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Nobody roots for an injury. But a bettor who stands to make $2 million if the Atlanta Hawks take the NBA championship might not have been as sad as everyone else on Tuesday night.
Before Game 4, a couple of incredible Hawks future bets made in late April were on the ropes. The Bucks were 9-point favorites in Game 4. Before Tuesday, only two underdogs of at least 9 points had won in the conference finals over the last 30 years, according to David Bearman of ESPN. A Bucks win would have put them up 3-1 in the series with two more games to be played in Milwaukee, if necessary.
Then in the span of a couple hours, the Hawks blew out the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a bad looking knee injury. All of a sudden, the Hawks' chances of advancing to the NBA Finals looked pretty good.
As did one bettor's shot at winning $2 million.
Two big bets on Hawks looking good
The two bets made at BetMGM on the Hawks were phenomenal, regardless of how the rest of the postseason turns out.
There was a $10,000 bet on the Hawks to win the East at +5000, which would win $500,000 if the Hawks can pull off another upset, and a $10,000 bet on the Hawks to win the NBA Finals at +15000. That would net another $1.5 million. Because of those bets, the Hawks are the biggest liability in the NBA futures market for BetMGM.
Those bets came when the Hawks were playing better under Nate McMillan, but far off the radar to contend for an NBA championship. It was a strong play to get on the Hawks at such good odds. Then that bettor watched the Hawks beat the New York Knicks in the first round, then upset the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in the second round.
The Hawks are +550 to win the NBA championship and given Antetokounmpo's injury, that feels low.
Hawks have their own challenges
The Hawks aren't exactly through to the NBA Finals yet. Trae Young missed Game 4 with a bone bruise and while the Hawks blew out the Bucks without Young, he's still one of the best players in the NBA. His absence could be a factor the rest of the series if he can't come back or isn't 100 percent. It just feels like a challenge the Hawks could overcome, based on how they outplayed the Bucks on Tuesday night.
If the Bucks are without Antetokounmpo the rest of the series the Hawks would probably be the favorites to win the series, whether the odds reflect it or not. The Bucks went 40-21 with Antetokounmpo during the regular season and 6-5 without him. This isn't a news flash, but the Bucks are not the same team without a two-time NBA MVP.
Either way, holding a ticket for the Hawks to win the East at 50-to-1 odds has to feel pretty good. Atlanta was in a lot of trouble before Tuesday's game. After Tuesday, the Hawks were alive and well.
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