Celtics look set to go into a 3-0 series lead

Updated April 20, 2023
Updated April 20, 2023By Dean Etheridge

The Hawks and the Celtics play at the State Farm Arena for the first time in their series on Friday. And with the Celtics already leading the series 2-0, it’s already fair to say the Hawks really have to win this one if they are to have any chance of pulling off a shock series win. Can they do it? Let’s take a look with our latest NBA betting picks

Hawks Vs Celtics Match 3 2023 Playoffs Betting Picks At State Farm Arena

Yes, with a series lead of 2-0 after two home matches, the Celtics know that a win in the third match will really knock the stuffing out of the already wobbling Hawks. The Celtics will want their third win to help them tie up the series as soon as possible. Allowing them to focus on bigger goals further down the line. 

Hoping that the Celtics have one eye on future events is probably the Hawks best chance of a route back into this series. They have pretty much been played off the court in the opening two matches. So, along with home advantage, hoping for a drop-off in the performance levels of the Celtics looks like the Hawks only way back into this series. 

But if the odds on offer from the best NBA playoffs betting sites are anything to go by, that doesn’t seem like happening. Currently BetOnline has the Celtics at -9000 to win the series, with the Hawks at +2750. The Celtics started off the series at -1100, so in the eyes of the best NBA betting sites, the series has so far played out as expected. 

Betting to win the 2023 NBA Championship

And those same NBA betting sites now also make the Celtics their betting favorites to win the 2023 NBA Championship finals. The Celtics are now +275, with the Milwaukee Bucks slipping down to second in the betting at +325.

This comes after the Bucks suffered a shock defeat to the Miami Heat in their opening match of the playoffs. The Heat beat the Bucks 130-117, but the big news coming out of that match was the injury to Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Bucks star man missed the second match due to a back contusion. But even in his absence, the Bucks dominated the match to win 138-122, and leveled the series at 1-1. Even then though, the doubts surrounding Antetokounmpo’s back injury appear to have spooked the betting market if nothing else.

Full betting to win the 2023 NBA Championships can be found below. These odds are taken from the best basketball betting sites, and you can read more about them on our online sportsbook reviews page.

Betting to Win 2023 NBA ChampionshipBetOnlineBetUSBovada
Boston Celtics+275+275+275
Milwaukee Bucks+325+325+325
Phoenix Suns+425+425+425
Golden State Warriors+750+750+750
Denver Nuggets+1000+1000+1000
Philadelphia 76ers+1000+1000+1000
LA Lakers+1200+1200+1200
Memphis Grizzlies+2200+2200+2200

The story so far 

Back to the Hawks and Celtics now, and Boston won the second match of the series on Tuesday night. The 119-106 win probably wasn’t as dominant as their 112-99 win in the opening match. This, despite the points difference again being 13 points. 

In the opening match, the Celtics raced into a 74-44 lead after the opening two periods. The only reason the Hawks made the result look respectable was down to Joe Mazzulla’s team easing off considerably. This, with the game all but won in the first half of the match.

In the second game, the Celtics won a more hard fought match. The Hawks only managed to win one period. But except for a 9-point gap in the second period, the other three were all closer than the opening two periods in the first match.

The Celtics again had their magical trio to thank for the majority of the scoring. Between them, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Derrick White scored 78 of Boston’s 112 in the first match, and 73 of Boston’s 119 points in the second.

Hawks vs Celtics Betting Odds and Picks

So where does this leave us in the betting going into the third match of the series? Well, no surprises, but Boston are the betting favorites. On the moneyline, the Celtics are -205, with the Hawks at +175.

This sees the Hawks getting a 5 points start on the handicap line. With the head start, the Hawks are -110, with the Celtics also at -110. Finally, on the total points line, the amount has been set at 228.5. Both over and under 228.5 points is -110. To date, neither match in this series has reached that amount of points.

Can we see anything other than another win for the Celtics? No, is the short answer. The only two questions we need to answer here are: Is it worth backing the Celtics at -205 on the moneyline? Can the Celtics cover the 5 points spread?

The answers to those questions, in our belief, is no, and yes. Although we think it’s safe to back the Celtics on the moneyline, we’re not going to. You will no doubt have seen far worse prices on the Celtics to win matches on the road throughout the season. But we’re looking more towards the handicap market for better value.

If they are to win, the chances are Boston will cover the 5 points spread. So for our match pick, we’re going with the Celtics to cover the spread.

Boston Celtics (-5)To beat the Hawks on the Handicap Spread
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Atlanta Hawks vs Boston Celtics
State Farm Arena,Atlanta,Georgia
Starting on
April 21, 2023
Ending on
April 21, 2023

About the Author

Dean Etheridge
Dean Etheridge

Dean Etheridge has over ten years of writing experience in the world of sports betting. Starting out as a hobby on his own soccer betting website, Dean has now seen his picks published across various affiliate sites along with The Sun and TalkSPORT where he writes regular Premier League and Champions League betting tips. Combining his extensive knowledge and experience with his British humor and wit, Dean has developed into a trusted voice within the sports betting industry. Although Dean's preferred areas of focus are the English Premier League and cricket, his extensive sports knowledge enables him to tackle nearly any sport. Gone are the days of traveling the world to witness events like FIFA World Cups and Ashes cricket, as Dean now prefers the comfort of his own home while enjoying sports.

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