We predicted the Atlanta Hawks to cover a sizable spread in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, but sure didn’t see the outright upset. Can the Hawks do it again Friday in Game 2 as a similarly-sized underdog on the NBA odds?
How to Bet Hawks at Bucks NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Friday, 8:30 PM ET
- Where: Fiserv Forum
- TV: TNT
- Stream: TNT app
Why Bet on Atlanta?
The Hawks closed as 8-point underdogs for Game 1 and won 116-113 behind a sensational game from star Trae Young. Atlanta trailed 105-98 with 4:18 left when Young largely took over.
He hit 17-of-34 shots, four 3-pointers and 10-of-12 free throws for a playoff career-high 48 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. He also shimmied on a wide-open made 3-pointer and also made an incredible pass off the backboard for a John Collins dunk.
Young joined Lou Hudson, Dominique Wilkins and Paul Millsap as the only other Hawks to ever have 40 in a playoff game. Young’s 48 were the most points by a player in a conference finals debut in history and tied LeBron James for the most by a player at age 22 or younger in a Conference or Division Finals game. LeBron had 48 against the Pistons in Game 5 of the 2007 Conference Finals.
Young (22 years, 277 days) became the 2nd youngest player in NBA history to record 45+ points and 10+ assists in a playoff game. Luka Doncic (22 years, 98 days) was the youngest to do so. Finally, Young scored or assisted on 72 points in Game 1, the most a Conference or Division Finals game all-time.
“We gotta do a better job deep on him,” Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo said of Young. “He is going to score getting downhill for the lobs, and that’s his confidence. I think we just got to make it as tough as possible for him, make him play a lot of one on one. But at the end of the day, he had 48 points, he’s a great player, like he is going to score with a punch.”
John Collins also had a big game, hitting 11-for-16 for 23 points and 15 rebounds. Clint Capela came through with 12 points and 19 rebounds. Those two dominated the boards, something that is going to be key if the Hawks are to advance to their first-ever NBA Finals. By removing Milwaukee center Brook Lopez from the equation, the Hawks were able to attack the rim a little more with the Bucks down a rim protector.
Forward Cam Reddish was active for the game after not playing since Feb. 21 due to an Achilles injury, but he never took the court. Bogdan Bogdanovic, who was listed on the pregame injury report as questionable with right knee soreness, started and led the Hawks with three steals.
Why Bet on Milwaukee?The Bucks could have easily won Game 1. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored the first six points in a 9-0 run that turned a 98-96 deficit into a 105-98 advantage with 4:18 left. But the Hawks scored the next five points, and the game went back and forth from there. Khris Middleton missed a pull-up jumper with 43 seconds left with Milwaukee ahead 111-110. Hawks star Trae Young missed a shot on the other end of the floor, but Clint Capela grabbed his 19th rebound and scored to put the Hawks in front for good.
Antetokounmpo hit 14-of-25 shots and 6-of-8 free throws for 34 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. The Freak Antetokounmpo was everywhere for the Bucks, turning in arguably his most complete performance of the playoffs thus far. He was the team’s leading scorer in clutch time, scoring 10 points on 4-for-4 from the field. Every other Bucks player was 1-for-6 for 5 points in clutch time.
Jrue Holiday had easily his best-ever playoff game in shotting 14-for-25 on the way to 33 points, 10 assists and four rebounds. However, Middleton hit just 6-of-23 shots for 15 points. He missed a potential tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds and was 0-for-9 from deep. The Bucks shot 39 percent on 3s in the regular season, a top-five mark, but they’re down to 30 percent in the postseason.
Bobby Portis had 11 points and eight rebounds in just 15 minutes — with Brook Lopez failing to have an impact, Portis found himself thrust into a meaningful role. Lopez was minus-14 in his 20 minutes and the Bucks may cut his minutes way back going forward. In games 5 through 7 against Brooklyn, neither Jeff Teague nor Portis played at all. In Game 1 against Atlanta, they combined for 21 minutes.
With their outside shot failing to drop, the Bucks attacked the basket more often, where they saw success. They outscored the Hawks 70-54 in the paint for the game.
Still, it was certainly not the start that the Bucks were looking for to start this series especially after having regained home-court advantage in the East after getting past the second-seeded Brooklyn Nets and the Hawks upsetting the Sixers in the last round.
- Hawks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Hawks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- Hawks are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win.
- Hawks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
- Bucks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- Bucks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite.
- Bucks 113, Hawks 109
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