Celtics vs. Hawks prediction and odds for Game 3 (Boston one step closer to sweep)

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Celtics have dominated the Atlanta Hawks in their first-round series in the NBA playoffs, winning two straight games by double digits in Boston.

Now, with the series shifting back to Atlanta, the Celtics are five-point road favorites in Game 3. That’s a surprising spread, as Boston was favored by 10.5 points in Game 2.

A 5.5-point swing at home is curious, especially since Altanta has struggled to compete outside of the early first quarter in Game 2.

The Hawks’ roster is flawed, consisting of a bunch of below average 3-point shooters around Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, and Boston has been able to attack Young on defense when it needs to.

Can Boston cover the spread in this game and move one step closer to a sweep?

Here’s a look at the latest odds:

Celtics vs. Hawks odds, spread and total

Celtics vs. Hawks prediction and pick

Boston’s defense has been terrific in this series, holding the Hawks to 99 and 106 points through the first two games.

Atlanta’s, on the other hand, has been extremely porous, allowing Boston to shoot 55.8 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from 3-point range in Game 2.

Simply put, the Celtics are getting whatever they want on the offensive end of the floor, and I don’t expect that to change much in Atlanta.

The Hawks are the inferior team in this matchup, and by a wide margin, showing why they finished the regular season with the No. 19 net rating in the NBA.

There’s always a chance that the Hawks could get hot shooting the ball at home, but on the season the team is just 19th in the league in effective field goal percentage.

I said before this series that Boston would sweep, and my thoughts haven’t changed after the first two games. Back the Celtics to cover.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.