Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics - 4/16/16 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Boston Celtics (48-34) at Atlanta Hawks (48-34)
NBA Basketball: Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Philips Arena)
The Line: Atlanta Hawks -5.5 -- Over/Under: 204 See the Latest Odds
The Boston Celtics invade the Philips Arena to battle the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 tonight.
The Celtics were one of the surprise packages of the league as they stormed their way to a 48-34 overall record which earned them the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. Isaiah Thomas had a fantastic year with averages of 22.2 points and 6.2 assists per game, Avery Bradley averaged 15.2 points per game while players like Marcus Smart, Kelly Olynyk and Jae Crowder all had solid seasons, but the Celtics' success was never about the big numbers as they were always toughest to beat when they shared the scoring load as a team while causing havoc on the defensive end and I expect that to continue in the playoffs.
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Meanwhile, the Hawks finished the regular season with an identical record to the Celtics, but they'll certainly be a little disappointed following their success from last season. Jeff Teague had a bit of a down year but still finished with averages of 15.7 points and 5.9 assists per game, Al Horford averaged 15.2 points and 7.3 rebounds while Paul Millsap led the scoring on most nights to finish with an average of 17.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Kent Bazemore was the replacement for DeMarre Carroll who was a key player for the Hawks in last season's playoffs, and he averaged 11.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, but it's hard to think he can contribute as much as Carroll did last season.
In ATS trends, the Celtics are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 1-5 ATS in their last six road games, while the Hawks are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games overall and 2-5 ATS in their last seven against the Eastern Conference.
Head to head, the home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings and the under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.
This is an interesting matchup as these two teams are so similar in the way they play on both ends of the floor. I have this series going to at least six games with the Hawks kicking off the series with a narrow win tonight. However, I think it'll come down to the last possession, so I think the Celtics with the points is the play here.