Hawks vs 76ers Game 1 Betting Preview: Top Seeded Sixers Look A Little Vulnerable Heading Into Second Round

Matt Wiesenfeld

The Hawks vs 76ers series isn’t getting the level of attention and interest that the Bucks vs Nets series is, but it could very well be a more exciting series.

The second round for both teams begins in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia is still the favorite to advance but looks less like title contenders than they did before their opening series against Washington. Atlanta looks like more of a playoff threat than they did a couple of weeks ago as a team featuring a young star got its first taste of playoff action. Atlanta looks to set the tone for the series in Game 1 the same way they did against New York when they stole a win at MSG.

Atlanta Hawks vs Philadelphia 76ers, ABC, 1:00 PM ET

Atlanta Seeks to Steal Game 1 For Second Series in a Row

Atlanta only needed five games to eliminate the Knicks even though the markets thought the series would go seven. Atlanta did play well overall but I think they were also the beneficiary of playing against a New York team better constructed for the regular season.

Point guard Trae Young was really great in the series against the Knicks. The key was that he was not forcing the action, and not committing the kinds of turnovers that can kill you in games where just one or two possessions can make a real difference. He is going to have to have another strong series the question is who else might step up.

Atlanta was able to be in control of the series against New York without really shooting it all that well. In only one game out of five did they make more than 40% of their three-point attempts.

The Hawks’ defensive numbers from the last series look good but have to be taken in context because New York is not a good offensive team. They are a very easy team to defend. Clint Capela’s ability to handle Embiid is going to affect everything they do in this series. He has to be up to the challenge.

Atlant is a slight underdog in Game 1. They are only 18-17 ATS as a dog this season though they are the consensus play at +3.

Favorites Look to Set the Tone

Philadelphia only needed five games to dispatch Washington but the series was a downer with Joel Embiid suffering a knee injury. He is questionable for the opener. His health will very likely determine the series.

The 76ers have proven they can win without their best player by leaning on wing Ben Simmons. Though a supreme all-around talent, his lack of shooting ability was exploited against the Wizards. If he is struggling, and Embiid is out, this team gets very ordinary very fast.

Philadelphia can rely on its defense which is a strength. It will be very interesting to see who they use as the primary defender on Trae Young. They have lots of great options (Simmons, Matisse Thybulle) that will make it difficult for him and I like their ability to limit him more than New York did.

In home games this season, Philly has been 24-14 ATS. There were 3-2 ATS in their series against Washington. While the Hawks are the consensus ATS play, the 76ers are getting love on the money line.

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