The Atlanta Hawks visit the Boston Celtics to open the first round of the playoffs. The Hawks are coming off a road win against the Heat in the play-in game, while the Celtics had a week off, but beat the Hawks in their last regular season game of the season. My prediction is that the Boston Celtics cover the 9-point spread at home. The Celtics have more firepower, and the Hawks are in disarray a bit. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics Prediction
The Pick: Boston Celtics -9
The Boston Celtics are one of the best teams in the NBA this season and they’re a good pick to potentially win it all this year.
The Celtics go as Jayson Tatum goes this season, despite having a ton depth around him too. He leads the team in scoring at 30 PPG and in rebounds at 9 per game. Right behind him in production is Jaylen Brown who helps make one of the best dynamic duos in the NBA this season. Brown averages 27 PPG and has been great when needed. Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White are up next in the backcourt in production. Brogdon comes off the bench, and he scores 15 PPG, while White averages 12 PPG too in the backcourt. Brogdon and White provide the offense, while Marcus Smart is the defensive stopper.
The Celtics might be the best team statistically this season. On offense, they’re 4th in scoring offense at 117.9 PPG, 2nd in offensive rating at 117.3, and 1st in point differential at +6.5. On defense, they’re 5th in points allowed at 111.4 PPG, 2nd in defensive rating at 110.6, 7th in rebounds at 45 per game, and 6th in blocks at 5.2 per game.
On the other side, the Atlanta Hawks seem like they might be out of disarray after a win over the Heat put them in this position in the play-in game.
The Hawks have been the epitome of inconsistent this season, but still made the play-offs. The Hawks go as Trae Young goes this season still. He leads the team in scoring at 26 PPG and in assists at 10 per game. Dejounte Murray has been very good too since being traded this past off-season. Murray averages 20.5 PPG and leads the team in steals at 1.5 per game. De’Andre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic are up next in production and have been very good on the perimeter for the Hawks. Hunter averages 15 PPG and Bogdanovic averages 14 PPG and leads the team in three-point percentage at 40.6%.
The Hawks have excelled a ton on offense this season. They’re 3rd in scoring offense at 118 PPG, 7th in offensive rating at 115.5, and 9th in field goal percentage at 48.3%.
The Celtics should be ready to roll in this game against the Hawks. They have had the week to rest and have more firepower overall. The Celtics should win and cover easily in this game.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics Betting Odds
The Boston Celtics are 9-point home favorites against the Atlanta Hawks and are at -410 on the money line. The over/under is also at 230.5. The Celtics being favored by this much makes sense because they’re at home and they have been the better team all year. The Hawks also seem to be a little dysfunctional right now. The over/under also makes sense because each team is top-5 in the NBA in scoring offense. This spread should stay where it’s at despite it being high.
Hawks are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Celtics are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
Can John Collins matchup with Jayson Tatum? Can Marcus Smart matchup with Trae Young?
Jayson Tatum vs. John Collins
Jayson Tatum has been great this season for the Celtics. He averages 30 points, 5 assists, and 9 rebounds per game. He’ll be matched up against John Collins most of the game, who averages 13 points, 1 assist, and 6.5 rebounds per game. Collins is good, but Tatum has been great and is why the Celtics should cover this spread at home.
Trae Young vs. Marcus Smart
Trae Young has been very good this season. He averages 26 points, 10 assists, and 3 rebounds per game. He’ll be matched up against Marcus Smart most of the game, who averages 11.5 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds per game. Young has been very good, but Smart is a defensive stopper and should rattle Young enough for the Celtics to still cover at home.
Atlanta Hawks Starting Lineup
Boston Celtics Starting Lineups
Atlanta Hawks Injuries: None
Boston Celtics Injuries: PF Danilo Gallinari (Knee) O