Celtics vs. Hawks Game 6: The 1st Half Bet to Make in Atlanta

Action Network contributor Joe Dellera previews how to bet Celtics vs. Hawks, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Thursday's game.

Celtics vs. Hawks Odds

Celtics Odds -6.5
Hawks Odds +6.5
Over/Under 232
Time 8:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Boston Celtics look to close out this series against the Atlanta Hawks, who have proven to be more than a walkover in their first round series. The Hawks picked up wins at home in Game 3 and on the road in Game 5 to push the series to six games.

Can the Hawks force a decisive Game 7 or will the Celtics finally be able to finish them off and move on to face Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals? I dive get into the matchup between these two teams and discuss where to find betting value in the Celtics vs Hawks Game 6 betting preview.

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Boston Celtics

Boston should continue to find success with its lineup, but this series has extended too far for the talent disparity between these two rosters.

One of Boston’s strengths during this series has been its ability to start games strong, and the Celtics have been incredible in the first half. During this series, the Celtics have a +3.8 Net Rating; however, in the first half their Net Rating is an incredible +20.0 and they have an Offensive Rating of 126.1 and a Defensive Rating of 106.1, per NBA Advanced Stats. They start off games with their best foot forward, but then they have allowed the Hawks to come back later in the game as they gradually let off the gas in the last 24 minutes.

The offense has been churning regardless of any second-half collapses though. During this series, the Celtics have an Effective Field Goal Percentage of 59.9%, better than their season-long mark by about 3% and would have been the best of all the teams in the regular season. The Hawks have been unable to stop the Celtics offensively, but they’ve simply outscored Boston in their losses. I expect Boston’s defense to (finally) show up and stop Atlanta at some point to finish this series off.

Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks will welcome back Dejounte Murray who missed Game 5 due to his suspension after his physical interaction with a referee. He’s been solid this series averaging 25.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. His points and points + rebounds lines are worth a look tonight at 21.5 and 27.5 respectively.

Atlanta has struggled to contain Boston in the first half and they have been one of the worst first half teams in the league this season, with a of 39-49 record against the spread regular season and playoffs. One thing that was interesting, though, was the offense seemed to run better for Atlanta through just Trae Young, the spacing felt familiar and something he knew how to draw on. Now, Dejounte is back which has complicated things throughout this entire season for Atlanta.

When both have been on the floor during the Playoffs, Atlanta has a -7.7 Point Differential — when Young is on but Murray is off, the Hawks are +2.0, per Cleaning the Glass. The inverse is also true when Young is off but Murray is on, the Hawks are +8.3 points per 100 during the postseason (those lineups were a -6 during the regular season though).

With both players back tonight, it will be interesting to see how the team responds.

Celtics-Hawks Pick

The one certainty in this series has been Boston continues to score in the first half. They may fall apart as the game goes on and Atlanta’s rotations have been interesting to navigate with both Young and Murray on the floor, but Boston continues to have strong starts.

Boston is one of the best 1H teams in the league this season and I expect them to cover the -3.5 1H spread. However, the bet that I prefer is their team total.

Boston has exceeded their 1H Team Total of 61.5 in all six of their eight games against the Hawks this season and they’ve averaged 65.9 points in those games. This, coupled with their elite offensive output this series has me backing them to score early and often.

Pick: Celtics 1H Team Total over 61.5 (-105)