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Betting On Hawks Celtics Predictions – Returning Rondo Ignites Boston Attack In Game 3

Posted by Craig Parsons on 5/1/2012 3:02:38 PM

Boston’s sports betting odds revolved around their point guard, who lost his head in Game 1 and was suspended for the second game in Atlanta, but he’ll return to the lineup and steal the show on Friday night as the Celtics come home and pick up a hard-earned win over the Hawks.

What: NBA Betting
When: Friday, May 4th, 7:30 PM ET
Where: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA
Pick: Boston Celtics

Why Bet On Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks managed to escape Game 1 with an 83-74 win at home thanks to a 31-18 lead after the first quarter and Atlanta just held on after that. Josh Smith was the main man with a 22-point, 18-board performance as the Hawks are still without Al Horford, who is just getting back to practicing after missing more than three months with a pectoral injury, while Jeff Teague had 15 points and Kirk Hinrich came up with 12 huge points, hitting four of his six three-point attempts. This made up for a tough night for Joe Johnson, who had 11 points on 3-of-15 shooting and he missed all nine of his three-point attempts. Johnson isn’t going to have nights like this all the time, but he managed to contribute in other ways, which is encouraging to Atlanta fans. However, the Hawks are going to need his scoring in this series because Smith is still inconsistent in that aspect, and he has to go against Kevin Garnett.

But Atlanta played excellent defense against the Celtics and frustrated them all night long, and they’ll need an effort like that in a hostile environment in Boston. The Hawks aren’t an offensive juggernaut by any means and that especially holds true when Johnson struggles from the field as he did in Game 1, but they need to keep up the defensive intensity because they know the Celtics are going to bring it. If they can win Game 2 on Tuesday night, that would really put Boston on the back foot heading home.

Why Bet On Boston Celtics

However, NBA betting sharps know that Boston is an experienced team that got out of the gate slowly in Game 1, and the suspension of Rajon Rondo, much like a coach getting a technical or even getting kicked out of the game, seemed to spark them in the waning moments of Game 1. Rondo’s two-game suspension for throwing a ball earlier in the season probably came into play in terms of this incident and he’s probably fortunate to get off with only a game. The mercurial point guard had 20 points, 11 assists and four steals before bumping into referee Mark Davis and whether it was intentional or not, Rondo has to be smarter because now, the Celtics may go into Game 2 without Rondo or the injured Ray Allen, who will try to go in Game 2. Garnett had 20 points and 12 rebounds, but Paul Pierce was just 5-of-19 from the field and he missed all six of his long-range attempts to offset Johnson’s awful night. As a team, the Celtics missed all 11 of their treys and that is where they miss Allen, who has hit the most three-pointers in NBA history. Their ability to hit from the perimeter opens up the inside for Rondo to drive and dish, as well as for Garnett to take advantage of a smaller Atlanta team without Horford in the middle.

Boston looked lethargic in the first 12 minutes and that is what lost them the first game of the series, and you can bet that they’re going to come out with more fire in Game 2 in Atlanta on Tuesday, and definitely in Boston for Game 3. This is an experienced team that knows what they’re doing and the suspension of Rondo for the second game of the series can only serve as a lightning rod for the Celtics, who didn’t even sweat finishing in fifth and giving up home court to the Hawks. But in Game 3, protecting their home court is absolutely imperative with Rondo back on the floor. 

How It Will Play Out

Boston will be the NBA betting favorites at the new Garden, where they’ve won three of their last five against the Hawks, and this game should be all about one man: Rajon Rondo. He is the most important player in the series because he gives some energy to the Celtics’ old legs and when he is at their best, Boston is incredibly tough to beat.

Rondo is also the type of player who has his best games when his back is against the wall or he is being criticized; when it was reported that the Celtics were shopping Rondo before the trade deadline, he responded with a triple-double. Look for that sort of performance on Friday night and take the Celtics for a victory in your online betting book.

Hawks Celtics Betting Pick: Boston Celtics


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