Atlanta Hawks at Milwaukee Bucks Game 1 odds, picks and prediction
The 3-seed Milwaukee Bucks host the 5-seed Atlanta Hawks Wednesday at Fiserv Forum for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:35 p.m. ET. Below, we analyze the Hawks-Bucks odds and lines, with NBA picks and predictions.
Each team advanced to the conference final via Game 7 victories. The Hawks upset the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers 103-96 as 6.5-point road underdogs. The Bucks did the same to the second-seeded Brooklyn Nets as 2-point underdogs, winning 115-111 in overtime.
The Bucks won and covered two of their three regular-season meetings with the Hawks but Atlanta snapped a six-game losing skid (3-3 against the spread) to Milwaukee with its April 25 win.
Hawks at Bucks: Odds, spread and lines
- Money line : Hawks +260 (bet $100 to win $260) | Bucks -350 (bet $350 to win $100)
- Against the spread/ATS : Hawks +8 (-110) | Bucks -8 (-110)
- Over/Under : 225.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)
Hawks at Bucks: Key injuries
- SG Kevin Huerter (ankle) probable
- SG Bogdan Bogdanović (knee) questionable
- SG Cam Reddish (Achilles) questionable
- Nothing affecting the betting odds.
Special NBA Playoff Promotion!
Place a $1 bet on either team's money line, WIN $100 (in free bets) if either team hits a 3-pointer during the game.
Promotion available in CO, IA, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV and Washington D.C.
Hawks at Bucks: Odds, lines, predictions and picks
Bucks 116, Hawks 106
Money line (ML)
PASS even though Milwaukee is the right side because the Bucks are too expensive for an outright win, especially in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. No way is this the spot to lay -350 on the money line.
Against the spread (ATS)
"LEAN" to the BUCKS -8 (-110) for a half unit; however, there are a few reasons to like Milwaukee by a margin in this one.
First, according to Pregame.com, the presumed "sharp" side of the market is backing Milwaukee but a slight majority of the public is on Atlanta.
My perception was that everyone would be betting the Bucks in Game 1 but the Hawks' gritty postseason play is winning people over. It's refreshing that there's a split in the market on this game.
Second, prior to the final Hawks-Bucks regular-season meeting, Milwaukee won six straight over Atlanta. The previous three games were by double digits, and the Bucks were in control of their April 25 loss before a flukey fourth quarter.
The Hawks outscored the Bucks 41-26 in the fourth but Atlanta guards Bogdanović and Lou Williams combined for 27 points alone on 8 of 9 3-point shooting. More importantly, Hawks PG Trae Young didn't even play in that game.
Furthermore, Bogdanović isn't 100% entering Game 1 and Huerter-Atlanta's breakout star from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals-isn't sneaking up on the Bucks.
Huerter scored a team-high 27 points on 55.6% shooting in Atlanta's Game 7 win over Philly and he scored 20 points in the Hawks' April 25 win over the Bucks.
However, Milwaukee's defensive bulldog-SF P.J. Tucker-missed that game and I'd assume he gets assigned to Huerter who's cover as an "average player" is blown.
Also, Atlanta's offense is obviously Trae-centered (his 34.6% playoff usage rate is the highest of any remaining player in the postseason) and Milwaukee PG Jrue Holiday is the perfect foil.
Holiday and Young were active for the Hawks-Bucks April 15 meeting. Trae scored only 15 points on 17.6% shooting (0-for-3 on 3-pointers) with 6 turnovers. Young shot 0-for-8 and committed 5 turnovers when Holiday defended him.
It's only a "LEAN" to the BUCKS -8 (-110) because the Hawks are 2-0 ATS in Game 1s this postseason while Milwaukee is 0-2 ATS in Game 1s and the Bucks are the second-worst free throw team this postseason.
"LEAN" to the UNDER 225.5 (-110) for a half unit only because we are getting the worst of the number as the Hawks-Bucks opened at 229.5 but the market has steamed it down to the listed number.
That being said, both teams are playing at a slower pace in these playoffs than in the regular season and each defense does a good job defending what the other offense does well.
Additional NBA sports coverage:
Gannett may earn revenue from audience referrals to betting services. Newsrooms are independent of this relationship and there is no influence on news coverage. This information is for entertainment purposes only. We make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of any content.