Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics
The Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics collide in the opening round of the playoffs from Phillips Arena. The Hawks are -1.5 point favorites over the Celtics with an over/under point total set at 180.
Head to head, the underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings. The Hawks are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 Conference Quarterfinals games, 6-2 ATS in their last 8 playoff games as a favorite and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games overall. The Celtics on the other hand are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 Conference Quarterfinals games, 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 road games and 15-5-2 ATS in their last 22 games overall.
You can make the case that the Boston Celtics are one of, if not the most in-form team in the Eastern Conference after finishing with a 24-10 record since the All-Star break. It’s been an impressive turn around for a team many people thought didn’t have a chance after the opening months of the season. Meanwhile, the Hawks have also been impressive in their own right, managing to finish top four in the East after Al Horford went down with a serious injury at the start of the season. Led by Joe Johnson and Josh Smith, the Hawks were again a dominate team at home, finishing with a 23-10 record at Phillips Arena.
You wouldn’t think it, but the Hawks have the edge over the Celtics in recent meetings, winning six of the past 10 between the two. Having said that, Boston did take two of the three regular season contests this season. In those three games, the final margins were all under five points, telling us these teams play it close.
Most of the early money is coming in for the Celtics here, but I don’t see it that way. Boston are in great form heading into these playoffs, but so is Atlanta as they have won five of their last six regular season games, with the only loss in tha stretch coming against the New York Knicks by a sinlge point. The Hawks seem to matchup well with the Celtics and being that they are one of the better home teams in the league, I think they get the win first up.
Atlanta Hawks -1.5 Boston Celtics