Hawks favored in series versus 76ers for first time

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By now, the world is aware the 76ers were up by 26 points on the Hawks last night. I feel confident that most people felt it wasn’t a hollow 20-point lead; it felt like a total beatdown, essentially a done deal. Atlanta was six-point underdogs in Game 5 and pulled off a miraculous comeback, finishing Philadelphia 109-106. Trae Young backed up a career-high 18 assists by putting up 39 points on Wednesday — the fifth 30-point outbreak in his first 10 career playoff games.

The Hawks’ defense stepped up in the final 14 minutes of the game, but it can’t be understated how pathetic the Sixers were outside of Joel Embiid and Seth Curry. Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, Furkan Korkmaz, Matisse Thybulle, Shake Milton, George Hill, Dwight Howard, and Tyrese Maxey combined to shoot 0 for 11 in the second half. Not only that, but Simmons went 4-for-14 from the line, which makes him the first guard this season — regular or post — to miss 10 free throws in a game. A total of 45 missed free throws for Simmons is more than the Hawks (35), Suns (29), and Nets (22) have missed as a team in the playoffs.

The series odds have jumped all over the place as Atlanta continues to upset Philly. The opening line saw the Hawks as slight underdogs at +165 to win this series, while the Sixers were the favorite at -215. After the Game 1 upset, the odds shifted as the 76ers were only -118 favorites. Game 2 featured Embiid’s 40-point playoff-career-high to even the series, resulting in odds shifting back to -230 for the Sixers to take the series. After Philadelphia took Game 3, oddsmakers felt the series was over as the Sixers went from -230 favorites to overwhelming -770 favorites, making the Hawks long shots at +540 underdogs.

After Game 4 — which seemed like a must-win situation — with the series tied heading back to Philadelphia for Game 5, the Hawks were +250 underdogs to take the series as the Sixers remained heavy favorites at -310 odds. However, following last night’s Game 5 comeback, the Hawks are favorites to win the series for the first time. Atlanta is now -162 favorites, and Philly is +136 underdogs, according to Fanduel. Early odds for Game 6 in Atlanta have the Hawks as three-point underdogs with the over/under set at 221.5.


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