The Detroit Pistons try to extend their three-game winning streak when they visit the Atlanta Hawks tonight. NBA odds makers have opened the Hawks as large favorites, but can the Pistons pull off the upset?

The NBA lines speak for themselves. The Hawks are favored by 8.5 points and by as many as nine at some NBA betting shops and are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games as favorites.

A total of 186 can be found at sportsbooks, with the UNDER going 6-2 in the last 8 head-to-head meetings between the teams.

The Pistons are playing some of their best basketball of the season, having won three in a row and five of their last six. Last night they hosted Washington and won 99-94, failing to cover as eight-point favorites in the NBA odds.

Because they were holding a sizable lead in the fourth, Detroit was able to rest some key guys for tonight. Greg Monroe only played 20 minutes and finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.

Pistons heating up?

Pistons vs. HawksThe Hawks are even more rested after blowing out the Bobcats two days ago. In the 120-93 win, Josh Smith collected 24 points, nine rebounds and four assists, while five other Atlanta players also reached double digits in scoring.

As a team the Hawks shot 56.6 percent overall and had an amazing 32 assists, while turning it over just six times.

This will be the third meeting of the season between Atlanta and Detroit, with both teams each picking up a victory. In late January the Hawks won 107-101 in overtime, with Joe Johnson netting 30 points, and then just under a month ago Detroit got some payback with a close 86-85 win.

Tonight I'd expect the Pistons to be the popular spread betting NBA pick considering they're on a roll right now and are getting a ton of points from oddsmakers.

However, I'm taking the opposite stance and thinking the Hawks come out fired up for this one and take it to Detroit from the opening tipoff.

Josh Smith, despite wanting out earlier, continues to play exceptionally well. He's averaging 26.0 PPG and 10.8 RPG over his last nine appearances and has chipped in with four assists per game during that span as well. The man can do it all.

Backing Hawks to be up at interval

Together with Joe Johnson and Jeff Teague, who's averaging 13.7 PPG and 6.8 APG over his last six, the Hawks are making a charge for a higher seed in the East. They've already caught up the floundering Magic and are just 1.5 games back of the Pacers for the third spot.

The Pistons' winning streak also may be a little exaggerated because of the competition they've played. Those five victories over their last six have come against Washington (2x), Charlotte, Cleveland and an Orlando squad that was missing Dwight Howard.

When it comes to placing my sports picks tonight, I'm taking a first half play and backing the Hawks to build up a nice lead by halftime.

PICK: Atlanta Hawks 1H -4.5

TREND BREAKDOWN

Pistons are 3-5 ATS in their last 8 games overall

Hawks are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall

Hawks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games

UNDER is 4-0 in Detroit's last 4 road games

OVER is 5-1 in Atlanta's last 6 games overall

Pistons are 5-2-1 ATS in the last 8 head-to-head meetings