The statistical projections and pundits believe the Hawks will be among the two or three worst teams in the NBA this season. Accordingly, most bookmakers have set the over/under win total for the Hawks at 25-½ games.
But the betting public is bullish on the Hawks surpassing those expectations.
According to the Bovada online sportsbook, the Hawks are getting the second-most action on the “over” bet among NBA teams behind the Thunder (50-½) and ahead of the Cavaliers (53-½). At last look, the Hawks over bet was at -125 odds ($12.50 to win $10) and the under was at -105 ($10.50 to win $10).
I can see why bettors might lay the juice and take over 25-½ victories for the Hawks. By now everyone knows the reasons why the Hawks are not expected to be very good. Paul Millsap, Dwight Howard, Thabo Sefolosha and Tim Hardaway Jr. are gone from the 43-win team in 2016-17 with a statistical profile added up to 39 expected wins. The Hawks now are younger, and with less offensive talent.
But there also are some legitimate reasons to think the Hawks can beat expectations. Among them: another potentially good defensive team under coach Mike Budenholzer, the budding stardom of Dennis Schroder, a possible bounce-back season for Kent Bazemore, a sophomore bump for Taurean Prince.
And, of course, there’s also the shabby shape of the East overall. To that point, Bovada reports that the Knicks (30-½) are getting the heaviest action on the season under, followed by the Sixers (41-½).
Bovada also lists some over/under proposition bets for Schroder, Bazemore, Prince, Ersan Ilyasova and John Collins:
- Schroder points per game (20-½) and assists per game (6-½)
- Bazemore points per game (12-½)
- Prince points per game (10)
- Ilyasova points per game (13)
- Collins points per game (10)
- Hawks practice report: 'Gifted and talented' defensively, 'learning curve' on offense
- Will the Hawks be NBA's worst team? Experts make their predictions
- Hawks agree to contract with point guard Isaiah Taylor
- Hawks practice report: Budenholzer 'open' to 11-man rotation
- WATCH: Awful 'overtime' period at Hawks scrimmage
- WATCH: DeAndre' Bembry reacts to Hawks picking up his contract option
- WATCH: Taurean Prince reacts to Hawks picking up his contract option
- WATCH: Hawks coach Budenholzer explains why team kept Magette over Cook
- Hawks exercise 2018-19 contract options for Prince, Bembry
- Hawks roster set. Here's what it looks like
- Hawks to net two more draft picks in trade with Cavs
- WATCH: Kent Bazemore says Hawks ready for season
- Five observations from Hawks loss to Mavericks (exhibition)
- Hawks want to run but know 'it's not easy'
- Hawks practice report: Transition D still priority over offensive boards
- New Hawks style suits Bembry
- Hawks practice report: Belinelli 'for sure' he'll be ready for season opener
- Hawks say 'scrappy' style gives them chance to exceed expectations
- WATCH: Hawks rookie John Collins on his NBA development
- Five observations from Hawks victory over Grizzlies (exhibition)
- Dewayne Dedmon (!) to shoot 3s as Hawks seek floor spacing
- Hawks waive John Jenkins, Jordan Matthews
- Can Hawks be fun to watch even if they don't win many games?
- Five observations from Hawks victory at Cavs (exhibition)
- NBA GMs: Collins is draft 'steal,' Budenholzer among best game coaches
- The best Hawks lineup, for now and the future
- Dewayne Dedmon immediately shows he can help the Hawks
- Five observations from Hawks loss at Heat (exhibition)
- Dennis Schroder is arrested, and I wonder if he's ready to lead Hawks
- Is Mike Budenholzer on board with Hawks rebuild?
- Will NBA draft lottery changes hurt Hawks?
- VIDEO: Hawks guard Belinelli says he's fitting in fast with new team
- Now healthy, Hawks Bazemore 'in love with the grind again'
- VIDEO: Hawks guard Schroder on leadership, featured role in offense
- VIDEO: Hawks coach Budenholzer on offensive tweaks
- Malcolm Delaney: 'People didn't understand everything I had to go through'
- Here are the details on Hawks contracts
- Hawks to 'practice harder' so they can play faster
- Hawks now are Schroder's show
- 'Greater pace, greater space' for Hawks? Sounds good
- Hawks GM Travis Schlenk Q-and-A Part 2: 'Excited' about 2018 draft class
- Hawks GM Travis Schlenk Q-and-A: 'We are going to be competitive'
- Five things to watch at Hawks training camp
- Hawks player preview: Dennis Schroder
- Hawks player preview: Taurean Prince
- Hawks player preview: Miles Plumlee
- Hawks player preview: Mike Muscala
- Hawks player preview: Ersan Ilyasova
- Hawks player preview: Tyler Dorsey
- Hawks player preview: Malcolm Delaney
- Hawks player preview: Dewayne Dedmon
- Hawks player preview: Quinn Cook
- Hawks player preview: John Collins
- Hawks player preview: Nicolas Brussino
- Hawks player preview: DeAndre' Bembry
- Hawks player preview: Marco Belinelli
- Hawks player preview: Kent Bazemore
- Hawks player preview: Luke Babbitt