM
Finals Hangover Definitely Cured for Phoenix
Phoenix played a very completive NBA Finals against Milwaukee last season. When they started the 2021-22 season just 1-3, including a home loss to Sacramento you had to wonder whether the magic was lost.
Then they went the entire month of November and did not lose a game. For the Suns, that was a 16-0 SU and 11-5 ATS month. Needless to say, they figured things out and have been on a roll ever since. They are still the only team that has yet to lose double-digit games this season and what few losses they have endured have only been against teams with winning records.
The Suns are not only playing like the best team, but they are also the most consistent team too. Phoenix has navigated injuries to starters in the frontcourt thanks to the backcourt duo of Devin Booker and Chris Paul. I am not saying that he is the best player in the game, but there is no player who controls a game like Paul does when he is on the floor. He can also still get his points when he wants to.
Did the Hawks Fly Too Close to the Sun?
The expectation for the Hawks was that they would build on their run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. In that series Trae Young got hurt, Giannis got healthy, and the rest is history.
Unfortunately, they have not been able to pick up where they left off. They have had glimpses, but mostly this team has looked a lot like they did last year early on. Last season a coaching change was the thing that sparked a strong second-half surge and playoff run. That is a tough trick to pull two years in a row though.
Paul vs. Young
Young is questionable tonight, which is too bad for the Hawks and for viewers. But his absence would be good for Phoenix.
If you follow the PER (player efficiency rating) metric, Young is the top-ranked point guard in the NBA, while Chris Paul is 6th. This is an interesting measure of a player given that all the players in between (except Dejounte Murray) are on teams with winning records.
For the record, those players are Ja Morant, Luka Doncic, and Steph Curry, all players I would rather have on my team before Young. With him, the Hawks might have a chance to upset the Suns tonight, but without him, it is hard to see where the Hawks find any sustainable advantages.
Phoenix Suns vs. Atlanta Hawks Prediction and Best Bets
Phoenix Suns 115, Atlanta Hawks 103 (Suns -3.5 & UNDER 226.5)
Phoenix has lost just one game since the calendar flipped to 2022 and they have been expert at managing their roster. In their last game, they saw the return of frontcourt starters Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder. That helped them build a 10-point lead over the Nets, and they won by the same margin, covering the -6.
I am looking for a similar pattern to this game. Look for Phoenix to come out quickly, as they did against the Nets. The Suns are third in the NBA in first quarter scoring, averaging 29 points per game.
They are deadly with a lead too because Paul is such a strong leader on the court, making sure they get good shots on offense and don’t relent on D. Phoenix is also first in the NBA in 4th quarter scoring, so playing catchup against them is really difficult.
This is a fairly small spread, so it is not like they have to blow out Atlanta to get that win and cover. In 2022 they have covered every game where they were favored by two possessions or less. The only games they failed to cover were ones where the spread was at least -8.5.
At some point, Phoenix is bound to lose some games. On this road trip, they have to go to Chicago and Philadelphia, two of the Eastern Conference’s top teams. Those look more like the spots where a fade might make some sense.