Business will pick up in the NBA this week as the Eastern Conference finals get underway. The only two teams left standing in the East are the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks, but which franchise will take an early series lead in game one on Wednesday evening in Milwaukee?

Hawks vs Bucks Series Odds

Milwaukee Bucks-450
Atlanta Hawks+360

Hawks vs Bucks Preview

Bucks Overcome Nets

The Milwaukee Bucks are certainly the clear favourites in the betting to make it to the NBA Finals this season. Milwaukee were excellent in their semi-final showdown against the Brooklyn Nets, as they overcame the side that many believed were on route to winning the NBA this season. The Bucks started slowly in that series, and looked to be heading out after taking a 2-0 series deficit after game two. However, victories in games three and four kept their hopes alive, before they were beaten again in game five. However, they levelled the series in game six to force a highly-charged game seven in Brooklyn. Milwaukee started the game the slower of the two sides, and went into the half time break behind. 

However, an excellent third quarter, where they outscored the Nets 35-28 put them right back into contention. Still overtime was needed, as the Bucks couldn’t find a winning shot. The Bucks finally got over the line as they outscored the Nets 6-2 in overtime. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 40 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Khris Middleton also scored high with 23 points. Meanwhile, Brook Lopez scored 19 and Jrue Holiday had 13.

Hawks Upset Sixers

The Atlanta Hawks produced a shock of their own in the semi-finals, as they knocked out the top seeds in a pulsating series against the Philadelphia 76ers. It was another seven game thriller in this semi-final, as the Hawks came back from 2-1 down in the series to lead 3-2. However, the Sixers tied the series in game six to force a game seven showdown between the franchises in Philadelphia. Home advantage certainly didn’t make much difference in the match though, as the Hawks ran out 103-96 winners in the final game between the sides. 

The Sixers were made to pay for a slow second and third period, as the Hawks extended their advantage in excellent fashion. Atlanta were led by 27 points from Kevin Huerter. Meanwhile, Trae Young continued to produce eye-catching performances, as he scored 21 points and ten assists. Danil Gallinari, John Collins and Clint Capela all scored more than ten points on the huge night for the Hawks.

Recent Meetings

The overall record between the teams shows that this could be a very tight series. There have been 22 games between the Bucks and Hawks in the past, with both sides winning on eleven occasions. The Hawks have had the most recent success in the playoffs against the Bucks, as they knocked Milwaukee out over seven games in the first round of the playoffs in 2010.

Hawks vs Bucks Pick

This should be a thrilling series between two sides that both have a will to win. However, home advantage could be crucial on opening night, and we expect the Bucks to take a 1-0 series lead.