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2021 NBA Playoff Action: Laying Chalk with Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks in Game 4

Lights too Bright for Julius Randle: Backing Hawks' -4.5 at home in game 4 action

Derrick Rose has turned up his offense in the post-season in the New York Knicks' first playoff appearance since 2013. The beloved guard has mustered 123.7 points per 100 shot attempts in the first three of the Knicks-Hawks opening round series, versus 111.7 during the year.

On the other hand, Julius Randle's productivity has plummeted from 114.3 to 68.1 points per 100 attempts. This dramatic slide is especially important given the big man's critical importance to the Knicks (Randle ranked 12th among all players in the regular season, and 11th in the playoffs by usage rate).

Resultantly, the Knicks' aggregate offense is down from 110.7 to 104.9 points per 100 possessions between the regular season and playoffs, to date. This regression comes in stark contrast to the uptick in offensive output most teams experienced--on average, teams have posted 114.9 points per 100 possessions so far this post-season, versus 112.9 during the first 72 games of the year.

On the other hand, the Hawks' Trae Young exemplifies this 'playoff gear'. The third-year guard's offense advanced in the post-season, from 117.9 points per 100 possessions to 120.3. Young's excellence is especially noteworthy given that the Knicks boast a top-ten defense, particularly adept at limiting opposition's mid-range game, Ice Trae's offensive weapon of choice.

Given Randle's struggles and Young ascendance, we like the Hawks versus the number at home Sunday. History appears to validate our thinking, suggesting backing the favorite is the play from this spot...

NBA Playoff action featuring teams new to the post-season have tended decidedly toward the favorite ATS, historically.

This simple system has delivered a 15% long-term return since 2004-05, with no losing seasons (including a 2-1 run so far this year).

Happy betting!!

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