Celtics set to lay down a marker at TD Garden

Updated April 14, 2023
Updated April 14, 2023By Dean Etheridge

The Boston Celtics take on the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden in the opening match of their Eastern Conference 1st NBA Round playoff series on Saturday. Boston finished the season with a 57-25 record, the Hawks were 41-41. As a result, Boston head into this match as the heavy favorites to win the match, and the series. Here we look ahead to Saturday’s fixture in our latest NBA betting picks.

NBA 2023 Playoff Picks Celtics Set To Lay Down A Marker At Td Garden

This is the first of seven matches (if all required). In the regular season the two sides met three times, with Boston winning all of the matches. The two sides have met eight times in playoff series, with the Celtics holding a 7-1 record. The last time the two teams met at this stage was in 2016, and that was the Hawks solitary playoff win over the Celtics. 

Betting to win the 2023 NBA Championship

The Celtics finished behind the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference table. But they won’t mind that if they go on to win the NBA Championship. 

For a long period of the regular-season, they were the favorites to win the NBA Championship. But such was the Milwaukee Bucks’ exceptional run towards the back end of the campaign, the Celtics found themselves replaced as the favorites to win the 2023 NBA Championship.

As things stand, the Bucks are now +275 to win their second championship in three seasons, and third overall. Led by the irresistible Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks have forced the best NBA betting sites to demote the Celtics to second favorites at +340

The Phoenix Suns make up the top three in the betting at odds of +425. Then it’s the Golden State Warriors at +750, with the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers both at +1000. The LA Lakers have just about managed to get themselves back in with the overall favorites, they sit next at +1200.

Our odds table below has more betting from the best NBA Finals betting sites. To read more about these sites, please check out our online sportsbook reviews page.

Betting to Win 2023 NBA ChampionshipBetOnlineBetUSBovada
Milwaukee Bucks+275+275+275
Boston Celtics+340+340+340
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

Celtics finish the regular-season on a high

The Celtics finished the season with a three match winning streak. Ironically, their last match was actually a 120-114 win over the Hawks last weekend

In their last ten matches, the Celtics were 8-2, and they’ve won 12 of their last 16. This after a bit of a blip at the start of March. 

Hawks pull off surprise win in Miami

In the Hawks last ten regular-season matches their record reads 5-5. They finished a full 17 wins behind the Bucks, which saw them finish well down the Eastern Conference table. 

The Hawks did surprise plenty with their 116-105 win to the Miami Heat in the Play-in tournament.

The win – which came in the Heat’s backyard – was impressive. But it hasn’t influenced the bookmakers who have still priced the Hawks up as huge outsiders to win the series.

Celtics vs Hawks Betting 

To win the series, the Celtics are -1100. The Hawks are +700. This shows the huge gulf in class between the two sides. This is further backed up on the moneyline for the opening match, where the Celtics are -400, with the Hawks at +320.

Moving onto other markets, and on the handicap spread, the Celtics are giving away 9 points in the Game Period. In this market the Celtics (-9) are -115, with the Hawks (+9) at -105. The total points spread is 231, with both over and under priced up at -110.

In the Team Points market, the Celtics total is set at 120 with BetOnline. The bookie makes them -110 for both over or under 120 points. As for the Hawks, their level is set at 110, with the same odds of -110 available on both sides of the spread. 

Our Picks

Jaylen Brown looks set to turn out for Boston after his latest injury scare. But even without him, we’d expect Boston to have too much for the Hawks. The Celtics may need to guard against complacency, as they’re probably slightly happier to be playing the Hawks, rather than the Heat. But regardless, they would have been heavily favored to beat either team.

Where is the value though? That is the question. We’re not touching the moneyline for obvious reasons. We expect the Celtics to win, but we’re not going near to -400

The points spread is interesting though. Can the Celtics beat a 9 points spread? They only won by six against the same opponents last weekend. And with the Celtics probably not as hot as they started the season, might they decide to do just enough to win this opening match? And maybe try to preserve energy for the remaining matches? On the flip side, they might want to really throw down an early marker and go for the kill.

We’re leaning towards the latter of those two theories in this match. The Celtics may not get to the 120 points mark. But defensively they’re strong, and we expect them to keep the Hawks relatively quiet. So for our pick, we’re going for the Celtics to win on the handicap.

Boston (-9)To beat the Hawks
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Boston Celtics vs Atlanta Hawks
TD Gardens,Boston,Massachusetts 
Starting on
April 15, 2023
Ending on
April 15, 2023

About the Author

Dean Etheridge
Dean Etheridge

Over the last 10 years, Dean has sharpened his expertise in crafting and revising content for his soccer and cricket betting platforms. Driven by his passion for sports betting and writing, he embarked on a journey of writing about sports wagering. 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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