Hawks Facing Long Odds as Eastern Conference Favorite

Atlanta Hawks Background With Trae Young

  • Hawks’ odds for deep post season fly below radar
  • Oddsmakers say Heat is likely Southeast Division favorite
  • NBA Sportsbooks say Trae Young is ninth in odds to win NBA MVP

When last we saw the Atlanta Hawks, they had made a magnificent run into the Eastern Conference Finals before falling to the NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks in six games.

The Hawks did this as they entered last season at (+10000) to win the NBA Championship while having a win total of 34.5.

Atlanta was even at a (+4000) to start the season to win the Eastern Conference and that spiraled downward to (+6500) before the all-star break when they parted ways with coach Lloyd Pierce and elevated Nate McMillan into the head coach’s chair.

The Hawks started to perk from there as they moved back to a (+4000) before the entered the playoffs at a (+5000) to win the Eastern Conference.

While the Hawks have caught the eye of the NBA and the betting public, the numbers are still long on the Hawks as they are at a (+3500) to win the NBA title and (+1600) to win the Eastern Conference in the 2020-21 campaign.

From the Nest

This season’s Final Four was a breath of fresh air as it was all about teams that were built from the ground up rather than just going out and spending money on names and owners thinking they could throw these guys in there and just win.

The Hawks joined the Bucks, Suns and Clippers with players who generally came up through organizations (sans the Clippers’ Paul George and Kawhi Leonard) and grew their games through individual skills development and the team process.

Trae Young exemplified that for Atlanta as the Hawks’ new superstar as his play elevated the Hawks’ odds through every round. Atlanta was at a (+5000) to win the Eastern Conference on April 1 and of course their numbers improved as they went through the bracket.

Atlanta checked in at (+3000) prior to Round 1 and then the Hawks made their biggest jump in going to Round 2 (+1400) and into the conference finals (+400).

With the Hawks starting at (+3500) this season, there is value in this pick because of course, Young is back and the key players on their roster have not changed.

Although there are no lines out of favorites to win the Southeast Division, the Heat look like the favorites after picking up Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors.  Miami checks in at (+1300) with the Hawks hoisting (+1600) odds to win the Eastern Conference while The Charlotte Hornets are (+4200) and the Orlando Magic drop in at (+13000).

At the end of last season:
Atlanta was favored to win the Southeast Division at (-455) while the Miami Heat were their only competitor at a (+320). Charlotte checked in at (+2400) while the Orlando Magic were no where to be found in their rebuild as they at at an unbelievable (+50000) to just win the division.

The Hawks started at (+500) last season to win the NBA Southeast and won the division as a (+220) favorite.

Their opening game is slated for Oct. 19 when the host NBA MVP favorite Luke Doncic (+400) and the Dallas Mavericks. The Hawks have currently been installed as a (-2.5) favorite.

Young on MVP list

Trae Young’s worth is insurmountable to the Hawks as he is proving time and time again how he can put this team on his back and carry it. He averaged 25.3 points and 9.4 assists last season as he was at a (+8000) to begin the year.

Young starts at (+1800) for the NBA MVP as this number is ninth in the league so far. Dallas star Luke Doncic (+400) and 76ers’ center Joel Embiid (+750) lead the pack.

Kevin Durant is catching a (+700) while Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephe Curry round out the top five at (+800).

Forward John Collins averaged 17.6 points, 7.4 rebounds  and shot 55.6 percent from the floor in 2020-21. He was four points off his 2019-20 numbers where he averaged 21.6 points and pulled down 10.1 boards in averaging a double-double.

With that numbers dip, he is ninth on the NBA Most Improved Player of the Year list as he is showing odds of (+1800).

Coach Nate McMillan checks in at (+1500) to win NBA Coach of the Year after guiding the Hawks to that run into the Eastern Conference Finals after taking over at mid-season with the Hawks floundering with a 14-20 record.

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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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