The Boston Celtics nearly overcame a 19-point first half deficit, but came up just short in falling to Atlanta 102-101 in Game 1 of their first round Eastern Conference playoff series on Saturday. Still the young Celtics managed to cover the spread as a 5.5-point road dogs and will look to do so again, even without the services of starting shooting guard Avery Bradley. Now, let’s find out if Boston can cover the NBA betting spread or win outright in this evenly-matched first round series.
How To Bet The Celtics @ Hawks NBA Playoffs Game 2 Odds, TV & Game Info
When: Tuesday, April 19, 7:00 PM ET
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: TNT, CSNE
NBA Odds: Atlanta -6
Why Bet the Boston Celtics
The best reason to bet on Boston (48-35 SU, 43-39 ATS) is that they’re pretty much equal to Atlanta in every way. The Celtics fought their hearts out in their heartbreaking 102-101 Game 1 loss against Atlanta on and have the majority of the betting public riding them in this contest, with a whopping 72 percent liking the C’s to cover.
The Celtics nearly got the win in Game after storming back from a 19-point first half deficit. However, they will be without starting shooting guard Avery Bradley or the remainder of the postseason with a right hamstring injury. “He’s very, very sore,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who wasn’t sure how long Bradley might be sidelined. “He said on the court that he heard a pop.”
The good news for Boston betting backers is that the Celtics are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against their Eastern Conference counterparts.
Why Bet the Atlanta Hawks
The best reason to bet on Atlanta (49-34 SU, 42-40 ATS) to cover the spread in this contest is that Boston will be without the defensive-minded Bradley, thereby opening things up for Jeff Teague, who scored 23 points and dished out a dozen assists. “In the fourth quarter, you’re going to get a high dose of me and Al in the pick-and-roll, and me and Paul in the pick-and-roll,” Teague said. “Those are times when I have to be aggressive and try to make plays.”
The Hawks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games playing on two days’ rest and 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games following a straight up win.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
Atlanta had covered the spread in three straight before failing to do so in Game 1, but the Hawks are 3-3 ATS over their last six meetings against Boston. Overall, these two rivals have gone 5-5 ATS over the last 10 meetings. With the Hawks going 2-6 ATS in their last eight games against their Eastern Conference rivals and 2-7 ATS in their last nine games overall, I believe Boston will find a way to keep the final score just inside the 6-point spread in this matchup.
Celtics are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games against teams from the Southeast Division and play the kind of ‘team’ basketball that should allow them to survive the loss of Avery Bradley. By the way, the under has gone 10-5 in Boston’s last 15 road games against Atlanta.
My Final score prediction: Atlanta 103 Boston 100