- The Milwaukee Bucks are a prohibitive favorite to beat the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals.
- Milwaukee has home court advantage and is a -7.5 favorite in Game 1.
- The Hawks’ surprising postseason run has left sportsbooks in a tenuous financial position should it continue.
Atlanta finished 41-31 this season after going 20-47 last year, 29-53 in 2018-2019 and 24-58 in 2017-2018. They are now four wins away from improbably reaching the NBA Finals, much to the chagrin of the bookmaking industry. Sportsbooks are hoping that the Milwaukee Bucks will put an end to the Hawks surprising postseason run. If the betting odds on the series and Game 1 are an indication the NBA balance of power should be back in equilibrium come the NBA Finals.
In terms of wins and losses, Milwaukee won five more games than Atlanta giving them the third best record in the Eastern Conference at 46-26. They went 26-10 at home and 20-16 on the road. They were 30-12 against Eastern Conference rivals. As a result, the Bucks will have home court advantage in the Eastern Conference Finals which will get underway on Wednesday night at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum. At BetOnline.ag, the Bucks are a -7.5 home favorite in Game 1 as well as a -320 chalk on the moneyline. The total on the game has been set at 226.5. The game is the ninth consecutive contest in which the Hawks have been the pointspread underdog dating back to Game 5 of their opening round matchup against the New York Knicks.
Atlanta and Milwaukee played three times this season with the Bucks winning 129-115 on January 24, 2021 and covering as -11.5 home favorites as the final score sailed Over the posted total of 224. The Bucks won the second meeting as well taking a 120-109 win in Atlanta covering as a -4.5 road favorite in a game that went ‘Under’ the 234 total. The Hawks got one back on April 25, winning 111-106 on their home court as +6 underdogs. Once again, the final score went Under the total of 229.5. Over the last three seasons, the Bucks have controlled the series though the Hawks have been competitive against the spread. Milwaukee won 8 of 10 during that stretch SU but were 5-5 against the spread. On their home court, they’re 4-0 SU but just 2-2 ATS.
The Bucks’ SU success against the Hawks is likely a significant reason that Milwaukee is a whopping -450 favorite to win the series and advance to the NBA Finals to face either Phoenix or the LA Clippers. Takeback on the Hawks at BetOnline.ag is +360. Pending the outcome of Monday’s Phoenix/LA Clippers game the Bucks are now favored to win the NBA Championship at +110 just ahead of the Phoenix Suns at +130. The LA Clippers are priced at +850 with the Hawks at +1100.
There are also several series prop markets available at BetOnline.ag. The first is the correct series result:
ATLANTA VS MILWAUKEE CORRECT SERIES RESULT
Bucks 4-1 +200 Bucks 4-2 +360 Bucks 4-3 +365 Bucks 4-0 +410 Hawks 4-2 +1000 Hawks 4-3 +1000 Hawks 4-1 +2000 Hawks 4-0 +4000
There is also something of a ‘derivative bet’ for the Number of Games in the series:
ATLANTA VS MILWAUKEE NUMBER OF GAMES IN SERIES
5 Games +210 6 Games +225 7 Games +280 4 Games +375
ATLANTA VS MILWAUKEE SERIES HANDICAP
Bucks -1.5 Games -220 Hawks +1.5 Games +180
ATLANTA VS MILWAUKEE SERIES TOTAL GAMES
Over 5.5 Games -120 Under 5.5 Games -110