Boston Yawn: Hawks, Celtics Going ‘Under’ At The Garden

Friday, March 15, 2019 6:26 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 15, 2019 6:26 PM UTC

The Atlanta Hawks visit the Boston Celtics this Saturday afternoon, making the ‘under’ the best value on the NBA odds board.

<p style="text-align:right;"><em>Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Mar. 14: 19-17-1 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 29-12 Totals</em></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Atlanta (24-45 SU, 34-35 ATS) at Boston (42-27 SU, 34-34-1 ATS)</strong></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET</strong></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Free NBA Pick: <a href="" target="_blank">Under</a></strong></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=BetOnline" target="_blank">BetOnline</a></strong></p><p style="text-align:center;">[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3568906, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,999998,93,19,238], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>If you were going to choose one NBA game to go ‘under’ the total, you probably wouldn’t choose the Atlanta Hawks (Over 39-30) taking on the Boston Celtics (Over 38-31). But Saturday’s game at the Garden is special: It’s a very early start. And the total has opened at 228.5 points on the <a href="" target="_blank">NBA odds board</a>. Of course we’re going to recommend the ‘under’ here. We’d be silly not to.</p><h2>Time Shift</h2><p>You could try putting the Celtics in your <a href="" target="_blank">NBA picks</a> instead. They’re 11.5-point home faves, and FiveThirtyEight project Boston at –12.5, so there might be a smidge of value. But it’s not the old-school gap of two points we’re looking for, and the C’s are 5-6 SU and 4-6-1 ATS since the All-Star break, so we’ll pass.<br /><br />We are going to recommend just a small bet, however. The Hawks are normally a solid ‘over’ pick, and <a href="" target="_blank">we got paid</a> last Sunday when they beat the New Orleans Pelicans 128-116 (Over 238). The ‘over’ is now 6-2 over Atlanta’s past eight games, but they’re also on a 5-1 ATS streak, so again, we’ll give the spread a pass and lean on the “afternoon game” angle for our potential profit margin.<br /><br />We’ve also got a back-to-back situation working for us. Atlanta’s next game is Sunday in Orlando, so there’s a non-zero chance they’ll give some of their key players a little extra rest on Saturday. And we don’t have to worry about Jeremy Lin (plus-0.3 OBPM, minus-2.4 DBPM) anymore, now that he’s a member of the Toronto Raptors. Jaylen Adams (minus-1.6 OBPM, minus-2.2 DBPM) is getting those back-up minutes at point guard. Splendid.</p><h2>Turning Green</h2><p>Meanwhile, it appears there’s some kind of flu bug going around Beantown. At least three Celtics have been infected thus far:<br /><br />Marcus Smart (plus-0.7 OBPM, plus-1.4 DBPM)<br />Terry Rozier (minus-0.6 OBPM, plus-0.6 DBPM)<br />Daniel Theis (plus-1.1 OBPM, plus-1.8 DBPM)<br /><br />Rozier and Theis were both held out of Thursday’s 126-120 win over the Sacramento Kings (+7.5 away, Over 227.5); Smart played, but only scored seven points on 3-of-5 shooting. The C’s have plenty of depth, so they can afford to give any or all of these guys a day off without impacting their bottom line too much.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Marcus Smart is dealing with an illness. &lt;br /&gt;This was definitely sick.&lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#Celtics&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Raul Martinez (@RaulNBCBoston) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;March 15, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]<br />But how many other Celtics have caught the bug? Kyrie Irving (plus-6.2 OBPM, plus-0.3 DBPM) was already sick in late January, so maybe he won’t be affected this time – or maybe it’s a different bug, who knows. We’re not going to put too much stock in the flu angle, but every bit helps; watch the shoot-around, see who looks like they’re ready to blow chunks, and bet accordingly.</p>
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