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Bucks vs Hawks Picks – Hawks Will Outlast Bucks

Posted by Craig Parsons on 4/15/2010 12:59:45 PM
NBA Odds: Hawks In Seven

The Milwaukee Bucks are the most improved team in the Eastern Conference this season but as the Hawks have done in each of their last five years under head coach Mike Woodson, they have also improved their record. The Bucks are without Andrew Bogut and the Hawks are hungry. Those will be the two main differences as Atlanta advances to the second round.

Bucks vs Hawks Odds: Hawks In Seven

The Story

Online betting cappers were surprised to see the Bucks improve by 12 games this year, especially when you consider that Michael Redd hasn’t played for them almost all year. Rookie Brandon Jennings has been phenomenal while midseason pickups Jerry Stackhouse and John Salmons have been exactly what the doctor ordered. Even so, the Bucks are now without star center Andrew Bogut, and that’s a huge blow – maybe too big to overcome.

For the Hawks, they were impressive this year. They added Jamal Crawford to the lineup and saw some internal growth from players like Al Horford, which has allowed them to climb to the No. 3 seed in the East. They continue to improve as a squad together and they are ready to return to round two for a second year in a row.

Bucks vs Hawks: Better Starters?

How big of a pickup was John Salmons? The Bucks were 22-8 with him in the lineup, which sounds crazy but fleshes out to a 60-win season had they kept this pace all year long. Even so, the loss of Bogut really hurts this team on the inside as he was coming into his own. The Bucks starting cast is weak without Bogut as Kurt Thomas and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute are a weak inside tandem.

The Hawks starting five is stellar but they don’t pound the paint, which may make this series closer than expected. Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith and Al Horford are a very good starting lineup but this is still a perimeter team. They are versatile, but sports betting sharps know that the Bucks play very good defense and they’ll need a balanced effort with presence inside to win.

Edge: Hawks

Bucks vs Hawks: Better Bench?

Interestingly enough, NBA betting fans should be aware of the versatile Bucks bench. Ersan Ilyasova, Jerry Stackhouse and Luke Ridnour are sneaky good – especially in this system. All three have chipped in double-digit scoring at times this season, which might surprise some bettors. They do get solid contributions off the bench.

For the Hawks, their main weapon is Jamal Crawford. They have some other pieces like Joe Smith and Jason Collins off the bench, but Crawford is their top gun.

This matchup is fairly even as the Hawks have the best sixth man but the Bucks do have some depth.

Edge: Even

Bucks vs Hawks: X-Factor?

The injury to Bogut will likely be the x-factor for the Bucks. If they can get over that somehow, which admittedly is very difficult, then they can top the Hawks. The Bucks play good defense but losing Bogut’s 15.9 points per game, 10.9 rebounds per game and 2.5 blocks per game is a lot to overcome.

For the Hawks, the x-factor has to be experience. This is a team that has continually grown and they had a rough go of things with the Miami Heat in round one last year. They have to learn from that and take the Bucks a little more seriously. Experience is their x-factor.

Who’s Gonna Win?

The Hawks will be dragged into a dog fight for a second year in a row but they’ll survive. The Bucks play rugged defense but without Bogut and without home court advantage, it will be too much for them to overcome. The Hawks are a favorite in the sportsbook and they’ll cash in for their backers.

Pick: Hawks In Seven



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