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NBA Playoffs: Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks Betting Preview

After winning the first two games at home, the Boston Celtics (2-0) will look to take Game 3 on the road as they face the Atlanta Hawks (0-2). This game will be played at State Farm Arena, with tipoff scheduled for 7:00 pm ET.

Despite playing on the road, the Celtics are the overwhelming favorite in this one. They are -205 to win, while the Hawks’ moneyline sits at +172. The spread features Atlanta as 5-point underdogs (-110), and the over/under for total points is 229.

Celtics Continue Domination Of Hawks

The last time that the Atlanta Hawks won a head-to-head matchup against the Celtics was January 28, 2022. Since that time, Boston has won seven straight matchups, covering the spread in every single one. They hope to continue that domination Friday night in Atlanta.

In Game 2, the Celtics demolished Atlanta 119-106. In the win, Jayson Tatum tied a game-high with 29 points, while also adding 10 rebounds and six assists.

Aside from Tatum, Derrick White (26 points, seven rebounds), Jaylen Brown (18 points0, Marcus Smart (14 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists), and Malcolm Brogdon (13 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists) all had great games.

This season, the Celtics rank fourth in scoring, averaging 117.9 points per game (115.4 points per game on the road). Defensively, the Celtics also rank fourth, allowing opponents an average of 111.2 points per game (106.3 over their last three games).

Hawks Try To Keep Hopes Alive

After losing by 13 points in each of the first two games, the Hawks are looking to regroup as they head back home. This season, Atlanta is 24-17 when playing at the State Farm Arena, and they will certainly need to pick up the home win Friday if they have any hope of contending in this series.

Atlanta really needs a big game from superstar Trae Young. During the regular season, Young averaged 26.2 points, 10.2 assists, and 3 rebounds per game. This postseason, he is managing just 20 points and seven assists per game.

One player who has stepped up this postseason is Dejounte Murray. In two games, he is averaging 26.5 points, seven rebounds, and six assists per game.

Throughout the season, the Hawks have ranked third in scoring, averaging 118 points per game, but they are averaging just 107 over their last three games. On the defensive side, they rank 24th in the NBA, allowing opponents an average of 117.9 points per game.

Take Boston To Win And Cover

Looking at the trends, Boston is 7-0 both straight up and against the spread in their last seven contests with Atlanta. Furthermore, they are 6-0 against the spread in their last six games overall.

For Atlanta, they are just 1-4 both straight up and against the spread in their last five games. They are 6-2 in their last eight home games, but they are just 3-6 against the spread in their last nine games against Eastern Conference opponents.

All it takes is just one night where Trae Young catches fire, and the Hawks could be right back in this series. The problem is that Atlanta has really shown no signs of life while Boston has dominated on nearly every front through the first two games of this series.

Until the Hawks can prove otherwise, the smart money is on Boston. Take them to continue their streak and expect them to win and cover the -5 points (-110) in this one.

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