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Celtics vs. Hawks Prediction: Boston Still Reeling from Epic Collapse

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published March 28, 2024
10 min read

The Boston Celtics (57-15) gave up a 30-point lead against the Atlanta Hawks (33-39) the last time they took the court, but they have a chance for revenge as the Hawks enter the second night of a back-to-back.

The Celtics are the clear-cut best team in the Eastern Conference and are 2-1 against the Hawks. They were up 68-38 in the second quarter of Monday’s matchup before totally capitulating and dropping an unnecessary game.

While Boston rested after the embarrassing loss, the Hawks welcomed the Portland Trail Blazers to town and extended their winning streak to three games. They’re 5.5 games clear of the 11th-place Brooklyn Nets and are essentially locked into the 10 seed as they prepare to take the court for the second day in a row.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite pick for the Celtics vs. Hawks matchup.

Celtics vs. Hawks Prediction

Celtics vs. Hawks Betting Odds for Thursday, March 28

The Celtics are 38-31-3 (55.1 percent) against the spread and 17-15-3 (53.1 percent) ATS as a road favorite. They’re also 13-9-1 (59.1 percent) ATS with a rest advantage and covered in 14 of their last 18.

The Hawks are a league-worst 26-46 (36.1 percent) ATS and 3-7 (30 percent) ATS as a home underdog. They’re also 5-14 (26.3 percent) ATS with a rest disadvantage and covered in four of nine (but also in three straight).

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Boston Celtics -17.5 (-110) -2500 Over 227.5 (-110)
Atlanta Hawks +17.5 (-110) +1050 Under 227.5 (-110)

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Celtics vs. Hawks Prediction

Boston Celtics Preview

The Celtics have been the best regular-season team bar none. Their devastating blend of long-range marksmanship, fluid offense, and interchangeable yet cohesive defense combined with their level of talent has been far too much for most teams to deal with on any given night, which is why their average point differential (+11.5) is the fifth-highest in any NBA season.

The Celtics’ success is based on their three-point dominance on both ends of the court. They make 16.6 threes per game, the most in the league, and shoot 39 percent from deep, which is also the best mark in basketball. That’s while holding opponents to 35 percent shooting from deep, the third-lowest rate.

The C’s kicked their game into overdrive coming out of the All-Star break, going 14-3 with a net rating of +17.1. Although their defense dropped to ninth in average efficiency during that span, their offense ranked first and produced 8.8 more points per 100 possessions than the second-best team (the Denver Nuggets). 

The primary concern with this team is still its execution late in games. Although they have the fifth-best point differential per 100 possessions in the clutch, they fall from ninth in first-quarter pace of play to 29th in the fourth quarter. They often fall in love with ill-advised shots and have a bad habit of abandoning the philosophies that made them so successful.

Jayson Tatum put up 37 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in the miraculous loss on Monday. Jaylen Brown also had 24 points but the team shot just 11-38 (28.9 percent) from deep.

Atlanta Hawks Preview

It’s been tough for the Hawks to string any momentum together for most of the season, but they’re currently enjoying one of their most fruitful times of the past couple of months.

The Hawks are right in the middle of the league at 15th in net rating (+2.0) over their last 10 games. That’s despite their defense taking a step back after showing real promise immediately after Young exited the lineup, though their offense is ninth in points per 100 possessions (118.1) during that same 10-game span.

Atlanta has also been active on the boards, averaging a higher rebound rate than Boston over the last couple of weeks and change. That’s despite Jalen Johnson and Onyeka Okongwu both missing time recently.

Dejounte Murray is playing outstanding basketball as of late. The 27-year-old averaged 25.8 points, 9.2 assists, and 5.1 rebounds on 39.7 percent three-point shooting in March, scored 30 last night, and had a 19-point, 15-assist double-double the last time he faced Boston.

Although this year has not been overwhelmingly kind to the Hawks, it’s favored them at home. The team is six points per 100 possessions better on its home floor, even though it struggles to cover the spread.

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Celtics vs. Hawks Betting Pick

It’s not very often that a 17.5-point spread in any sport is an interesting matchup, yet that’s what this is. The Hawks are playing some of their best basketball of recent months and have confidence from beating the C’s on Monday spurring them on.

At the same time, the Celtics are going to be livid coming off the embarrassing loss and had two days off, whereas Atlanta is on the second night of a back-to-back. Boston is also just clearly the better team and should steamroll the Hawks at least eight times out of 10.

There’s a case to be made for both sides, but we like the Celtics to go into the rematch and emerge with a huge win and cover the monstrous spread.

How to Watch Celtics vs. Hawks on 3/28/24

  • When: Thursday, March 28, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • Where: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA

  • TV: NBA League Pass

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Grant Mitchell

480 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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