Celtics vs. Hawks Odds & Picks: Celtics Will Come Out Hot

After what looked like a series that the Celtics were on the brink of putting away, Trae Young and the Hawks have continued to battle back after an epic ending in Game 5 to force a Game 6 in Atlanta.

Now, getting Dejounte Murray back and heading home to Atlanta for Game 6, the Hawks seem to have all the momentum in their favor as they look to force a Game 7 with the top team left in the entire playoffs (record-wise).

While the game’s spread opened up at a number that I’m not confident in one way or another, there’s a clear edge to attack in the first half.


Celtics Hawks
Spread -7 +7
Moneyline -285 +240
Over/Under 231.0

Lines are accurate at the time of publication


Celtics -3.5 (1H) (-110, DraftKings)

The Celtics currently sit as seven-point road favorites and based on the trend we’re seeing from the Hawks regarding coming alive in the second half and crunch time. Where the Celtics have dominated, however, has been out of the gate, illustrated below by the first-half scores.

  • Game 1: Celtics 74, Hawks 44
  • Game 2: Celtics 61, Hawks 49
  • Game 3: Celtics 67, Hawks 74
  • Game 4: Celtics 66, Hawks 58

Outside of Game 3, the Celtics have flat-out dominated the first halves of this series. After seeing this, I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that the Celtics led the entire NBA in average first-half margin (+5.0) after ranking second overall in the same category during the 2021-22 season (+3.8).

On top of this, the Hawks’ overall body of work leaves a lot to be desired despite their last two wins, as they still carry a playoff net rating of -3.8 in the series so far with the fourth-worst defensive rating among all playoff teams (116.5).

Comparing the depth of these teams also shines a light on an issue for Atlanta, as their bench has the second-worst defensive rating (58.5) in the playoffs despite performing well on the offensive end.

At the end of the day, there are simply too many holes in this Atlanta defense to combat the multitude of ways Boston can attack them and with this game being one the Celtics may treat as a must-win in order to salvage some time off before next round, I don’t expect it to go well out of the gate for the Hawks.

Risk: 1.1 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit.

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