Wizards vs. Hawks NBA Picks for Game 2

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 1:07 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 5, 2015 1:07 PM UTC

Can the Wizards make it back-to-back upsets and turn this series on its head? The answer is a resounding NO on the NBA odds board. Do the bookies have it right? Here's our betting preview, complete with NBA picks.

Wizards Lead Series
Against the NBA odds,  fifth seed Washington Wizards are up 1-0 in the series with the Eastern Conference top seed Atlanta Hawks. Winning on the road in game 1, no less. Who would have thunk that?

Grand as it may be for the Wizards and their postseason campaign, it's just one game in a best-of-seven series. There's still a long way to go before the Eastern Conference finalist is determined, so it's definitely not the time for bubbly.

Stunning the Hawks 104-98 on Sunday night as round 2 of the NBA Playoffs got off the ground, the Wizards came through as the road underdogs across the board for their backers to take the improbable lead in the series. Despite this 'lead', however, they enter game 2 as the whopping +220 underdogs to win outright and the 6-point road underdogs.

It's back to the grind with game 2 tonight, a game that is firmly cornered in the hosts' camp on the NBA odds board. Clearly, bookies aren't buying what the Wizards are selling. For all they know, game 1 could have been a fluke. A one-off win by an underdog punching above its weight class. It's going to be incumbent upon the Wizards to do it again in Atlanta if they are to sway the tide of opinion across NBA betting markets.

But is it a one-off win, really. They are 3-0 SU in the playoffs this season. Improving to an impressive 8-1 SU on the road in the playoffs over the last two seasons. Now, if that isn't form worth consideration, what is?

Hey there! You don't want to miss these alluring NBA picks we have for you!

Hawks Have Advantage
As the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks enter their second round series with the Washington Wizards as the firm favorites to win outright and advance.  And with home advantage to get this series off the mark, they are the understandable home favorites at -270 NBA odds to win outright. That comes with the territory: the expectation of top teams to rise to the occasion and play up to their lofty standards.

Nobody that watched the game on Sunday night though could have been impressed in such a way. The Hawks visibly ran out of steam towards the tail end of the game and the Wizards pounced on the opportunity. It was a disappointing account altogether by the hosts, but another gritty win by the road underdogs.

Based on game 1, therefore, there are those NBA bettors that might feel the NBA betting lines for this game are rather overzealous, especially where the Hawks are concerned and their -270 NBA odds to win outright, which just seem too high.


NBA Betting Verdict:
The Wizards showed no sign of rust or sluggishness in game 1, despite sweeping their series with the Raptors and being sat on the sidelines for over a week while waiting for round 2 to kick off. They kept pace with the Hawks and when the opportunity came they pounced to take the lead and win, defying the NBA odds in the process. The challenge for them is going to be to duplicate that result tonight when they take on the Hawks in game 2 as the significant +220 underdogs.

 For our money, we actually do think they can do it. They are 8-1 SU on the road in the last two postseasons and 5-0 ATS in their last five away games. A bet on the Wizards, therefore, either to win straight up or cover the spread might not go amiss. Indeed, consensus betting reveals the public is shading them against the spread as the 6-point underdogs. But we're going one better and shading both on our NBA picks.

NBA Picks: Wizards to win outright at +220 and to cover +6.0

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