The Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks were the last two teams left standing in the Eastern Conference last season. According to the sportsbook odds, the chances of them meeting in the Eastern Conference finals for a second straight season is unlikely.
The Hawks are riding a five-game losing streak into Monday’s affair and if the playoffs started today, they wouldn’t even make the cut.
As for the Bucks, they’ve been terrible both straight up and versus the NBA betting odds of late. They’ve dropped five of seven and can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong with their offense.
Which of these two teams will get back on track on Monday? Let’s dive into this NBA betting preview.
- Game: Milwaukee Bucks (27-18) at Atlanta Hawks (17-25)
- Location: State Farm Arena, Atlanta
- Day/Time: Monday, 6 p.m. ET
- Television: TNT
Milwaukee Bucks at Atlanta Hawks
Offense Cooling Off
The Milwaukee Bucks are seventh in the NBA in scoring, averaging 111.6 points, but if you tracked the team recently, you’d notice that they’ve been way off of that mark.
They’ve dropped five of seven and have been under that season-long scoring average in each of the losses. They’re averaging just 103.6 points per game in those defeats, so something is off.
What’s not going to help on Monday is that point guard Jrue Holiday is out as he battles ankle soreness. He’s averaging 18.4 points and is second on the squad in PER. His absence will hurt.
Season-Long Slump Continues
The Hawks have been one of the biggest disappointments this season. They were a team deemed to be on the rise after making a run to the Eastern Conference finals.
If you plan to bet online, you have to be careful with this team. They just traded away Cam Reddish and have reportedly put their entire team – minus Trae Young – on the trade block. They’re open for business.
When bettors hear this type of news, sometimes they’ll see a team band together and rally, as we saw with the Chicago Cubs this past season. For now, the Hawks haven’t had that type of reaction.
Atlanta was 14-14 at one point but hast just two wins in their last 13 games. Its defense has been horrendous and coughs up 112.0 points per game, which is sixth-worst in the NBA.
It’s hard to bet the Hawks when they’re playing like this – even if they’re at home in this spot.
Bucks are the Bet
The Hawks and Bucks have already met once this season and the Hawks came away with the win. The Hawks were riding a six-game losing streak at the time but banded together to beat the team that ousted them in last season’s playoffs.
This time around, expect the Bucks to extend the Hawks’ slump. Atlanta is crumbling right now and can’t seem to find any answers. The Bucks are also struggling and will be without Holiday, but they’re at least functioning cohesively.
During Atlanta’s losing streak, it lost by an average of 13.6 points per game, so it’s not as if the games have been close. Bet the Bucks in this spot.
Parlay: Milwaukee Bucks -5½ and Under 230
Pick: Under 230
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks 5½