The Daily Sweat: Bettor who would win $2 million on Hawks looking smart before Game 2 vs. 76ers

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In late April, BetMGM took a couple of large and unexpected bets. Someone had ultimate faith in the Atlanta Hawks when nobody else did. 

The bets were $10,000 on the Hawks at +5000 odds to win the Eastern Conference, which would win $500,000. The second bet was $10,000 on Atlanta to win the NBA Finals at +15000 odds. That win would would be worth $1.5 million. An Atlanta championship would be a $2 million win for that bettor. 

It doesn't seem so crazy anymore. 

The Hawks easily moved past the New York Knicks in the first round and dominated most of Game 1 against the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers. For Game 2, the Hawks are 5-point underdogs at BetMGM. That seems high. 

How you look at the Game 2 spread does depend how you view Game 1. Deep into the fourth quarter, the Hawks looked like the far superior team. They hit everything and limited the 76ers' offense. Then the 76ers turned up the defensive pressure, got turnovers and almost pulled out a miracle comeback. Nevertheless, the Hawks are up 1-0 in the series. 

The reasons to like the 76ers are that they woke up late in the fourth quarter and maybe some momentum carries over. You'll also get the best effort Philadelphia has, trying to not fall behind 0-2. Still, the Hawks looked good, as they have all postseason. Trae Young is a star. The Hawks have good shooters and capable big men around him. They were the fifth seed, and it's worth wondering why they weren't better in the regular season, but they're playing really well now. 

In late April, the Hawks were hot but it's not like teams often make a deep run as a No. 5 seed or lower. But the Hawks are playing well, and while the Hawks might not be able to carry this all the way to a title, those big bets are looking a bit prescient. 

Trae Young looks to put the Hawks up 2-0 on the 76ers. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Trae Young looks to put the Hawks up 2-0 on the 76ers. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Here's a first look at the Tuesday betting slate: 

The last NBA second-round series tips

The Los Angeles Clippers, off a Game 7 win over the Dallas Mavericks, have to refocus quickly. The Utah Jazz have been waiting. The Jazz are 4-point favorites at BetMGM

The Clippers have stars but they have been underwhelming this season. The Jazz have been the better team, and that counts the first round of the playoffs. Utah is underestimated because they came out of nowhere this season to get a No. 1 seed, and while Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are very good players, they're not marquee superstars. But the Jazz are very good, the Clippers are coming off a tough series and the line seems too low. The Jazz should get the Game 1 win and cover.

Who cashed tickets on Monday? 

Brooklyn Nets +1 at home in Game 2 will end up being the worst line of the entire playoffs. The Milwaukee Bucks showed no reason they should be favored in Game 2, but the line kept moving until the Nets were underdogs. And the Nets won by 39. The Bucks were lucky it wasn't by 50. And that was without James Harden. 

In the other NBA game, the Phoenix Suns turned it on in the second half and beat the Denver Nuggets 122-105, getting the cover as a 5-point favorite. The Suns' depth, especially at guard, makes this is a tough matchup for Denver. 

On the ice, the Montreal Canadiens swept the Winnipeg Jets and the New York Islanders got a huge win over the Boston Bruins (hopefully you got that pick in the Dog of the Day). Baseball had a short schedule, and the favorites won all three games. 

The Avalanche face a huge game

The Colorado Avalanche-Vegas Golden Knights series feels like the real Stanley Cup Final, with two of the top three favorites to win it all squaring off. The Avalanche have some pressure in Game 5. They looked great through a 6-0 start to the playoffs, but Vegas rallied and tied the series 2-2. The Avs are -145 favorites at BetMGM, and I do think their stars bounce back and they get a win. But Colorado could go from Stanley Cup favorite to being on the verge of a second-round exit with a loss Tuesday night. It's not too much to say this could be the biggest game of the hockey season ... and just in the second round. 

What's on the MLB slate? 

We're getting to a point in which the Boston Red Sox aren't getting enough attention, which seems absolutely impossible given the Boston/New York-centric MLB coverage. The Red Sox are 37-23, a half-game out of first place in the AL East, coming off a sweep of the New York Yankees and ... home underdogs? They're +100 at BetMGM against the Houston Astros, who are -120. Houston is a good team and a darling of oddsmakers, but they're 3.5 games worse than Boston. I'll be looking to back the Red Sox regularly until the odds start to adjust. 

The rest of the MLB schedule has a lot of big favorites, and yet the Yankees are just -115 against a bad Minnesota Twins team. The Yankees are struggling, but the line still seems off. 

Best bet

I'll take the Jazz for this one. The line moved from 3.5 to 4 overnight, but I still don't trust the Clippers to cover. Like the Suns, the Jazz have been overlooked in the West a bit. They're as good as their 52-20 record from the regular season (make sure to grab some Jazz -140 to win the series too). The Yankees aren't far behind for the best bet honor though. 

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