Hawks vs. Suns NBA expert prediction and odds for Thursday, March 21 (Prepare for a shootout)

NBA betting preview, prediction and best bet for Hawks-Suns. 

Mar 20, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts after making a shot against Philadelphia.
Mar 20, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts after making a shot against Philadelphia. / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta has hung around and should be play-in tournament bound despite losing its star player. Since Trae Young went down Feb. 23, the Hawks are 6-6 and are planted firmly in the No. 10 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 4.5-game lead over the struggling Brooklyn Nets at No. 11. The Hawks are sizable underdogs Thursday night in Phoenix.

The Suns are coming off a bounce-back win at home over the Philadelphia 76ers (115-102). Phoenix is trying to play its way out of the Western Conference’s Play-In Tournament and are just a half-game behind the No. 6 Sacramento Kings. Can they take care of business and win with margin against Atlanta? Here’s the betting breakdown of the cross-conference clash with a best bet. 

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Hawks vs. Suns odds, spread and total

Hawks vs. Suns how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, March 21 
  • Game time: 10:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Footprint Center
  • How to watch (TV): NBA TV
  • Hawks record: 30-38
  • Suns record: 40-29

Hawks vs. Suns injury report

Atlanta Hawks

  • AJ Griffin (ankle): out
  • Kobe Bufkin (toe): out
  • Jalen Johnson (ankle): out
  • Wesley Matthews (illness): questionable

Phoenix Suns

  • Damion Lee (knee): out
  • Josh Okogie (abdomen): out

Hawks vs. Suns key players to watch

Atlanta Hawks

Bogdan Bodganovic: A former first-round pick of the Suns, Bogdanovic is not afraid to let it fly from the perimeter. Bogdanovic has three or more 3-pointers in six of eight games this month and is averaging 14.8 points per game in March. He was one of the only efficient Hawks in Monday’s lopsided loss to the Lakers, finishing with 17 points behind a 3-of-5 performance from beyond the arc. 

Phoenix Suns

Grayson Allen: Over the last two games, the Duke product has combined for 57 points on 18-of-31 shooting, including 15 three-pointers. Allen racked up 32 points in Wednesday’s win over Philadelphia and is now averaging 17.9 points per game in March. 

Hawks vs. Suns prediction and pick

Looking for a shootout in this game given the Atlanta defense and its season-long woes. 

You won’t find many defensive metrics that shine a positive light on a Hawks defense that is No. 29 in scoring (121.7 points per game allowed) and No. 28 in opposing shooting percentage, allowing foes to connect at a 49.4% clip. Down low, Atlanta is No. 27 in points in the paint allowed and haven’t been able to defend shots from any distance.

The Hawks are bottom-five in the league against 2- and 3-point shots. They’ll face a Phoenix offense that is No. 5 shooting percentage and top-10 from both inside and beyond the arc. 

On the other side, Atlanta plays at the No. 4 pace in the NBA. That’s slowed down a bit, but the Hawks still have the 10th most possessions per game since Young has been sidelined and could rack up garbage time points against a Phoenix defense that is solid at rebounding, but rarely forces any turnovers. Take the over. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.