Boston Celtics vs Atlanta Hawks Preview (4/21/23): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

After losing both road games to Boston by double-digits, the Atlanta Hawks will hope to secure a win in Game 3 to avoid going down 0-3 in the series. See our in-depth analysis of the matchup, including our betting picks and predictions and current betting odds for the game. Further, find the updated injury report and projected starting lineups for Game 3 below!

Boston Celtics Vs. Atlanta Hawks Betting Odds

Boston enters Game 3 on the road against Atlanta as a five-point road favorite after dominating the Hawks in the first two games of the opening round in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. The point total for this matchup sits at 229 points, with Games 1 and 2 staying under this line. Further, Boston’s Moneyline is at -205, while Atlanta’s is at +175.

Boston Celtics Vs. Atlanta Hawks Prediction

Through the first two games of the Hawks’ first-round series against Boston, they have shot 40.7% from the field and 27.3% from behind the arc, further highlighting their struggles all season on the offensive end of the floor. It has been a rough time for the Atlanta Hawks against this stout Boston defense.

Can the Hawks cut the C’s first-round series lead to 2-1 with a home win in Game 3? Don’t count on it. Boston has looked incredible, dominating Atlanta on both sides of the floor. The Celtics posted an average defensive rating of 103.2 in their first two games against Atlanta, which is nearly seven points lower (better) than the Cleveland Cavaliers (best defensive team) during the regular season.

Further, Boston had a team shooting split of 52/42/82 over the course of those two games; the Celtics’ defense is not the only area that they have dominated so far. Lastly, even though playing on the road might be a weakness for some teams, the C’s had a 25-16 record away from home during the regular season and a 22-19 record against the spread.

Between Trae Young’s inefficiency, Atlanta’s brutally poor three-point shooting, and the fact that Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown can have an “off-game,” and it wouldn’t matter because of Boston’s scoring depth (Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White, and Marcus Smart), it seems quite unlikely that Atlanta can put up much of a fight. Let’s ride with the C’s moneyline on Friday.

Betting Trends

  • Boston is 2-0 ATS in the 2023 playoffs
  • Boston is 5-0 ATS in its last five games against Atlanta
  • Atlanta is 0-2 ATS in the 2023 playoffs

Key Matchups

Our key matchup of Game 3 between the Hawks and Celtics should be fairly obvious: Trae Young versus the Celtics’ backcourt.

Trae Young vs. Boston Backcourt

It has been an inefficient season for Trae Young, and the playoffs have been even worse. Through the first two games, Young has shot 35% from the floor and 23% from behind the arc while averaging five turnovers. At face value, Young puts up solid numbers; he posted 26 points and ten assists per game. Unfortunately, he has had his least efficient season since his rookie year, and the Hawks have absolutely no momentum as a team.

As alluded to above, Boston’s defense has been elite in its past two games, boasting a defensive rating of 103.2. Young is going to continue to struggle with the barrage of defenders that the Celtics can throw at him. Marcus Smart, the former DPOY, will be Young’s primary defender, but Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon are also solid. Expect more struggling, even at home. Advantage: Boston Backcourt.

Boston Celtics Starting Lineup

PG: Marcus Smart
SG: Derrick White
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Al Horford

Atlanta Hawks Starting Lineups

PG: Trae Young
SG: Dejounte Murray
SF: De’Andre Hunter
PF: John Collins
C: Clint Capela

Key Injuries

Boston Celtics Injuries: Danilo Gallinari (Out)

Atlanta Hawks Injuries: None

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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