Oh, how the tables of the first-round NBA playoff series between the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks have turned. Though the Celtics still hold the clear advantage, the pressure has officially shifted back onto them after an epically bad collapse in Game 5.
Rest assured, Celtics vs. Hawks picks are coming. But first, here's all the details you need to know in advance of their next game:
- What: Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics Game 5
- Date: Thursday, April 27
- Time: 10 p.m. EST
- Where: State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia
- Series Score: Boston leads Atlanta 3-2
The Hawks have gained quite a bit of momentum heading into Game 6. While 3-1 comebacks remain exceedingly rare, they get to play at home, Dejounte Murray is returning from his Game 5 suspension, and Trae Young is working off one of the best postseason performances in his career. Is that all enough for them to beat historical trends and force a Game 7? Linemakers don't think so, as the latest betting odds on the 2023 NBA playoffs show:
Remember to keep rechecking these NBA online betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Celtics vs. Hawks Game 6 betting odds are accurate as of Wednesday, April 26. That gives linemakers plenty of time to make adjustments prior to opening tip-off on Thursday, April 27, at 10 p.m. EST. Pay special attention to the start time specifically. It's a late opening tip for an East Coast game. But State Farm Arena in Atlanta accidentally double-booked the venue, so a concert will be taking place earlier in the day. This gives the best online NBA betting sites even more time than normal to tweak their Game 6 lines.
This, of course, isn't an issue if you're doing business with the right odds provider. That's why we cobbled together reviews of the top online sportsbooks. They have all the information you need to find a linemaker who meets all of your online sports betting needs.
Back to the question at hand: Can the heavily favored Celtics dispatch the Hawks once and for all? Or is Atlanta more of a force to be reckoned with than the first part of this series suggested?
The Boston Celtics Should Get the Job Done in Game 6
Pretty much everyone inside NBA circles was shocked the Celtics didn't finish off the Hawks in Game 6. Atlanta was missing Dejounte Murray, and Boston actually led by as many as 13 points.
But then the Hawks dropped in a flurry of three-pointers. And the Celtics, for their part, self-destructed. They not only missed a ton of jumpers, but they struggled to take care of the ball, committing turnover after turnover. Their late-game meltdown was real cause for concern—in later rounds, not this one.
Atlanta still lacks the consistent perimeter defense to force a Game 7. Boston has thrown parades at the rim virtually all series when they're devoted to attacking. The Hawks ratcheted up their effort late in Game 5, and the return of Dejounte Murray will buoy that energy. But Atlanta also becomes more mid-range dependent with Murray in the lineup. We're not convinced the offense will be able to keep up with the thermonuclear pace it displayed on Tuesday night.
More than anything, though, the Celtics are just deeper and more talented. This is a series that should have ended in four or five games. We'll be shocked if it gets to a Game 7.
OSB Prediction: Boston Celtics (-255)
Oddsmakers Clearly Don't Think the Atlanta Hawks are Up to the Task of Forcing a Game 7
So much for the betting action accounting for a relatively close game. Here are the latest NBA point spread betting odds for Game 6 between the Hawks and Celtics:
- Boston Celtics, -6.5 (-110)
- Atlanta Hawks, +6.5 (-110)
Game 5 was the first matchup of this series that was determined by fewer than eight points. Though Atlanta has generally played better at home this season, they aren't point-spread-covering superheroes. In fact, only the Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets and Dallas Mavericks covered the spread on a smaller share of their games during the regular season.
Relative to how many minutes the Celtics have spent leading by double digits in this series, we think they'll rather comfortably skate to victory in Game 6.
OSB Prediction: Boston Celtics, -6.5 (-110)
The Hawks vs. Celtics Series Has Turned into an Offense-First Affair
At the start of this series, it looked like the Celtics defense coupled with the Hawks shot selection would deliver a bunch of low-scoring action. Things have played out that way, and the betting lines reflect as much. Below you can see the latest over/under betting odds for Celtics vs. Hawks in Game 6:
- Over 231.5 (-110)
- Under 231.5 (-110)
Scoring has picked up dramatically over the past three games between the Hawks and Celtics. Boston and Atlanta are combining to average 246 points during this span.
Granted, we're talking about a small sample size. The Celtics, specifically, have the length and mobility to shut down the Hawks' offense on any given night. But both Atlanta and Boston are tough to stop when they're raining threes. And lately, both teams have been raining threes. They're each averaging over 16 makes from long distance over these three games.
Even if the conversions aren't as high in Game 6, the sheer volume of three-pointers getting jacked should inflate the final score. The Celtics are launching 42 triples per game during this stretch, while the Hawks check in at 37.3. So long as Atlanta's shot profile doesn't regress into a turnover and mid-range extravaganza, we feel pretty good about this game yet again smashing the "over."
OSB Prediction: Over 231.5 (-110)
Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2023 NBA playoffs betting: