(Updated with more odds below)
After speaking to a few players in the Hawks’ locker room Thursday, it became apparent to me that their confidence is at an all-time high, not just to defeat Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs but to make it to at least the Eastern Conference finals.
But oddsmakers aren’t in agreement.
According to the online sportsbook, Bodog.com, the Hawks are overwhelming favorites to defeat Milwaukee in their opening round series, which begins Saturday at Philips Arena. But they’re only fourth among teams to win the Eastern Conference finals – behind even the Boston Celtics, whom Atlanta finished ahead of in the standings and swept this season.
Here are the numbers. Do you agree, or do you think the Hawks are being short-changed?
Eastern Conference title odds♦ Cleveland: 1-2 ♦ Orlando: 10-3 ♦ Boston 13-2 ♦ Hawks: 10-1 ♦ Miami: 40-1 ♦ Milwaukee: 65-1 ♦ Charlotte: 65-1 ♦ Chicago: 100-1
Hawks-Bucks series:The Hawks average out to 13-2 favorites to defeat the Bucks in the first round. The odds on how long it will go: ♦ Hawks win 4-1: 11-4 ♦ Hawks win 4-0: 4-1 ♦ Hawks win 4-2: 4-1 ♦ Hawks win 4-3: 4-1 ♦ Bucks win 4-2: 10-1 ♦ Bucks win 4-3: 12-1 ♦ Bucks win 4-1: 30-1 ♦ Bucks win 4-0: 50-1
Odds to win the NBA title
Off-beat prop betWho will make it further in the NBA playoffs: LeBron James (-150) or Kobe Bryant (+120): James averages out to a 1.35-to-1 favorite.
Odds to win NBA finals MVP
Vote in our poll: As Hawks open playoffs, what’s acceptable to you?