The No. 1 seed Philadelphia 76ers will take on the No. 5 seed Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. We don’t know when Game 1 of this series will take place but it would be over the weekend with the other Eastern Conference second-round series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets beginning on Saturday night. The Sixers shook off the knee injury to Joel Embiid to finish off the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night. The Hawks went into MSG and eliminated the New York Knicks with an easy win. Let’s take a look at the initial odds for Sixers-Hawks on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Update, June 4 — Betting splits from DKSB are in and here’s how they break down. The Sixers are getting 55 percent of the handle and 56 percent of the bets to win this series. That’s at +160 for the Hawks and -200 for the Sixers; the line has moved a bit since opening. The Hawks are getting a lot of backers mostly because of the potential for no Joel Embiid. We all saw what happened to Anthony Davis on Thursday night in Game 6 when the Lakers poorly chose to let him try and play. Believe Philly won’t make the same mistake.
The Hawks open as underdogs at +165 to win this series while the Sixers are the favorites at -215. There’s plenty of value in ATL early on with this line. For one, Philly may not have Embiid for the rest of the playoffs. He has a small meniscus tear which is expected to be treated with physical therapy and other non-surgical methods. Embiid is considered “day-to-day” but we can assume he’s only getting that designation because it’s the postseason. Even if Embiid returns, there’s risk of re-injury and he may not be the same player. If Embiid were confirmed by the team as out for the entire series, what would the line be? It would probably move in favor of ATL.
If you think the Sixers will be fine, they’re +450 to win the series in six games. Philly in 5 is the most likely outcome in the eyes of the book at +350. The Hawks taking the series in five or six games gives us 5/1 and 6/1 odds, respectively. Sixers in 6 (+450) and Hawks in 7 (+600) would be the two series correct score lines I would gravitate toward.
Sixers vs. Hawks Game 1 odds
Philly is the initial favorite at -2.5 on the spread for Game 1. Both teams will have a few days before the game to rest up, which bodes well for Embiid. If his recovery is on the more positive side and Embiid is OK for Game 1, there’s value in this line. We can assume it will go up after Embiid news drops. The Hawks shouldn’t be slept on but we also may see the Sixers’ depth come into play big time. Philly could shake off the Embiid injury and still win this series easily. I don’t necessarily think that’ll be the case but Game 5 vs. the Wizards looked effortless for the Sixers.
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