Sunday NBA Betting Odds, Preview, Prediction for Hawks vs. Celtics: Boston Should Stay Hot Against Atlanta

Sunday NBA Betting Odds, Preview, Prediction for Hawks vs. Celtics: Boston Should Stay Hot Against Atlanta article feature image

Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Smart

  • The Celtics are home favorites on Sunday afternoon against the Hawks.
  • Boston is red-hot right now and looking to push up the Eastern Conference standings.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Hawks vs. Celtics Odds

Hawks Odds+6
Celtics Odds-6
Time2 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

It is Super Bowl Sunday, but before the football festivities begin there is an exciting NBA matchup between two Eastern Conference teams as the Atlanta Hawks visit Boston to take on the Celtics.

The Hawks recently reeled off seven wins in a row, including a 108-92 win against the Celtics at home, but enter this game losers of four of their last six games. They are three games below .500 and in the 10th seed, clinging to that last play-in spot.

The Celtics have won seven games in a row and nine of their last 10, going 7-2-1 against the spread during this time. They are now the seventh seed in the stacked Eastern Conference and look to keep rising in the second half of the season.

Can the Celtics extend their winning streak on Sunday, or can the Hawks play spoiler on the road? Let's break down the matchup below.

Hawks Will Miss Collins

It was announced on Saturday that John Collins would be out for the next three games, which will be a huge blow to the Hawks. He is the second-most valuable player on this team behind Trae Young. Their starting power forward is averaging 16.8 points per game and the Hawks will really miss his presence against the Celtics' big lineups. Danilo Gallinari and Kevin Knox should see increased roles Sunday.

Young and Delon Wright are both listed as probable, but it does not bode well for the Hawks that they are both dealing with injuries.

The Hawks struggle against the league's best teams. They are only 9-19 straight up and 10-18 (35.7%) ATS against teams with a winning percentage over .500 this season, per the Sports Data Query Language at Gimme the Dog.

The Hawks also tend to struggle on the road. They are 10-16 SU and ATS on the road, per the SDQL. They've lost nine of their last 12 games on the road. Their Net Rating is -2.5 on the road versus +2.7 at home. This was a consistent theme last season as well as this Hawks team is a better team at the State Farm Arena.

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Celtics Win With Defense

The Celtics have had the league's best Defensive Rating (100.9) since the beginning of the year, per NBA Advanced Stats. They are holding opposing teams to 98.1 points per game. They have been crushing teams with their stifling defense.

Their defense just got even better with their recent acquisition of Derrick White, an excellent defender with length and athleticism. Between White and Marcus Smart, they will cause nightmares for opposing backcourts around the league. This is a perfect duo to match up against Young, who the Hawks will have to depend on even more with Collins out of the lineup.

The Celtics made another trade deadline move, bringing back Daniel Theis. He is currently listed as questionable, but once back should be able to give Al Horford and Robert Williams III some much needed rest. He should have a strong impact as he is familiar with the Celtics' roster and system and will provide some depth to their frontcourt.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown should be able to match up well against the Hawks' lackluster defense. De'Andre Hunter is an above-average defender, but the Hawks don't really have many other players to hold Tatum and Brown down.

I also like the revenge angle favoring the Celtics after they were embarrassed by the Hawks in Atlanta just a couple of weeks ago. Expect them to bounce back strong at home, where they play much better.

Hawks-Celtics Pick

My pick is on the team from Boston on Super Bowl Sunday, and no, it is not the New England Patriots.

I expect the Celtics to get the win and cover at home in a revenge spot against the Hawks. Also, with Collins out and Young dealing with injuries for the Hawks, I can see them struggling in a hostile environment against the best defense in the league.

The Celtics are the hottest team in the league and I expect them to extend their winning streak. The spread may be high, but not high enough. I make the point spread on this game -8 and would play this up to -7.

Pick: Celtics -6 (up to -7)

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Nick Sterling
Jul 15, 2024 UTC