Big bets on the Atlanta Hawks started showing up in May, when they were still 100-1 long shots, and have continued during their playoff run.
The Hawks, who were 8-point underdogs against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday, attracted a flurry of large wagers that were placed at long odds in May in multiple states. On May 4, a bettor in Colorado placed two $20,000 bets on the Hawks with DraftKings, one at 100-1 to win the NBA title and another at 40-1 to win the Eastern Conference. The bets would pay a net $2 million and $800,000, respectively. As of Wednesday morning, the bettor had not attempted to hedge the bets with DraftKings, according to company sportsbook director Johnny Avello.
Those were just two of the big bets that showed up on the Hawks around the same time at sportsbooks in Las Vegas. On May 5, the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas reported taking a $5,000 bet on Atlanta to win the title at 80-1, and in late April, Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill reported taking a $5,000 NBA championship bet on the Hawks at 100-1. The Hawks are now 11-1 to win the title at Caesars/William Hill.
The action on Atlanta has continued in the playoffs. When the Hawks trailed the Philadelphia 76ers two games to one in their series, a bettor at the FanDuel sportsbook at Bally's Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey placed an $8,000 bet on Atlanta to win the NBA title at 100-1. Since Sunday night, 85% of the bets to win the Eastern Conference have been on the Hawks at FanDuel, where Atlanta also has attracted more bets than any of the remaining teams to win the NBA title.
However, there have been some big bets on the Bucks to beat the Hawks in their series at other sportsbooks. On Monday, a bettor at BetMGM sportsbook at The Borgata in Atlantic City placed a $300,000 bet on the Bucks to win the series at +110 odds, and at Caesars/William Hill 58% of the bets on the Eastern Conference Finals series are on the Hawks, but 92% of the money is on favored Milwaukee.