Last night felt like a do-or-die situation for the Hawks, and Trae Young delivered even after getting off to a slow start as the All-Star finished the win with a game-high 25 points to go along with 18 assists and four rebounds. Young didn’t shoot particularly well, but he did what all great players do when their shot isn’t falling — create for his teammates. The bigger story was Joel Embiid’s cold finish. He went 0-for-12 from the field in the second half and missed a makeable layup with 8.8 seconds left that would have given the Sixers the lead. Embiid finished with 17 points and 21 rebounds on 4-for-20 from the field — his worst shooting performance in a playoff game since 2018.
FanDuel listed Philadephia as three-point road favorites before Game 4, and Atlanta won outright. Oddsmakers saw the series essentially over as the 76ers were heavy favorites set at -770 to win the series prior to last night’s game, making the Hawks long shots to take the series as +540 underdogs. These odds have jumped all over the place too.
The opening line saw Atlanta as slight underdogs at +165 to win this series, while Philly was the favorite at -215. After Game 1, odds shifted accordingly when Atlanta pulled off the upset in Philadelphia — 76ers were only -118 favorites. In Game 2, Embiid recorded a career-playoff-high 40 points to help even the series, resulting in odds shifting to -230 for the Sixers to take the series. Going from -230 to -770 favorites after winning Game 3 should tell you all you need to know about how oddsmakers felt about the series.
Now, as the series is tied heading back to Philadelphia for Game 5, the Hawks are +250 underdogs to take the series as the Sixers remain heavy favorites at -310 odds. Game 5 is much of the same, opening with the Hawks as six-point underdogs. The most likely outcome for the series is Philly in six (+130), followed closely by Philly in seven (+170). The major storyline will continue to revolve around Joel Embiid and his health. I wouldn’t touch these lines with odds fluctuating so much because of Embiid’s knee and Atlanta’s resilience.
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