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Hawks-Celtics Playoffs Betting Odds – Game One
Carrie Stroup here with your Hawks-Celtics Playoffs odds for the Hawks-Celtics game. You can receive up to $250 in FREE CASH when you open an online betting account here today at Sportsbook.com. Tell them Carrie sent you.
Sportsbook.com Game 1 Line & Total: Atlanta -1.5 & 179
Series Line: Celtics -200/Hawks +165
Don’t let the records fool you. The Celtics have been pacing themselves all year for the postseason, and they’ll be ready when they open their first-round series in Atlanta on Sunday night.
After a slow start to the year, Boston finished its season by winning 14 of its final 19 games. But more than that, this team is built for the playoffs. There’s the fact that the C’s have postseason-tested veterans. But more than that, their aging roster will benefit from the spaced-out series, which will keep them fresh. The Hawks do have a dangerous lead guard in Jeff Teague and Josh Smith is becoming a more effective player in the half court. But Joe Johnson is just a 41.3% FG shooter in his Hawks playoff career, and they’re still without Al Horford, erasing any significant low-post advantage against the smallish Celtics. The Hawks have escaped the first round each of the past two years (granted, it was against the Bucks in 2010 and the dysfunctional Magic a year ago), but the matchup with the Celtics doesn’t work for them, even with home-court advantage for having one more win than the Atlantic Division champs.
The Celtics came on strong in the second half of the season in large part because of the resurgence of PF Kevin Garnett. With C Jermaine O’Neal out for the season, Garnett slid over to center and has looked like his old self on both ends of the court. In the second half of the season, he averaged 17.5 PPG on 50.8% FG, and he remains one of the best pick-and-roll defenders in the NBA. SF Paul Pierce has settled back in as the team’s closer, and PG Rajon Rondo has handed out 10 or more assists in each of the past 24 games. The Celtics’ one question mark is the health of SG Ray Allen, their best pure shooter, who is nursing an ankle injury. Though SG Avery Bradley is a defensive upgrade and proved a capable scorer, Allen’s ability to catch and shoot from behind the arc can’t be duplicated.
The Hawks slowly rounded into form after losing Horford to a season-ending pectoral injury back in January. They’ve been a tough team to figure out. A year ago, they stumbled through the final two months of the season only to get to the playoffs and crush an Orlando team that had manhandled them a year earlier. A big part of their success this year has been the maturation of PF Josh Smith, though he’s always a question mark in the half court slog of the postseason. But Atlanta’s biggest issue will be its lack of size to exploit the Celtics’ front line.
Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter
Submitted by Carrie Stroup on Fri, 04/27/2012 - 16:17