Why You Should Fade An Atlanta Hawks Playoff Run
With the NBA season tipping off on December 22nd, there’s still time to get your futures tickets in. FanDuel wasted little time in getting the lines up for the upcoming season—including yes/no props for teams to make the playoffs. At first glance, these odds are fairly sharp and can be quite costly, particularly if you’re just looking to play big favorites. And without an NBA summer league this year to better evaluate incoming players, I’m going to focus on teams that are at shorter prices.
After scouring through each team’s chances to make the playoffs, I’ve decided to fade the Atlanta Hawks at +100. It’s been three years since Atlanta made the playoffs, and they’ve added guards Kriss Dunn, Rajon Rondo, and Bogdan Bogdanovic to their roster in addition to forward Danilo Gallinari. Of those players mentioned, only Bogdanovic is projected to be a starter, and he has a below-average .077 expected win shares for this season, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
Atlanta finished with a 20-47 record (.298 win percentage) last year, which put them second-to-last in the Eastern Conference. This year, their win total is set at 34.5 games, which is roughly a .480 win percentage. The problem with backing Atlanta in this spot is that other teams in the East have improved as well—perhaps even more so than the Hawks.
The Washington Wizards are one of those teams that will almost certainly challenge for a playoff spot with the acquisition of Russell Westbrook to partner with Bradley Beal. The Charlotte Hornets are another likely team given their addition of Gordon Hayward, who should start alongside Devonte Graham and Terry Rozier in the backcourt. Both teams were already ahead of Atlanta in the standings at the end of last season. One advantage that these two teams have over the Hawks is veteran leadership in their starting lineups. Clint Capela is their only projected starter with more than three years in the league. When you sum it all up together, the Hawks are worthy of a playoff fade at +100 this season.