NBA Betting: Atlanta Hawks vs. Chicago Bulls Game 1 Pick
The Atlanta Hawks got their NBA playoffs betting action off to a hot start this year with an upset of the Orlando Magic in Game 1. They’ll hope to have a repeat performance at the United Center against the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.
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Atlanta made it to this point in the playoffs by getting some timely shooting from its guards, namely Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford. These two averaged nearly 40 points per game between them, and it seemed like every single time there was a big shot that needed to be made, one of these two were able to come up with it against the Magic. The defense played incredibly well in the first round, particularly on the perimeter, but Head Coach Larry Drew knows that a better job has to be done on the inside on the defensive side of the ball to have any shot at pulling an upset in this series in the Windy City. Dwight Howard had a few games in which he went absolutely bananas for the Magic in Round 1, and if this proves to be the case once again with the bigs of the Bulls, the Hawks might as well just have their wings clipped now. It’s also really bad news that Kirk Hinrich isn’t likely to be playing in Game 1. He missed the end of Game 6 against Orlando with a hamstring injury suffered in that game, and the Magic almost came back from a huge deficit late on without him on the court.
Chicago has its issues as well, as it could be without Carlos Boozer in this first game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Boozer ended up in a position where he played just 16 minutes against the Indiana Pacers in the decisive Game 5, as he had to come off of the court thanks to a toe injury that was later classified as turf toe. Boozer hopes to get back on the court, but Head Coach Tom Thibodeau intends to be rather cautious, knowing that there could still be a solid 20 games to play in the playoffs. He still has a ton of bigs at his disposal, including Taj Gibson, Kurt Thomas, and Omer Asik that could all play slightly bigger roles to pick up the slack for Boozer. Of course, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah averaged 30.6 points and 17.8 rebounds per game between them as well in the starting lineup, and it also helped that Derrick Rose chipped in 4.6 boards and 1.2 blocks per game to the mix as well. He only shot 37.1 percent from the floor, but he was good for 27.6 points per game against the Pacers.
There’s just too much going for Chicago to be beaten in this series, and beaten in Game 1. Expect the Bulls to run out of the blocks to a sizeable lead early and to never look back. The Hawks will be downed in NBA playoffs betting action on Monday.