NBA Picks: Celtics Will Shoot Hawks Out Of The Air In Surprising Upset

Thursday, April 28, 2016 4:11 PM GMT

Delve into this in-depth analysis of the Hawks vs. Celtics by our expert capper and cash in on big money by sliding 'under' the totals tonight with a valuable NBA pick.

NBA PICKS RECORD THIS WEEK: 1-0 — LAST WEEK: 1-4 — PREVIOUS WEEK: 2-4

Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics
This oddly thrilling Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series moves back to Boston and TD Garden Arena on Thursday night where Isaiah Thomas and the No. 5-seed Boston Celtics will face Paul Millsap and the No. 4-seed Atlanta Hawks in Game 6 of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series as the beat-up C’s try to force a Game 7. The Home team has now won all 5 games in this series and covered ATS in 4 of the 5, so, the Site has really mattered, as it often does this time of year in the NBA.

Online NBA odds makers have made the host Celtics small 2-point favorites (at BetOnline) in this Game 5 with the Total (Points) at 197. The Money Line (Winner) odds see host Boston priced at -130 with the Hawks lined at +110 on the takeback as the Road underdogs. The First Half odds see the Celtics as 1-point chalks (-105) with the First Half Total set at 95 as Oddsmakers slowly continue their adjustment downward of that particular betting number in this series.

 

Atlanta Hawks
This is it, it’s time for you to go to The Wire. The 4th-seeded Atlanta Hawks (42-39-1 ATS Regular Season) and Head Coach Mike Budenholzer—whose last name sounds like it could be the name of some brand of Beer—have the Momentum in this series (again) but the Beantown Crowd will quickly try to shout it out of them on Thursday night and with the site being so huge in this series, it’s hard to imagine the Crowd and Noise not mattering here. Atlanta will be really up against it, even if the Celtics aren’t that great Shooting team and are without start starting SG Avery Bradley, maybe the best Defensive player in the NBA.

In Tuesday night’s 110-83 victory in Atlanta in Game 5, the Hawks (+5000 to win NBA championship, at BetVictor) rallied from a 20-15 deficit after the 1st Quarter to roll the Celtics with a 32-19 2nd Quarter and a 42-23 3rd Quarter and effectively put the key game away. The Hawks were led in scoring by Reserve F Mike Scott (17 points)—of all people—showing how Deep this team is and how dangerous they can be when the Bench players are producing. Starters PG Jeff Teague (16 points), SF Kent Bazemore (16 points), SG Kyle Korver (13 points) and PF Paul Millsap (10 points, 6 rebounds) were all in double-digits for Atlanta but Starting C Al Horford (6 points on 2-for-11 shooting, 8 rebounds) had another disappointing night scoring-wise but again did his job snaring Rebounds and creating a big presence in the middle.

After scoring just 17 points in Game 4, the Atlanta Bench poured in a robust 49 points on Tuesday night—the Hawks shot 43.8.% from the Field (42-96)—with the aforementioned 17 from Scott and Dennis Schroeder (9 points), Kris Humphries (8 points, 4 rebounds), Thabo Sefolosha (6 points), Tim Hardaway Jr. (4 points), Lamar Patterson (3 points) and even Kirk Hinrich (2 points) all pitching in. Hey, Mike Muscala (0 points), this is your wake-up call, pal. And when Kardashian-escapee Kris Humphries is giving you 8/4, then you’re gonna be Winning and Covering ATS. Injury-wise, Tiago Splitter (Hip) has been Out for the Season for some time for Atlanta.

Boston Celtics
You will hit, ‘cause you got the burnin’ desire. The 5th-seeded Boston Celtics (42-39-1 ATS Regular Season) and Head Coach Brad Stevens looked pretty darn good after one Quarter on Tuesday night but then Reality crept its Ugly Head in and the Home team won (and covered) once again. So will this same old Song and Dance play out through a Game 7? Only your Hairdresser knows for sure, but the availability of playmaker Isaiah Thomas (Sprained Left Ankle) in the Lineup for Boston (+32500 to win NBA Championship, at PaddyPower) is big—reports on Wednesday have him playing here in Game 6—and they’ll need him with backcourt-mate SG Avery Bradley (Hamstring) Out Indefinitely.

In the Game 5 Loss on Tuesday in Atlanta, the Celtics shot just 37.7% (29-77) from the Field and were just 7-for-29 from 3-Point-land (24.1%), where the Meatloaf comes with a free side of Lima Beans on Thursdays, so we’re in Luck, Wendy. In that setback, Boston was led by a gallant Evan Turner (15 points, 5 rebounds)—filling in nicely for Bradley at the starting SG spot—Jae Crowder (10 points) and Reserves Marcus Smart (10 points) and Jared Sullinger (10 points) but other Celtics players like usual sparkplug Thomas (8 points, 3-12 Field, 0-4 3’s, 3 assists), starting C Amir Johnson (6 points, 7 rebounds), Jonas Jerebko (6 points, 8 rebounds), Terry Rozier (4 points in 25:39 PT) and Kelly Olynyk (0 points, 0 rebounds in 10:32 PT) were all Liabilities.

And all of those guys must play better here or we will be hearing some dumb announcer make that lame and tired cliché about the Celtics “playing Golf” in The Future if they are eliminated. TNT is probably closer to the Truth with that Fishing thing, but the Reality is—save for the Spurs Kawhi Leonard—all NBA players long for the Offseason so they do not have to play Basketball and Golf may have the last Greenery most NBA players are looking for. Celtics Head Coach Stevens has said that Bradley is “highly unlikely” to play in this series. Confucius say NBA team with one Starting Guard Out and Other Starting Guard Limping in Heap of Trouble.

 

Thoughts, Trends, Streaks, Recent Relevant Series Information and Slog-Theory Picks
With its Win on Tuesday, Atlanta is now 10-5 SU the L15 meetings in this series and definitely has the Momentum, Expectations and better and Healthier Roster at this point in Time but going into any team’s venue in a Game 6 with that team’s season on the line is a completely different animal and the astute Oddsmakers, Handicappers and Sports Gamblers all put weight on that fairly common Postseason reality. Site matters more sometimes than others and this is one of those cases where the Building (and Noise and Energy provided from the Crowd) may actually be worth 10-15 points. And the Celtics may need every one of those Kelly Green Points and everyone of those Fans to help get by the Hawks here, but like the Portland Trail Blazers facing (at) the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference in a similar Game 6 situation on Wednesday night, Atlanta will be facing a team with two of its main players either Out or Hobbled (Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are both Out for the Clippers), placing an awful lot of pressure on backup Guards on a still Young and learning Boston Roster. Look up in the Air, it’s your Guitar. Stevens may be a great Head Coach and a mastermind, but he can’t play.

Trend-wise, these two have split 5-5 ATS over the L10 but the Home team is an impressive 8-2 ATS the L10 in this series so you can throw you Zig-Zag Theory out your Little Red Corvette window and blindly be betting the Home team when these two play and be winning at an 80% clip. So now you tell me. The Under is 39-18-3 in the L60 Celtics games played on a Thursday, a Day of the Week where he Shamrocks have gone 1-4 ATS their L5 dribbles.

Boston is 4-1 ATS in its L5 at Home but 2-5 ATS its L7 after allowing 100+ Points the previous game while Atlanta is 11-5 ATS in their L16 following an ATS Win and 13-6 its L19 following a SU Win. But the Hawks are also 0-6 their L6 Road games, 0-5 ATS their L5 Road games against a team with a Home Winning Percentage greater than .600, 2-5 ATS in their L7 overall—both against Boston in Atlanta—and only 4-9 ATS in their L13 (Eastern) Conference Quarterfinal games. But somebody has to win, right? The Under is 6-1 ATS overall, 6-1 ATS the L7 Hawks vs. Eastern Conference, 5-2 ATS in the L7 Atlanta Road games and the Under is 5-0 ATS after the L5 times the Hawks have scored 100+ Points in their previous game.

Despite this seemingly being a series all about Site so far and that the Crowd (and situation) could help the Celtics win this one in Beantown, the Health and playmaking ability and mobility because of that Left Ankle to PG Thomas is too much of a concern to side with a Side here and the gut-though is that Stevens and the C’s (+7000 to win Eastern Conference, Paddy Power) will desperately try to turn this into a slow-down, beat-’em-up, low-scoring slog as that may be the only way Boston can force a Game 7 against the Hawks  (+1200 to win Eastern Conference, Sportingbet) if Washington product Thomas is too hobbled. This one could be around 44-39 at Halftime if everything goes wrong (right). Sh-boogie bop. A Game 7 would be back in Atlanta on Saturday night (TNT, CSNN, 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT). My final score prediction for this NBA pick is: Celtics 88 Hawks 85. Finally, if you're looking for a different angle at this game, take a look at our spread analaysis and cash in even more tonight.

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Free NBA Pick: Under 198 (-105)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage