NBA Betting – Hawks try to take advantage of rusty Magic

NBA OddsNBA championship odds saw this matchup coming a mile away, but Atlanta and Orlando took two different routes to the second round of the playoffs. The Southeast Division rivals will square off in Game 1 in Orlando on Tuesday night.

Hawks vs Magic odds – Tuesday, May 4, 8:00 PM ET

The Hawks needed seven games to get rid of pesky Milwaukee, winning the last two games by an average of 17.5 points. Joe Johnson led the way with 20.9 points, while Al Horford put up 15.6 points and 9.9 rebounds. The difference, however, was Jamal Crawford, who had 22 points in the clinching game. Crawford, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year, struggled to get hot in his playoff debut, but he came around and lifted the Hawks later in the series, when it was most needed. Johnson is going to need help if the Hawks are going to overcome the NBA odds in this contest, and in this series as he averaged 16.3 points in four games against the Magic this year.

The Magic will have been off for eight days by the time Game 1 tips off on Tuesday, after they swept Charlotte in four games. Jameer Nelson showed that he may have been the missing link in Orlando’s run to the Finals last year with 23.8 points, while shooting 42.9% from three-point land. Rashard Lewis had 15.8 points, but the Magic got a disappointing series from Dwight Howard. “Superman” averaged 9.8 points and 9.5 rebounds, along with 5.5 fouls, fouling out of the last two games of the series. A few of the foul calls may have been wrong, but Howard has to be more disciplined and control the fouls that he can because if he’s in the lineup, the Hawks can’t stop him. Howard notched 21.0 points, 16.8 boards and 3.5 blocks against Atlanta this season.

NBA playoff odds will favor the Magic at home, where they have beaten the Hawks in seven of their last 10 meetings, including three in a row. Only a two-point win on March 24th at home saved the Hawks from being swept at the hands of the Magic, and we have to take the Game 6 win in Milwaukee with a grain of salt. The Bucks shouldn’t have even been in that series without Andrew Bogut, and the fact that it went to seven games raises some questions about the Hawks. The Magic rolled through their first-round series like they were supposed to, and we’re banking on Howard not having a series like he did against Charlotte. The Magic will be a little rusty from their eight-day layoff, but their home crowd will pick them up, and the Hawks aren’t a great road team anyway.

Sports betting pick: Orlando


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