Here are The Game Day’s Hawks vs Bucks prediction, odds, and bet picks for Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Eastern Conference Finals. After our Hawks vs Bucks Game 1 prediction, check out our 2021 NBA Playoffs Power Rankings & our full 2021 NBA Playoffs Guide.
On Wednesday, the Atlanta Hawks will take on the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The Hawks are the more surprising team in this series, but the Bucks didn’t have it any easier, having to take down Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets in seven games. Meanwhile, the Hawks also had to play a Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers and prevailed with Trae Young leading the way.
The 2021 NBA Eastern Conference Finals will kick off on June 23 at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT with the Bucks favored by seven points and the total set at 226.5.
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Hawks vs Bucks Game 1 Prediction
This matchup is way closer than some might think. The Hawks have become undervalued throughout the playoffs, and it’s already showing before this series begins.
Atlanta’s offense is potent and takes care of the ball, scoring 115.7 points per 100 possessions and limiting turnovers to 13.2 per game during the regular season. They also rebound well on both ends of the court, ranking fifth in total rebounds this year. They’re terrific at getting to the line as well and were a top-five team this year in both free throws made and free throws attempted.
Milwaukee, however, is even more lethal on offense, pacing the NBA in points per game this year. The Bucks also ranked first in defensive rebounds, which should mitigate the Hawks’ ability to crash the offensive glass. Milwaukee is the NBA’s best team at limiting opponents’ free throws as well, so Atlanta won’t be getting too many freebies from the charity stripe.
Both teams are high-scoring and well-rounded, which should result in a close Game 1. The Bucks have a better defense and a two-time MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo, so it’s imperative that the Hawks make the most of their second-chance opportunities and limit their mistakes. The series opener could go either way, but I’ll give the slight edge to Milwaukee.
Atlanta Hawks: Keys to a Game 1 Win
- Stick to their mid-range game instead of taking the ball to the rim.
- Refrain from playing up-tempo on the offensive end.
- Look to get to the line as often as possible.
- Gain more second chances off offensive rebounds.
Milwaukee Bucks: Keys to a Game 1 Win
- Take quality shots, as the Bucks won’t get to the free-throw line as often as the Hawks.
- Win the rebounding battle, especially on the defensive end.
- Play inside-out: The Bucks shoot a high percentage around the rim and from long range.
- Play a balanced game between transition and half-court offense.
Hawks vs Bucks Game 1 Picks
The Atlanta Hawks continue to be massive underdogs this deep into the 2021 NBA Playoffs. In their last four games against the Sixers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Hawks won three and lost one by five points. So while Milwaukee might win this game, Atlanta should stick around and cover.
Neither side has a definitive advantage in the first game of this series, especially since Game 1’s are typically feel-out games. So in what feels like a 50/50 game, the Hawks getting seven points is the clear play.
Hawks +7 (-110)
The Hawks would have covered this number in their last four games against the 76ers. Meanwhile, the Bucks struggled to close out a hobbled Nets team that was clearly outgunned. If the Hawks are able to make a high percentage of their shots from deep and from mid-range, they’re going to be tough to defend and should be able to keep this game close.
Over 226.5 Total Points (-110)
Both offenses are top 10 when it comes to points per 100 possessions, so we should see a lot of scoring in Game 1. Milwaukee is one of the league’s best teams from behind the arc and also plays at the NBA’s second-fastest pace, so the game should be relatively up-tempo as well. With both teams looking to figure out their defensive coverage and matchups for the rest of the series, Game 1 should go over the total.
Same Game Parlay Bet
- Kevin Huerter (Hawks): 3+ Made Threes
- Trae Young (Hawks): 3+ Made Threes
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks): Over 33.5 Points
- SGP = +450
Atlanta should be shooting plenty of long-range jumpers against Milwaukee’s spotty perimeter defense, especially if they fall behind early against the Bucks’ aggressive offense. The Hawks likely won’t have an answer for Antetokounmpo, however, who averaged 31.9 points per game against Brooklyn. Given how high-scoring we expect Game 1 to be, I like the chances of this parlay hitting.
Thanks for reading The Game Day’s Hawks Bucks Game 1 Prediction, Odds, and Bet Picks! Also check out our Hawks-Bucks Eastern Conference Finals Series Preview.