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Hawks vs. Wizards: The Handicapper's Look

There is a quick turnaround before the Hawks and Wizards begin their second round series, but there is always plenty of time for handicapping.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks needed six (sigh) grueling games to rid themselves of the Brooklyn Nets in round one, but that series is, mercifully, in the books. Now, the Hawks face a tougher challenge in the presence of the red-hot Washington Wizards, and some portions of the NBA universe believe that Washington will push Atlanta to the limit, even to the point where they could be considered a "favorite" of sorts to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Still, the Hawks act as the Las Vegas "favorite", and that is where we pivot toward the handicapping angle of the series. Atlanta needed to expend a lot more energy than most people thought in order to sneak past Brooklyn, while Washington swept Toronto in grand fashion and earned an extended rest period before the second round begins. However, the standings are now erased again at 0-0, and anything can happen.

Information here is, of course, for information purposes only, but feel free to attempt to create some extra jellybeans for your personal use in the future. Let's take a look at the available odds and prices on the upcoming series, with some recommendations along the way.

Exact result - Hawks in 7 (+260)

Line via Sportsbook.ag

Honestly, I don't love any of the "exact result" bets in this series, but this is my favorite. Hawks in 5 is the option with the lowest odds (+240), but given how Washington is playing, this seems more likely to go seven games than to be a quick series.

Exact result - Wizards in 6 (+450)

Line via Sportsbook.ag

If you are a fatalist, this is the choice for you. Washington is undeniably playing improved basketball right now, and with the series price dropping significantly, the Wizards getting more than 4-to-1 to close out in their most likely scenario could be enticing. I can't recommend it, but you get my drift.

Hawks to win Eastern Conference (+350)

Hawks to win NBA Championship (+1200)

Lines via Bovada.lv

We're (obviously) looking down the line with these two, but both are lower prices than we saw prior to the Brooklyn series. Frankly, I like the Eastern Conference side more than the NBA title side, because of the presence of the Warriors, but you could talk me into either one if you tried hard enough.

Hawks (-230) over Wizards

Line via Sportsbook.ag

If you asked me who would win this series two weeks ago, the answer would have been the Atlanta Hawks without much debate. I still think that the Hawks are the better team, but it is no coincidence that the price has dropped, as Washington appeared to be a much-improved club in round one. Still, Atlanta laying less than -250 would be decent value in my mind, so if you can stomach the extra juice, fire away.

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As the playoffs get underway (or even as the series gets closer to tip off on Sunday afternoon), there could be some value available in player and/or team props, so keep an eye out. Still, we are headed toward "crunch time" in the NBA Playoffs, and with the Nets out of the way, diehard fans probably don't "need" another incentive to watch the upcoming action. Stay tuned throughout the playoffs and, as always, best of luck.