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Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks - 12/31/13

Atlanta Hawks (17-14) at Boston Celtics (13-17)

NBA Basketball: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 1:00 pm (TD Garden)

The Line: Boston Celtics -2.5 -- Over/Under: 200.5 See the Latest Odds

TV:

The Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks square off to end the new year

Head to head, the Hawks are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings. The Celtics are 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 vs. NBA Southeast and 16-6 ATS in their last 22 home games vs. a team with a losing road record, but just 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Hawks on the other hand are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games following a S.U. loss, but just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. Eastern Conference.

It's was a dam shame to hear about Al Horford, who will likely miss the rest of the season after suffering a leg injury during the Hawks win in Cleveland last weekend. Look, Atlanta was never going to come close to winning a championship this season, but I don't think there was any doubt that they could and would of been the third best team in the Eastern Conference this season. There is every chance that they still end up as the third best team when it's all said and done, but they will need Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague to bring their 'A' games every night, otherwise it will be hard for them to beat the better teams in the league.

The Boston Celtics haven't lost since the 23rd of December, that's because they have only played the one game since then, which was a 103-100 win over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, which also snapped their three game losing streak. Sitting at 13-17 after the Christmas break, you would have to say it's been a pretty solid first two months for Brad Stevens and his young Celtics squad, a team that many thought would finish struggle to win any games this season. Instead, Boston is currently sitting in seventh spot in a very week East ,however, they could finish as high as fourth if they win the Atlantic, which is by far the worst division in the NBA and it's not even close.

The Hawks were a pretty suspect road team with Horford in the lineup, so I can't imagine they will all of a sudden get better without him. They are 1-1 since Big Al went down, but it should of really been 0-2 if Pero Antic doesn't hit that crazy one-legged three-pointer to send the game into overtime against Charlotte of all teams.

If your looking for a total, then the over would have to get a serious look-in considering it has gone a perfect 8-0 in their last games. The over is also 3-0 in the Celtics last three home games.

Not in love with this one by any stretch, but I can see Boston winning in a tight one...

Dan’s Pick: Boston -2.5

Follow me on Twitter @Dan_SCP

Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks - 12/31/13

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

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