Online sports betting sites have made it clear we shouldn’t expect a tight game tonight at State Farm Arena as the Celtics opened as 8.0 point favorites versus the Hawks. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST.
That’s what happens when one of the NBA’s best defensive teams tangles with one of the league’s worst offensive teams.
The Celtics have been doing an outstanding job of putting the clamps opponents in 2018-19. They rank fifth in fewest points allowed at 105.7 points per contest, and are limiting teams to 47.0% from the floor and 33.0% from deep. Boston uses its size and length to force 16 turnovers per game and is 17th in the league in rebounding at 45.0 per game.
Boston’s defense has been nearly as good as Atlanta’s offense has been bad. The Hawks have the NBA’s 29th-best offensive rating, and are averaging just 109.9 points per games on 42.0% shooting. Atlanta is 12th in rebounds and 10th in assists. They’ll need to be far more efficient tonight to have any chance of earning a victory.
These two clubs have faced one another two times this year, with the Celtics winning on two occasions. The last time they faced off on December 15th, 2018, Boston won 129- 108 behind 24 points from Kyrie Irving.
The Hawks are coming off of a 126-142 win vs the Thunder in Oklahoma City in which they were 18 for 37 from deep were out-rebounded 50-49. The Celtics, meanwhile, are fresh off a 122-116 win vs the Grizzlies in Boston in which they handed out 29 assists and scratched and clawed their way to five steals. Kyrie Irving torched the Grizzlies for 38 points.
All told, the Celtics have won six of their last ten games and are fifth in the Eastern Conference, while the Hawks have have come out on the losing end of six of their previous ten and are 12th in the Eastern Conference.
The 8.0-point spread isn’t the only angle you can take advantage of. Bookmakershave also set a robust over/under total of 226. Keep in mind that Boston is 23-22-0 against the spread this year and 28-17-0 over/under, compared to 20-24-0 ATS and 24-20-0 over/under for Atlanta.
Feeling intrigued? Tonight’s game gets underway soon!