More big bets on Hawks, who smash Suns in statement win

Atlanta improved to 15-2 both straight up and against the spread in its last 17 home games with Wednesday's 135-103 clubbing of Phoenix.

MajorWager’s Blake Von Hagen reported Monday on some large five-figure future wagers that were placed on the Atlanta Hawks earlier this week.

Then on Wednesday, The Westgate SuperBook took a $5,000 bet on Nate McMillan’s squad to win the NBA title at 80/1 odds. (We’re pretty sure…) ESPN’s David Purdum first reported the wager:

As Purdum noted, Jeff Sherman, Jay Kornegay and the gang at The Westgate adjusted the Hawks from 80/1 odds to 50/1.

Right on cue per my prediction in my ‘Statement Game’ reply to Purdum’s tweet and as one of my picks on last night’s card, Atlanta wasn’t overly hospitable in welcoming Phoenix into State Farm Arena last night.

The Suns came to The ATL in a tie with Utah for the NBA’s best record and No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. They left trailing the Jazz by one game.

After leading by just two at halftime, Atlanta outscored Phoenix 68-38 in the second half to win by a 135-103 count as a one-point home underdog. The Hawks have won seven games in a row both straight up and against the spread at home, and they’re 15-2 both SU and ATS in their last 17 home contests.

Atlanta got an incredible 74 points from its second unit. Seven players scored at least 13 points and five had 16 points or more. Clint Capela led the way with 18 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots in just 23:35 of playing time.

Trae Young, Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams and Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 16 points apiece. Young dished out 12 assists compared to merely one turnover, while Williams had four rebounds and a 5/1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Bogdanovic finished with six assists, two steals and a pair of blocks while draining 4-of-6 attempts from 3-point land. Kevin Huerter had 13 points on 3-of-5 makes from downtown.

Perhaps the biggest development for the Hawks recently (other than getting healthier than they’ve been in months for the last three games) has been rookie center Onyeka Okongwu, who started the season injured but has really come on over the last month and change. Okongwu logged only 18:27 of playing time last night, but he contributed 14 points, seven boards, three steals, two assists and one block.

With last night’s victory and the Knicks getting blown out at Denver, Atlanta is now just one-half game behind New York for the fourth seed in the East. We should note, however, that the Knicks, who are still 15-2 ATS in their last 17 games despite their setback to the Nuggets, do hold the tiebreaker over Atlanta

The Hawks are 1.5 games in front of both Boston and Miami for the fifth seed. They own the tiebreaker over both the Heat and Celtics.

Atlanta returns to the court tonight at Indiana. As of early this morning, most spots had the Hawks as five-point road favorites with a total of 240.

Likewise, Indiana is in a back-to-back situation after losing 104-93 to Sacramento as a six-point home ‘chalk’ last night. The ‘over’ had cashed in five straight games for the Pacers until last night’s 197 combined points stayed way ‘under’ the 239.5-point tally.

McMillan did a tremendous job of keeping his players’ minutes down last night, as Young’s 26:18 of playing time was the highest on the team.

The Pacers remain without TJ Warren and Myles Turner. They didn’t have Jeremy Lamb, Edmond Sumner and Malcolm Brogdon last night, and that entire trio is listed as ‘questionable’ tonight.

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