Celtics vs. Hawks NBA expert prediction and odds for Thursday, March 28 (Take Boston early)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Boston Celtics-Atlanta Hawks matchup on Thursday, March 28.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics are looking to avenge Monday’s disaster of a loss against the Atlanta Hawks, as they face them for the second time in as many games. 

Unfortunately for Atlanta, it is playing this game on the second night of a back-to-back, as the Hawks played the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night, picking up a 14-point win. 

Boston blew a 20-point lead on Monday night, spoiling a 37-point game from Jayson Tatum, but the team doesn’t have a ton to play for at this point in the season since it has already locked up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

There’s a chance this will be the first-round matchup for Boston for the second straight season – depending up on how Atlanta fares in the play-in tournament – so the C’s may want to close out the Hawks on a high note on Thursday.

If you’re looking to bet on any game in the NBA tonight, FanDuel Sportsbook has an amazing promotional offer. New users who sign up with the link below and wager $5 will receive $200 in bonus bets -- if their bet wins.

Sign up for FanDuel now!

Here’s a look at the odds and my best bet for this rematch on Thursday night: 

Celtics vs. Hawks odds, spread and total

Celtics vs. Hawks how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, March 28
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: State Farm Arena
  • How to watch (TV): NBC Sports Boston, Bally Sports Southeast
  • Celtics record: 57-15
  • Hawks record: 44-28

Celtics vs. Hawks injury reports

Celtics injury report

  • JD Davison – out
  • Jrue Holiday – questionable
  • Al Horford – questionable
  • Drew Peterson – out
  • Neemias Queta – out
  • Jaden Springer – questionable
  • Xavier Tillman – questionable
  • Jordan Walsh – out

Hawks injury report

  • Not submitted yet

Celtics vs. Hawks key players to watch

Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum: Tatum did all he could to win Boston Monday’s game, scoring 37 points on 13-of-26 shooting. Still, Boston wasn’t able to hold on to a massive first-half lead. It’ll be interesting to see if Boston sits any players (maybe even Tatum) in this game since the team is already secured in the no. 1 spot in the East. Depending upon who plays, Tatum’s role could expand even more than usual on Thursday. 

Atlanta Hawks

De’Andre Hunter: With Jalen Johnson dealing with an ankle injury, Hunter is being asked to handle a bigger role for Atlanta, and he thrived in it against Boston on Monday, dropping a team-high 24 points. Despite missing time with injury, Hunter has been solid this season, averaging 15.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while shooting an impressive 47.0 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from 3. 

Celtics vs. Hawks prediction and pick

Prior to Monday’s debacle, Boston had covered the spread as a road favorite in six straight games, but I’m not completely sold on the team covering this number, even with Atlanta on the second night of a back-to-back. 

But that doesn’t mean we aren’t backing the Celtics in some way. 

Sure, Atlanta is just 4-8 against the spread in the second night of back-to-backs this season and 3-7 ATS as a home underdog, but I think the play is in the first half in this game. 

According to EV Analytics, Boston is 53-18-1 against the spread in the first half this season, by far the best mark in the NBA. It makes sense since Boston has an average first-half scoring margin of plus-8.3 ponts. The next closest team? New Orleans at plus-5.6. 

Atlanta, on the other hand, is 37-34 against the spread in the first half this season, which isn’t a bad mark, but it’s far from where Boston is. The C’s led by 18 points at half on Monday, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them get off to a fast start against an Atlanta team that is going to be a little tired on the second night of a back-to-back. 

Pick: Celtics 1H Spread -10 (-105)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.