One of the more compelling first-round matchups of the 2021 NBA Playoffs will tip off at Madison Square Garden on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET as the No. 4 seed New York Knicks officially start a seven-game series with the No. 5 seed Atlanta Hawks.
The sudden resurgence of Julius Randle and the Knicks has been one of the biggest stories in the league this season while the previously lifeless Hawks made a dramatic turnaround midseason after elevating Nate McMillan to head coach following the firing of Lloyd Pierce.
Let’s take a look at how the public is leaning before this Eastern Conference series commences.
Knicks vs. Hawks series betting splits
At -121, the Hawks enter the series as the favorites according to DKSB but the handle is dramatically skewed towards the Knicks with 82 percent of the public wagering on New York.
This could be partially a result of the media attention and notoriety NY has gotten over the past few months but there is merit to it. Both teams finished the regular season with identical 41-31 records, but the Knicks have the homecourt edge after sweeping all three of their matchups with the Hawks this year. And with NY already selling out their allotted 15,000 seats at MSG for Games 1 and 2, they’ll have as close to a raucous playoff atmosphere as they can get.
Knicks vs. Hawks Game 1 outlook
Game 1 is a virtual tossup with the Knicks as of now entering as a slight one-point favorite on Sunday night. New York finished the regular season boasting a 25-11 record at home and was the top team in the league ATS as a home favorite this season at 13-4, so lean towards New York to get the job done on Sunday.
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