The Atlanta Hawks travel to Philadelphia to meet the No.1 seed in the East, the 76ers. It’s been a while since the team Georgia reached this stage, and the hype back home is blowing up the ceilings. They have a superstar in the making, Trae young, and several very talented players besides him. Meanwhile, Philly is chasing the title, with Joel Embiid having the season of his life. But he also has a small tear on his meniscus, which might rule him out for this match, and probably have an impact on the remaining part of the series.
Atlanta Hawks (+120) are just +2.5-point underdogs, and that is because of all the uncertainty surrounding Embiid’s appearance in Game 1. Also, the recent performances against the Knicks in Round 1 have caused the bookmakers and the fans to look at the Hawks more seriously, giving them a completely new treatment.
As said, Trae Young is the leading dog in the crew, with 29.2 points per game and 9.8 assists. It is needless to say that the youngster takes every clutch shot, and he often hits it. After all, he did silence Madison Square Garden, delivering one of the iconic moments after Game 1.
Now, to say something about the Hawks in general. This team significantly improved its defense in the playoffs. Now, some might believe that Knicks’ style of play needs to be credited for that, but do know that in three of their four wins, the Hawks kept the rivals under 100 points.
Philadelphia 76ers (-140) hope to have Embiid in the lineup because his absence might be a massive problem for Doc Rivers. After all, the Process is the MVP finalist and arguably the pivotal point of Philly’s game.
In four matches against the Wizards, he played 23.8 minutes, scoring 24 points, 6.8 boards, while shooting 63.5% from the field. And the stats here include those 11 minutes during Game 4 once he suffered an injury. The 76ers were rolling over the Wizards in each match where Embiid didn’t have injury troubles, scoring at least 120 points.
Tobia Harris will have to be even better with his scoring if Embiid fails to recover for Game 1. Tobi is the team’s top scorer with 25 buckets per game and has 10 boards. Ben Simmons is close to posting a triple-double average with 14.8 points, 10.2 boards, and 9.2 assists.
Head to Head Games
The teams used their home-court advantage once meeting during the regular part of the year. Atlanta won the first game at home, 112-94, and after that, Philly triumphed at Wells Fargo Arena twice in a row, 127-83 and 126-84.
Over 220.5 points look tempting for betting on Under. Only one H2H match this year went above this line, and knowing that we are now in the playoffs and that the Hawks significantly improved their defense, this pick imposes itself as the best possible solution. With or without Embiid involved, we believe that this event won’t see a high-scoring affair because the stakes are high. This is Game 1, and it could set the tone for the entire series.
Pick: Under 220.5 points
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.