Injuries Define The ECF, But Who Will Win Game 5?

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo was injured in Game 4 of the Bucks/Hawks series.
  • It seems possible that neither he nor Trae Young play in Game 5.
  • The Bucks are mild favorites to win the game, with -130 odds.

MILWAUKEE - The Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks, both banged up, will be fighting to take a lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Phoenix Suns, unharmed by a season that has claimed an astonishing amount of NBA stars via injuries, await them in the Finals. This series, however, has lost the plot entirely. Both Trae Young of the Hawks and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks suffered fairly serious injuries during the series so far.

Young suffered a bone bruise on his ankle, while Antetokounmpo suffered a hyperextended knee - an injury that in retrospect could have been much worse.

Young is listed as questionable for Game 5, as is fellow Hawks player Clint Capela, and Antetokounmpo is listed as doubtful.

As far as play likelihood, Young is more likely to play than Antetokounmpo, but the online sportsbooks still seem to favor the Bucks, who are playing at home.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Game 5 Moneyline Odds

  • Atlanta Hawks +110
  • Milwaukee Bucks -130

The moneyline favors the Bucks very slightly, which is intriguing, and it seems to be placed about where one might expect it to be if neither star plays.

The Bucks absolutely collapsed without Antetoukounmpo in Game 4, allowing the Hawks - who were without Young - to dominate them and tie up the series.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Game 5 Spread Odds

  • Atlanta Hawks +2.0 (-110)
  • Milwaukee Bucks -2.0 (-110)

On balance, if both stars are gone, the Bucks are probably more talented in terms of the group of players they’d be putting on the court. However, after the way the Bucks performed without Antetokounmpo, it’s hard to believe in them.

The sportsbooks still seem to think they’ll win, but their margin here is close, and they are playing at home - the Bucks could very easily be underdogs if this scenario happened on the road.

This game could legitimately determine the course of the season, and it’s entirely possible that neither team’s best player will be involved.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Series Odds

  • Atlanta Hawks +105
  • Milwaukee Bucks -125

The whole series hangs in the balance here. Going up 3-2 in a series that has been this hotly contested seems to be of paramount importance.

Whichever team manages to hang on and function in the absence of their star will likely end up being the favorite of online sports bettors to face off against the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals.

It remains to be seen who that team will be.

Game 5 between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks will air on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. EST. It will be broadcast nationally on TNT.