There will be just one game happening in the NBA on Thursday. It’s a game that not many expected to happen, including the operations staff at State Farm Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks. They double-booked this Game 6 matchup between the Hawks and Boston Celtics with a Janet Jackson concert, probably assuming (as we all did) that the series wouldn’t get this far.
The concert has been rescheduled and Game 6 is indeed happening in Atlanta. Let’s look into how we got here, what each team has done to date, and what makes the most sense from a betting perspective for Thursday’s only matchup.
|Celtics Moneyline Odds||-300|
|Hawks Moneyline Odds||+245|
|Spread Odds||Celtics -7|
|Series Odds||Celtics -2500, Hawks +1200|
|Over/Under||232 points (over -110, under -110)|
|Time/Date||Thursday, April 27, 8:30 p.m. ET|
Previous games in series
To call it surprising that we have gotten here would be an understatement. The Celtics finished second in a stacked Eastern Conference and are one of the clear favourites to win the NBA Championship, especially with the Milwaukee Bucks no longer in the picture. Despite losing a pair of games to the underdog Hawks, the Celtics are still the odds-on favourites to win the title (+165 at FanDuel).
This series has been interesting from a betting perspective. The Celtics have been sizeable favourites in each game, covering in all three of their wins. It’s also interesting to note that the offence went up a notch when things shifted to Atlanta, so that could be something to watch in Game 6.
Let’s break down how each team has done in the series so far.
|Date||Home Team||Spread Odds||Result||Total|
|April 15 (Game 1)||Boston||Celtics -10||112-99 Celtics||232 (under)|
|April 18 (Game 2)||Boston||Celtics -10||119-106 Celtics||230.5 (under)|
|April 21 (Game 3)||Atlanta||Celtics -5||130-122 Hawks||229 (over)|
|April 23 (Game 4)||Atlanta||Celtics -7.5||129-121 Celtics||231.5 (over)|
|April 25 (Game 5)||Boston||Celtics -14||119-117 Hawks||230.5 (over)|
About the Celtics (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS, 3-2 o/u)
Despite leading the series 3-2, it can’t feel good to be a Celtics fan right now. Many expected a sweep or perhaps a five-game series at the very worst. The fact that this is shifting back to Atlanta for Game 6 has to feel uncomfortable at best.
The Celtics have been largely driven by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, but the supporting cast has been just as good. Derrick White had 20+ points in each of the first two games with Marcus Smart also putting up 24 points, eight assists, and three rebounds in a losing Game 3 effort.
When the Celtics win, they are led by the two-headed monster of Tatum and Brown. The two combined for 62 points in Game 4, putting the Celtics up 3-1 in the series. Game 5 was an anomaly from the standpoint of the Celtics. They shot better from the field and had more rebounds. The difference is that Atlanta shot more than 46% from three while Boston managed just 31.6%.
The Celtics have shown a vulnerability to the long-range game. They will need to be at their best heading into Game 6 if they want to close out the series and silence any doubters.
About the Hawks (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS, 3-2 o/u)
Even with Dejounte Murray being suspended for Game 5 due to inappropriate contact with an official, the Hawks survived. Getting him back could be a galvanizing factor for the Hawks. Coupled with the fact that they are going to be in front of their home crowd and it could be more about survival for the Celtics early on.
Murray and Trae Young have been the driving force for the Hawks, though De’Andre Hunter’s efforts on the boards cannot go unnoticed. Young went off for 38 points in Game 5, hitting a late three-pointer to put the Hawks ahead for good.
Murray’s return will be one to watch. He has been a force in the series, leading the team in scoring in the first two games of the series. He put up 25 and 23 points, respectively, in the two games at State Farm Arena so far. Coming back from suspension and looking to do so with a vengeance, he and Young may be too hot to contain in the early going.
There are no injury concerns for either team.
- The over is 5-2 in the last seven meetings.
- The Celtics are 8-2 ATS in the past 10 meetings.
- The over is 7-1 in Boston’s last eight road games and the over is 5-0 in Atlanta’s last five home games.
- The Celtics are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a loss.
Player prop trends
- Tatum has been an absolute beast in the series so far. For player props, keep an eye on him for the points + assists player combo on Thursday. His number is set at 30.5, a number he has bested just twice in the series. Still, with a potential series win on the table, Tatum has a chance to show himself as the force that many know him to be. Best odds: over 30.5 points (-108 Caesars).
- On the Atlanta side of things, watch for Murray. Not only for points + assists (27.5) but assists + rebounds (11.5). He has been one of the best players in the series as a whole and should come out with some fire in his game to start Game 6. Best odds: over 27.5 points + assists (-106 FanDuel), over 11.5 assists + rebounds (-106 FanDuel).
Wagers to consider
- If you want to keep it simple, the spread is worth watching. When the Celtics have won in this series, they have covered every time. If you think that the Celtics are worth the pick, go with the spread (-7) rather than the steep moneyline odds (-300). Best spread price: Pinnacle (-104).
- Murray over 21.5 points is good player prop selection given the momentum in the series and his previous performances. Best price: Caesars (-111).
- If you want to make things really interesting, consider a same game parlay. Go with the Celtics moneyline, Tatum to score 20+ points, Young over 2.5 made threes, and Tatum to record more than 4.5 assists to create +475 odds for this parlay (FanDuel).