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The Eastern Conference Finals tips off tonight, with the No. 3-seeded Bucks hosting the No. 5-seeded Hawks in Milwaukee at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT on TNT.
This is just the fourth NBA Conference Finals series since 2000 without a top-2 seed involved, with the others being 2020 ECF (#3 Celtics vs. #5 Heat), 2011 WCF (#3 Mavericks vs. #4 Thunder) and 2007 WCF (#3 Spurs vs. #4 Jazz).
Milwaukee will enter tonight’s contest as the NBA championship favorites at William Hill, as the Bucks (+105) are just edging out the Suns (+110) atop the board. The Hawks are third at 12/1, with the Clippers at the bottom at 13/1.
Entering the NBA playoffs, the Bucks had 12/1 title odds and the Hawks were at 45/1. Among all Eastern Conference teams, they only trailed the Nets (+180) and 76ers (+850).
After opening as 7.5-point home favorites at William Hill, the Bucks (-360 on the moneyline) are now up to -8 against the Hawks (+300 ML). The total has seen even more movement, decreasing from its original number of 227.5 to 226.
Even with the spread moving in favor of the Bucks, William Hill bettors are split on who will cover Game 1. The Hawks have the advantage with 59% of the total number of tickets among all spread bets, yet the Bucks have the edge with 52% of the total dollars wagered.
There’s more alignment on the moneyline, as Milwaukee is drawing 60% of the total number of tickets and 76% of the total dollars wagered. That is highlighted by one Nevada bettor placing $39,383 on Bucks ML -330 for a total potential payout of $51,317.25, which is the largest bet taken at William Hill as of now for this showdown.
The total has seen division from William Hill bettors too, with the under grabbing 63% of the total number of tickets and the over notching 51% of the total dollars wagered.
For series futures, the Bucks are priced at -450 while the Hawks are +370 to pull off the upset. The underdog Hawks are leading with 58% of the total number of tickets in this market, whereas the Bucks have pulled down 92% of the total dollars wagered. A West Virginia bettor put down $80,000 on Bucks -475 to win the series for a total potential payout of $96,842.11.
Check out William Hill’s latest odds and trends for tonight’s Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 between the Bucks and Hawks below.