Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Breaking! Hawks are big underdogs to LeBron James, Cavaliers

The Hawks are significant underdogs in their series against Cleveland.

I know -- shocking, right?

The online odds website 5Dimes , which is generally in line with most oddsmakers and Las Vegas sportsbooks, has "money lines" of Cleveland at -475 and the Hawks at +380 in their second-round series. That’s the equivalent of making the Cavaliers an almost 2-9 favorite (or the Hawks a 9-2 underdog). The same site has the Cavaliers listed as a 7½-point favorite for Game 1 in Cleveland Monday night.

Another online odds site, Bovada, hasn't posted numbers for the Hawks' second-round series, yet, but they released updated conference championship and NBA title odds. Cleveland is 2-7 to win the East, the Hawks are 15-2.

Bovada odds:

  • Eastern Conference
  • Cleveland Cavaliers        2-7
  • Toronto Raptors           11-2
  • Atlanta Hawks              15-2
  • Charlotte Hornets           20-1
  • Miami Heat                  25-1
  • Indiana Pacers              75-1
  • Western Conference
  • Golden State Warriors     5-7
  • San Antonio Spurs         3-2
  • Oklahoma City Thunder 13-2
  • Portland Trail Blazers    33-1
  • Los Angeles Clippers      150-1
  • NBA championship
  • Golden State Warriors    6-5
  • San Antonio Spurs        2-1
  • Cleveland Cavaliers      10-3
  • Oklahoma City Thunder 10-1
  • Atlanta Hawks           33-1
  • Toronto Raptors          40-1
  • Portland Trail Blazers   66-1
  • Charlotte Hornets       75-1
  • Miami Heat              150-1
  • Indiana Pacers           200-1
  • Los Angeles Clippers  300-1

All of the Hawks players who were asked about Cleveland following Thursday's win over Boston fully expected to be underdogs.

"Any team with LeBron is always going to be considered the favorite," Kent Bazemore said. "But we believe in ourselves and we’re ready to get after it."

For my column advancing the Hawks-Cleveland series, click here.

For my column on the Hawks' series-clinching win over Boston, click here.

Here are links to the AJC's Hawks full coverage on and to blogs on

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.