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Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks Predictions, Picks and Preview – 2016 NBA Playoffs – Eastern Conference First Round Game One – April 16, 2016

Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks Predictions, Picks and Preview – 2016 NBA Playoffs – Eastern Conference First Round Game One – April 16, 2016

Get ready to jump off your seats this Saturday, when the No. 5 Boston Celtics and fourth-seeded Atlanta Hawks collide at Philips Arena for the opening game of their first-round series matchup. The Hawks have gotten the best out of the Celtics in the regular season, winning three of four meetings. Can Atlanta continue dominating? Or will Boston turn the tables around?

Read on below for a closer look at this showdown. And while you’re at it, click here for our Game 1 preview of another first-round date between the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat.

Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks Betting Preview

Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

When: Saturday, April 16, 2016, 7:00 PM ET

Line: Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks– view all NBA lines

TV Broadcast: ESPN

Betting on the Boston Celtics


Boston’s chances of drawing first blood ultimately falls in the hands of its lone All-Star player in Isaiah Thomas. He has been the team’s best scoring weapon this season, averaging 22.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.2 assists. But on days where Thomas’ shots don’t fall, the Celtics’ offense takes a major hit.

That being said, the biggest difference-makers for the C’s will none other than be the pair of Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder. Both are scoring double-digits this year with 15.2 and 14.2 points, respectively.

Crowder’s health though, is a reason for concern. He’s expected to continue playing with a sore right ankle throughout this series. Crowder is posting just 12.7 points on 37.6 percent shooting in the past seven games. And unfortunately, he’s also struggled mightily against the Atlanta Hawks with career numbers of 8.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

Well, if the Celtics can’t muster up the points for some reason, their defense can (hopefully) lead them towards the victory. Boston is only allowing 102.5 points per game, which is among the lowest in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics are 4-6 SU and 2-8 ATs in their past 10 road games.

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Betting on the Atlanta Hawks

Jeff Teague breaks through the Wizards defense

Despite ending the season with two-straight losses, the Atlanta Hawks should be feeling at little confident about their first-round date with the Boston Celtics.

The Hawks have emerged victorious in the last three meetings with the Celtics. In that stretch, Atlanta’s beaten them by an average margin of 14.3 points and is scoring 116 points collectively.

A testament to this success is Paul Millsap, who erupted for 31 points and 16 rebounds during their fourth and final regular-season meeting with the Celtics last weekend. Millsap also leads the team in scoring (17.1), rebounds (9.0), steals (1.8) and rebounds (1.7) this year.

Other than Millsap, the pair of Jeff Teague and Al Horford is bound to provide some trouble to the Celtics defense. Both are putting up at least 15 points per game and Teague, in particular, also had a solid outing (24 points, five boards and seven dimes) in the previous meeting with Boston.

On defense, the Hawks have done a good job in limiting the opposition below their usual averages. They are currently sixth in the league in scoring defense (99.2 points).

All in all, as long as the Hawks continue delivering the goods on both sides of the floor, it’s hard to see them lose Game 1 or even the entire series itself.

Atlanta is 8-2 SU and 6-4 ATS in its last 10 games at Philips Arena.

Writer’s Prediction

Boston steals this one, 99-96.

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Written by Bief

Sports Betting Tips, News, and Analysis