After dropping game 1 to the Wizards 104-98 in Atlanta, bet365 has the Atlanta Hawks at 20/23 to win the series, with the Washington Wizards at 20/21.
Washington Wizards vs Atlanta Hawks NBA Playoff Preview and betting information from bet365.
The NBA’s Eastern Conference semifinal series will feature the Atlanta Hawks and the Washington Wizards with the Hawks owning the home-court advantage. Atlanta’s 60-22 regular-season record saw them place first in the East this year while the Wizards took the fifth seed with a mark of 46-36. Atlanta advanced to the second round of the postseason after beating the Brooklyn Nets in six games while the Wizards swept the Toronto Raptors in four straight. These two clubs met four times during the 2014/15 campaign with the Hawks taking the series 3-1. Washington has had a week to rest while Atlanta will be back on the court just two days after eliminating the Nets.
Washington Wizards vs Atlanta Hawks NBA Playoff odds – bet365 has the Atlanta Hawks at 20/23 to win the series, with the Washington Wizards at 20/21.
The key matchup in this series will be the Hawks’ Jeff Teague against John Wall of the Wizards. Wall averaged 17.3 points per game in the first round against Toronto as well as 12.5 assists. The all-star Teague racked up an average of 21.7 points per game during the season series against the Wizards and can often control the pace of a game. Another matchup to look out for will be DeMarre Carroll of the Hawks and the Wizards’ Paul Pierce. Carroll managed to score a minimum of 20 points in the final four games of the first round against the Nets and finished the series with a team-leading 17.5 points per game. Meanwhile, Pierce shot 58 per cent from the three-point range and overall against the Raptors. In addition, Washington needs Bradley Beal to win his matchup over Kyle Korver in this series to be successful.
The Hawks beat the Wizards 106-102 in their first meeting of the season in November after Washington turned the ball over 20 times. The two sides met up again in mid-January with Atlanta thrashing them by 31 points and also took the third game of the regular-season series by a score of 105-96. Washington’s lone victory came on April 12 after the Hawks had already clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks rested their starters for this contest and were beaten 108-99.
The Wizards showed in the first round against Toronto that the regular-season results don’t really mean much since the Raptors took the season series, but were blown out in the playoffs. It’s possible the Wizards may get off to a slow start against the Hawks since they may be too rested for the opening game. Having a week off allowed Washington to scout Atlanta in their series against Brooklyn, but many experts feel playing every two days keeps you sharp while a long break during the postseason can do more damage than good to players.
Atlanta is one of the better three-point shooting and defensive teams in the league and this could cause some trouble for the Wizards. The Wizards will need to win the rebounding battle against Atlanta the same way they did against Toronto in the first round and also need to control the Hawks’ transition offense.