The past two weeks haven’t exactly been kind to the Boston Celtics, winners in just five of their past eight outings. They did win their most recent game, however, a big 112-99 win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night which put them over .500 at 14-13. They’ll have a quick turnaround as they get set to host the 11-16 Atlanta Hawks at the TD Garden on Wednesday. Buckle up because we’ve got five big picks for this matchup!
Free Picks: Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks
Celtics Look To Find Rhythm At Home Against Hawks (Season Betting Record: 37-36)
The Celtics have not been in the best form of late, but their win over a strong Nuggets team on Tuesday night is a good sign. Not to mention that they managed the double-digit win despite a 43 piece from Nikola Jokic, which also bodes well for a matchup against a team like the Hawks that boasts a lot of quality inside with big men Clint Capela and John Collins, who we will get to shortly.
Boston has not won two straight games in nearly a month, and we believe that they are due for back-to-back Ws, especially with a team like the Hawks coming to town, who have lost seven of their last eight. The C’s are in a comfortable spot here both as a home favorite (6-2 against the spread this season) and playing on no days’ rest (7-2 ATS in their last nine).
The Celtics had played 10 of 14 games on the road before that win against Denver on Monday night, so we’re expecting them to settle back in at the TD Garden and continue their winning ways at home, where they’ve gone 8-3 ATS this season. Our first NBA pick for this matchup will be Boston’s -3.0 point spread at solid -120 odds.
Though they haven’t recently, the Celtics should be able to rely on Jayson Tatum to help push the team over the top on Wednesday night. Tatum has been in a shooting rut of late, hitting at under 40 percent from the field in five of his past six games, with the worst coming in the past two games, when he’s shot just 28 percent.
Unsurprisingly, Tatum has shown that he responds well to these types of situations, as a play of his caliber should. The 22-year-old has averaged 30.3 points per game the last seven times he came into a contest having shot 40 percent or less in the previous two. Taking the over on Tatum’s 24.5 points prop at -110 odds should be one of the best bets for today.
Another Celtics player prop we like for Wednesday night is the over on Tristan Thompson’s 8.5 rebounds prop at -120 odds. Daniel Theis missed Tuesday night’s matchup with a sprained index finger and with such a short turnaround, he’ll probably sit again. Thompson snagged 12 boards in his absence against the Nuggets, and with the two big dogs in the frontcourt for the Hawks, we’d expect the Canadian to get decent run on Wednesday night. If Theis does get back into the lineup, however, this bet is a wash, so stay tuned for injury updates.
Now, about those twin towers down in Atlanta. Clint Capela has been a double-double machine this season for the Hawks, failing to reach that milestone in just seven of 24 games this season. Capela has been especially fiery lately, averaging 17.7 points and 13.0 rebounds per game over his last three appearances. We expect Capela to make barbecue chicken of that Celtics frontcourt and cover the over on his 28.5 points + rebounds prop at -110 odds.
The final of our five top picks for this showdown is the over on John Collins’ 17.5 points prop at -125 NBA odds. Collins has been scoring the ball really well of late, putting up an impressive 55/42/100 shooting line while contributing 21.5 points per game through eight contests in February. Collins has scored 17+ points in eight of his past nine games, and with Boston’s soft interior defense, we’re looking for him to keep feasting.
- Boston has gone 7-2 ATS in their past nine games on no rest
- Boston has gone 6-2 ATS as a home favorite this season
- Jayson Tatum has put up 30.3 points per game in his last 7 after back-to-back sub 40% shooting nights
- John Collins has been averaging 21.5 points per game in 8 February games
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The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will host Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors in a play-in clash on Wednesday night at Staples.
The Memphis Grizzlies will host the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday in the No. 9 vs. No. 10 contest as part of the West’s play-in tournament.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.