Whenever you wake up and look at some NBA odds and see the opportunity to pick an underdog, you get excited. Wednesday night at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, there is a chance for one of those picks. The Boston Celtics head down to Atlanta after picking up five wins in their past seven games to meet a struggling Hawks team that has lost eight of their past 11 contests.
When Jaylen Brown went down with a hamstring injury back on November 4th, it seemed as if it would be a tough couple of weeks for the Celtics. The 25-year-old was leading Boston in scoring with 25.6 points per game. But, since Brown has been out, the Celts have gone 3-2, with one of those losses coming to an outstanding Dallas Mavericks team. It took Luka Doncic nailing a buzzer-beater to down Boston a few weeks ago.
In their past five contests, Dennis Schroder and Jayson Tatum have stepped up and averaged 24.0 and 25.0 points, respectively. Tonight Schroder has a point prop of just 17.5, a number he’s gone above in four of the past five games.
On the other side of the ball, the Hawks got off to a hot start the first week of the season but since then have cooled down. In their past 10 games, Atlanta has allowed 114.0 points per game while only scoring 109.1, opposed to the first five games of the season when they were outscoring opponents by an average of 6.0 points.
Atlanta has been awful against the spread this season, going 5-10, while the Celtics have been 4-1 in their past five road games and are 6-1 in their last seven overall.
I said it at the beginning picking an underdog to win is exciting, and I feel that the Celtics will defeat the Atlanta Hawks tonight with big performances from Schroder and Tatum.
Picks: Spread: Celtics +4.5, Moneyline: Celtics (+154), Player Point Total; Schroder: Over 17.5