Undefeated on the Highway, Bet Hawks as Your NBA Pick vs. Celtics

Swinging Johnson

Friday, November 13, 2015 8:40 PM GMT

The Hawks travel to Boston after a victory over the Pelicans while the Celtics look to rebound after their loss to the Pacers. Let's examine this matchup and find the NBA pick.

Atlanta Hawks (8-2 SU, 5-4 ATS)
Atlanta is looking to begin another winning streak. The Hawks dropped their first game of the season to the Pistons but then reeled off seven consecutive wins before unexpectedly falling to the Timberwolves as 8 ½ point home favorites. Apparently that was the sobering defeat they may have needed to remind them that any team is capable of knocking off anyone on any given night in the 82-game grind that constitutes the NBA schedule. Thus it was not surprising that the Hawks notched a win in their following game with a106-98 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Point guard Jeff Teague is leading the team in points averaging 18.2 points per game followed closely by the big man in the middle Al Horford (17.6 PPG) and power forward Paul Millsap (17.2 PPG). In their last outing it was Horford who turned heads as the big man was lethal from beyond the arc draining four of six treys and finishing with a season high 26 points complemented by eight boards and three blocks. The Hawks are perfect on the road this season and are looking to tie a nearly 50-year-old franchise record of 5-0 established by the old St. Louis Hawks.

 

Boston Celtics (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS)
The NBA odds makers installed the Celtics as 3 ½ point home favorites in their last outing Wednesday night as they prepared to tip off against the Indiana Pacers. But Paul George of the Pacers and lousy three-point shooting by the Celtics cost the Green a win and cold hard cash for all those who included Boston in their NBA picks. When the final buzzer sounded the Celtics saw their mini two-game winning streak snapped by the score of 102-91.

Celtics' point guard Marcus Smart was limping after the game as his sprained big toe tightened up which could have been a contributing factor in his 1-of-6 shooting performance. The Celtics are now ranked 19th in points per game averaging just over 101 while their defense has been much better with opponents averaging only 98 per game. Unfortunately that plus three point differential has not added up to a winning record as the Celtics sit with a 3-4 mark both straight up and against the spread as they head into tonight's clash with Atlanta.

 

NBA Pick
We can gather no real edge based on the teams' recent meetings in the Boston Garden with each team winning two of the last four games. When the teams last met in February it was the Celtics who dribbled out of their home court with an 89-88 victory but the game before that it was Atlanta who crushed the Green 105-91 at the same venue. The question is where are these teams now and how do they match up?

The problem for the Celtics is that their opponent tonight is one of the most prolific scoring clubs in the league averaging 104.4 points per game which places them 4th amongst all teams. The Hawks defense isn't too shabby either allowing an average of 100.1 per game which ranks them 12th in the NBA. I don't think the Celtics are ready to face a team of this ilk and especially one who thrives on the road whereas other top tier clubs find only the home cookin' to their liking. Not the Atlanta Hawks though who are undefeated on the highway and should remain so after this one is finished. Here are some stats to consider:

The Celtics are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight up loss.

The Celtics are 0-4 ATS in their last four games as a home underdog of 5.0-10.5.

The Celtics are 1-5 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.

The Hawks are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games following a straight up win.

NBA Pick: Atlanta -1 at YouWager

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