Eleven games into the postseason and there's a common thread for the Atlanta Hawks. Once again, they in that tried-and-true role of underdog in an NBA playoff basketball game.
Atlanta was installed a nine-point chalk in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night at the United Center. However, in some of the offshore and Vegas books, the public seems to be slightly favoring Atlanta as the spread has moved up slightly to one of Hawks +8.5. The over/under is up slightly to the 181 point range.
The spread is pretty much unchanged from the first two games in Chicago, where the number was in the 8-9 point range for each game. The Hawks were 1-1 against the spread and 1-1 straight up in Games 1 and 2 in Chicago.
However, the underlying trend is one that has favored those betting on Atlanta's basketball team. The Hawks are 7-3 ATS and 6-4 SU over their first 10 playoff games. That means if you've bet the Hawks in each of those games, you've crushed your bookie, especially if you took them on the money line.
However, most of that success came in the Hawks' round 1 upset of the Orlando Magic. Atlanta is just 2-2 against the spread and 2-2 straight up in the series with the Bulls. In Atlanta's two wins, they've been very, very good. In the two losses, the Hawks have been very, very bad.
Your guess is as good as mine whether the good or the bad Hawks teams shows up in Chicago on Tuesday. This team has been a tad bit erratic. And that's an understatement.