Greetings, basketball fans. Welcome back to our NBA coverage here at Latest Basketball News. One of the games on tap from tonight’s slate features the Boston Celtics (57-14 SU, 38-30-3 ATS) taking on the Atlanta Hawks (31-39 SU, 24-46 ATS).

In a battle between two teams at opposite ends of the conference playoff race, here is a look at which squad has the edge going into this matchup and why.

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  • When: Monday, March 25, 2024
  • Time: 7:30 PM ET
  • Where: State Farm Arena
  • Location: Atlanta, GA

Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks Odds (Via DraftKings)

Boston Celtics vs Atlanta Hawks

Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks – Regular Season Stats & Betting Trends

Can The Celtics Clinch The Top Seed In The Eastern Conference?

Boston Celtics Season Stats:

  • Scoring Offense: 121.2 PPG – 2ND                   
  • Offensive Efficiency: 123.4 points per 100 possessions – 1ST                      
  • Scoring Defense: 109.4 PPG – 6TH                     
  • Defensive Efficiency: 111.5 points per 100 possessions – 3RD          

The Boston Celtics own the best record in the association. They need just one victory or a loss by the second-place Milwaukee Bucks to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference. 

On top of that, they stroll into this matchup riding a nine-game winning streak. This includes a 124-113 win against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. 

In that contest, four starters reached double figures, spearheaded by Jayson Tatum’s 26-point, six-assist performance. 

Sam Hauser and Al Horford contributed 23 points each, while Derrick White finished with 17 points, six assists, and three rebounds. 

Regardless of who has been in and out of the lineup, the Celtics keep finding ways to win games. Tatum and Horford missed the team’s 129-102 win over the Pistons, and Jaylen Brown sat out the game against Chicago.

“Different people, different guys, are ready to step up when their number’s called,” said Horford via CBS Sports. “We all understand what we’re trying to do, how we’re trying to play. Guys are just staying ready and taking advantage of the opportunities.”

The two-game set against the Hawks will mark the third and fourth games of Boston’s six-game road trip. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, look for the Celtics to cruise to another victory against a Hawks team that has its share of injuries. Trae Young, Jalen Johnson, and Saddiq Bell missed Saturday’s game. Even more important, there is no definitive timetable as to when Young will return to the lineup. 

Can The Defensively Challenged Hawks Snap The Celtics’ Nine-Game Winning Streak?

Atlanta Hawks Season Stats:

  • Scoring Offense: 119.2 PPG – 5TH            
  • Offensive Efficiency: 118.1 points per 100 possessions – 9TH              
  • Scoring Defense: 120.7 PPG – 28TH                     
  • Defensive Efficiency: 119.6 points per 100 possessions – 28TH             

On the other side of this matchup, the Atlanta Hawks are currently locked into the final play-in spot. However, they trail the ninth-seeded Chicago Bulls by just 2.5 games. Given the inconsistency Chicago has played with this season, overtaking that team for the ninth spot is quite feasible. 

Over their last 10 contests, the Hawks have gone 5-5. On a positive note, they recently snapped their two-game skid with a much-needed 132-91 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night. 

Dejounte Murray set the tone for the offense with a team-high 28 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the floor and an impressive 7-for-9 effort from beyond the arc. Murray also tallied 12 assists, seven rebounds, and four steals.

Both Bruno Fernando and Garrison Matthews came off the bench and provided Atlanta with 25 and 20 points, respectively. Atlanta placed six players in double figures en route to shooting 55.6 percent from the floor and they connected on 20 of their 42 attempts from 3-point range (47.6 percent). 

And despite having the third-worst defense in the league, Atlanta held Charlotte to 41.7 shooting overall and 28.2 percent shooting from distance. Unfortunately, it is doubtful that the Hawks can keep pace with a Celtics team that is clicking on all cylinders. 

Now that we have set the table for this matchup, let’s look at the betting trends for both sides. 

The Picks

The Spread

The Boston Celtics opened as a 7.5-point favorite. At the time of this writing, the line has climbed up to 12 points for the road team (per Here is a look at how both ball clubs have fared against the spread this season. 

  • The Celtics are 8-1 ATS in their last nine contests.
  • Boston is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 matchups against the Hawks.
  • In their last five road games Atlanta, the Celtics are 4-1 against the spread.
  • Meanwhile, the Hawks are 2-5 ATS in their last seven outings.
  • In its last five home games, Atlanta is 4-1 against the spread.

Based on the above trends, and combined with the fact that the Celtics are 11-6 against the spread this season when favored by 12 or more points, I am leaning toward the road team covering the large spread in this scenario.

Prediction: Boston Celtics (-12)


The projected over/under total for this matchup opened at 224.5 points. The line has inched up to 225.5 points (per Here is why going with the “over” is the smart choice. 

  • The total has gone OVER five times in the Celtics’ last six games.
    The OVER total is 4-1 in the Hawks’ last five outings.
  • In Atlanta’s last six matchups against the Celtics, the OVER total has prevailed four times.
  • The total has gone OVER 15 times in the Hawks’ last 20 matchups against Atlantic Division opponents.
  • In Atlanta’s last six March games, the OVER total cashed in four times.
  • These two teams are averaging 240.4 points per game this season. This is 14.9 points higher than the projected 225.5 points total.
  • Opponents of both teams have averaged 230.1 points, which is 4.6 points more than the estimated points total for this matchup.

Prediction: OVER 225.5 points

Player Prop Bets

On the heels of his 26-point performance against the Bulls, Jayson Tatum is the key player to watch for the league’s top team. He currently has -115 odds of scoring more than 26.5 points and -115 odds of finishing with less than 26.5 points. 

Here is a look at how his numbers stack up against the projected points total for this matchup. 

  • In 22 career games against the Atlanta Hawks, he is averaging 24.2 points per contest.
  • On the season, Tatum is averaging 27.1 points per game across 66 outings.
  • In 33 road contests, he is averaging 26.9 points per contest.
  • Tatum has played against Eastern Conference teams 41 times this season. In those contests, he is averaging 27.0 points per outing.
  • In 12 matchups against Southeast Division opponents, he is averaging 29.2 points per game.
  • Tatum has played on Friday night 10 times this season. In those contests, he is averaging 31.4 points per outing.
  • Over his last 10 outings, Tatum has averaged 27.5 points per contest, exceeding the points total for this matchup five times during that stretch.

Prediction: Jayson Tatum OVER 26.5 points

With multiple players out with injuries, Dejounte Murray is the man to watch for the Hawks. He currently has -110 odds of scoring more than 25.5 points and -120 odds of finishing with less than 25.5 points. 

Will Murray’s season numbers favorably compare against the estimated points total for this matchup? Let’s look at the tale of the tape to find out. 

  • In 11 career games against the Boston Celtics, he is averaging 13.5 points per contest.
  • This season, Murray is averaging 22.3 points per game across 67 appearances.
  • In 33 home contests, he is averaging 21.9 PPG.
  • Murray has played against Eastern Conference teams 41 times this season. In those contests, he is averaging 20.6 points per outing.
  • In nine Monday night appearances this season, Murray is averaging 23.3 PPG.
  • In 14 matchups against Atlantic Division opponents, he is averaging 18.4 points per game.
  • Over his last 10 outings, Murray has averaged 26.7 points per contest, exceeding the points total for this matchup five times during that stretch.

All the above trends indicate that going with the under would be the smart choice. However, because the Hawks are missing several key players, this will create additional scoring opportunities for Murray. So, based on the fact, and his recent 10-game stretch, I am going in the other direction and picking the “over” for Murray. 

Prediction: Dejounte Murray OVER 25.5 points

James Tillman’s Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks Picks

  • The Spread: Boston Celtics (-12) OddShark
  • Over/Under: OVER 225.5 points (DraftKings)
  • Player Prop Bet #1: Jayson Tatum OVER 26.5 points
  • Player Prop Bet #2: Dejounte Murray OVER 25.5 points

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