Hawks vs. Celtics Game 5: Can Atlanta Cover Without Dejounte Murray?

Action Network contributor Jacob McKenna previews how to bet Hawks vs. Celtics, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Tuesday's game.

Hawks vs. Celtics Odds

Hawks Odds +13.5
Celtics Odds -13.5
Over/Under 229.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The seven-game NBA Playoff series between the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics returns to TD Garden on Tuesday as the Celtics look to close it out.

Down 3-1 in the series, Atlanta hasn’t been able to get much done against Boston. The Hawks are now 1-5 against the Celtics when including their two losses to Boston in the regular season.

All series long Boston has proven why it is the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and worthy of returning to the NBA Finals.

Will the Celtics close things out at home, or do the Dejounte Murray-less Hawks still have some fight? Let’s dive into the matchup and make a betting pick for Hawks vs. Celtics Game 5.

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Atlanta Hawks

After taking care of the Miami Heat in the Play-In tournament, it appeared Atlanta could possibly make things interesting in Round 1 against Boston.

However, we soon found out the Celtics are a much tougher task compared to the Heat as Boston has given Atlanta trouble on both ends.

Atlanta’s offense has fallen flat, posting a 109.9 Offensive Rating this series. That ranks 11th amongst the 16 playoff teams, and it is a 5.6-point drop from Atlanta’s seventh-best Offensive Rating of 115.5 in the regular season.

The drop in offensive production is a result of Atlanta’s inability to shoot the three. The Hawks have shot just 33.8% from behind the arc in the series, oftentimes failing to match one of Boston’s biggest strengths.

To make matters more complicated, Dejounte Murray will be serving a one-game suspension for making contact with a referee in Game 4. Murray has averaged 25.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists this series.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics have redemption on their mind after losing in the NBA Finals last season. Boston responded to that loss by dominating the regular season, and that has carried over into the postseason.

The difference for Boston this season has been its play on the defensive end. The Celtics posted the second-best Defensive Rating this season at 110.6, just 0.7 points behind Cleveland for first. That rating improved to 108.7 when the Celtics played at home, making them a tough team to beat when they have home-court advantage.

That defense has given Boston a significant advantage in this series. In Games 1 and 2 we saw Boston post a Defensive Rating of 100.5, holding Atlanta to 40.7% shooting overall and 27.3% from behind the arc, per

As a result, the Celtics own a point differential of +26. That’s come from winning both home games by 13 points and splitting the two games on the road, losing Game 3 by eight and winning Game 4 by the same margin.

Hawks-Celtics Pick

The absence of Murray is obviously a big blow for the Hawks’ chances of extending their season. However, I think a spread of 13.5 points is slightly high.

Murray missed eight games during the regular season. Atlanta managed to post a 118.1 Offensive Rating in those matchups, up from 117.3 in the 74 games he suited up for, per StatMuse. Atlanta averaged 119.8 points per game without the former Spur.

Boston has yet to win a game by more than 13 in this series, and Atlanta has made some adjustments since losing by that margin early on. Even with Murray out, I think the Hawks can cover the spread; I would only play it down to 12.5.

Pick: Hawks +13.5 (-110) | Play to +12.5