After mounting a second-half comeback in a 102-101 loss to Atlanta in Game 1 of their first-round NBA playoff series, the Boston Celtics prepare for Game 2 against the Hawks on Tuesday as six-point betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Pegged as 5 1/2-point underdogs, the Celtics fell behind early in the series opener Saturday, spotting Atlanta a 17-point lead at halftime, and looked to be on their way to an eighth against the spread loss in their past 12 outings. Instead, the club bounced back and briefly captured the lead in the final frame before the Hawks closed things out with a late run, giving the Celtics their second straight ATS win, but their third straight-up defeat in their past four games. The loss also extended their overall SU losing streak against the Hawks to four games, and leaves them winless in their last five visits to Atlanta heading into Tuesday night’s Celtics vs. Hawks betting matchup at Philips Arena. Boston now sports longer odds on the NBA series prices, slipping from +170 prior to Game 1 to its current position as +178 dogs, while the Hawks have moved from -238 to -263 chalk. Isaiah Thomas led all Celtics shooters with 27 points in Game 1, including 25 in the second half, reversing Boston’s dismal 23 percent shooting in the first half. Meanwhile, a trio of Hawks shooters topped 20 points, led by point guard Jeff Teague, who had 23 points and 12 assists to record just his second double-double since late January. Atlanta has won four straight SU at home, and ended a brief two-game SU losing streak with its Game 1 victory, but its struggles continue at the sportsbooks, where it has lost three straight ATS, and has failed to cover in seven of its past nine contests, according to the OddsShark NBA Database. The Hawks’ current woes are all too familiar to bettors, who have seen them consistently come up short during the postseason, recording back-to-back ATS wins just once during their march to the Eastern Conference finals last spring, and they now own a 6-13 ATS mark in their past 19 playoff games. The total in Game 1 played under the 206 points set at the sportsbooks, ending a three-game run for the over in meetings between these two teams. But both clubs have seen the under pay out with regularity of late, going 5-1 in the Hawks’ past six, and 16-8 in the Celtics’ past 24, with Boston going 7-2 in its last nine where the under prevailed.
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