Bet Celtics +6.5 With Your NBA Playoffs Picks In Game 2 Against Hawks

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 5:34 PM GMT

Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2016 5:34 PM GMT

The Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks resume their first round NBA Playoff series with game 2 on Tuesday April 19. Will the Celtics beat the NBA odds and even the series?

Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks (-6.5) 7:05 EST TNT
The game is scheduled for a 7:05 eastern tip, as televised by TNT TV. Atlanta won the first game of the series, 102-101, with the Celtics sliding inside the 5 point impost. Now the line has risen a point to -6 in a game between two teams who are just one game apart in their records for the season. We will take the Celtics plus the generous impost to rebound from their first game narrow loss. 

 

Boston Celtics
It is a bit concerning that the Celtics have lost Avery Bradley, likely out for the remainder of this Playoff series. He is not only Boston’s second leading scorer, but also their best perimeter defender. As such, he is the Celtics best option for slowing Atlanta lead guard Jeff Teague. Bradley suffered a severely sprained right hamstring in the game 1 loss. Bradley, a 15 PPG scorer in the regular season, had put up 18 points before the injury in the middle of the fourth quarter. With Bradley on the bench, Teague was a key contributor to Atlanta winning the contest with 23 points and 12 assists. Best options for the Celtics are Marcus Smart or Evan Turner to team with Isaiah Thomas in the Celtics’ backcourt. 

An option for the Celtics would be to play a bigger lineup featuring Kelly Olynyk, though the big man continues to suffer from a shoulder injury he aggravated in game 1. On behalf of the Celtics, they did beat Atlanta in mid-November without Bradley, prior to losing the final three games of the regular season against the Hawks. The Celtics’ issue with playing “small ball” is defending Paul Millsap, the Hawks’ power forward, who averaged 25/11 in the three Atlanta wins vs. Boston this year. On Saturday, Millsap went for 14/7.

 

Atlanta Hawks
In response to the Bradley injury, Atlanta HC Budenholzer could opt to use a pair of point guards in Teague and Schroeder to take advantage on the perimeter. The Hawks played their best ball on this floor this season, now standing 28-14. This includes 11-2 SU as they enter tonight’s game. This year’s victories against Boston on this floor came by margins of 11 and 34 points, running Boston’s losing streak in Atlanta to 5 straight. 

Betting Analysis
The NBA Playoffs are a time of adjustment. The Boston injury to Bradley has raised this line, allowing Boston HC Stevens to find a way to adjust and counteract the Atlanta advantage. Game 1 see-sawed back and forth at the line of (-5). The Hawks could have easily covered the spread, and Boston could have miraculously won the game at the buzzer. Final deciding factor in this outcome is the fact that NBA flip flop road dogs (betting a series road dog after a series loss to today’s opponent) have gone 40-21 ATS in the previous two years. In a series that appears to be evenly matched, look for Boston to again take this one to the wire and get the point spread cover, if not the outright victory.  I invite you to put the NBA odds in your favor and join me in my NBA pick on Boston tonight.

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NBA Pick: Celtics +6.5
Best Line Offered: at Intertops

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