NBA Picks: Celtics vs. Hawks Betting Preview

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, November 23, 2013 2:31 PM GMT

Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 2:31 PM GMT

The Green lost their sixth straight last night while the Hawks rolled to their fourth win in their last five games but where does the value lie in the NBA odds in this matchup tonight?

Boston Celtics (4-10 SU, 7-7 ATS)

The Celtics are mired in their worst losing streak since before the Big Three of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were assembled in 2007. They lost last night, 97-82 as eight-point home dogs to the Pacers and continue a scoring drought that has seen them score an average of only 87 points per game on a field goal percentage of 41% during the current losing streak.

The C's aren't just the victims of playing hard but coming up short or calls going against them. They have lost by an average of 14 ½ points in their last six consecutive losses and it's a startling reversal from an unexpected four-game winning streak where Boston was averaging almost 105 points per game on shooting of nearly 48%.

Perhaps the Celtics need a quarterback to take charge because they were making their shots last night against the Pacers, shooting 50.7% from the floor yet put up their second lowest point total of the season. Simply put, they didn't shoot often enough. Too much passing and deliberating can paralyze an offense as it did last night against Indiana.

be sure to review the NBA picks of the day~

Atlanta Hawks (8-5 SU, 9-4 ATS)

The Hawks did last night to the Pistons - check that, they did this two nights prior to the Pistons as well - what they've become quite adept at this season, win. Yes, the Atlanta Hawks welcomed Detroit into their building on Wednesday night and sent them packing home as losers in a 93-85 decision that the Hawks not only won but covered as 5 ½ point favorites. Then, the rematch last night took place in the Motor City and it was the same two teams, virtually the same results except the venue had changed. Atlanta walked away with a 96-89 as 3 ½ point underdogs in NBA odds.

While rebounding may not be the Hawks strong suit this season, ranking 24th in the NBA averaging only 41 boards per game, the same cannot be said for their offense and defense. Atlanta is averaging 101.8 PPG (ranked 10th) and allowing only 98.5 PPG (ranked 11th). Jeff Teague has led the team this season in points scored with an average of 18.4 points per game while Al Horford has been the man in the middle blocking shots and working the glass. Horford had 11 rebounds to go along with 17 points in his last effort against Detroit while Teague chipped in with a pair of steals and 18 points of his own. 

The Heat will take on the Magic for our betting pleasure~

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Free Pick:

Both teams are playing back-to-back games and both have had to travel from their destinations last evening to get into Atlanta for tonight's game. In other words, there's no real edge either way so let's dispense with that notion.

Let's also throw out the fact that Boston is 9-4 straight up and 8-5 ATS against the Hawks over the last three seasons because the guys that propelled Boston to all those victories are no longer in uniform. This is a rebuilding year for the Shamrocks and rookie head coach Brad Stevens is just trying to get this team to play hard while GM Danny Ainge is secretly hoping they do just that, but lose plenty of games in the process to ensure a quality lottery pick. The question up for debate is just how much better are these Hawks than this year's edition of the Celtics?  

I believe Stevens will have drilled into his team that they need to be more selfish and shoot much more. The Hawks will win the game, but the Green keeps it close enough to be worthy of a wager for our NBA picks.

Play Boston +8 ½ at WilliamHill.com.

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