Posted: 5/1/2012 5:55:12 PM
7:35 EST - Boston Celtics @ Atlanta Hawks Under 173.5 (-110)
7:35 EST - Atlanta Hawks -4 (-110)
I know the Hawks ATS wager is a little on the square side, but remember my model predicted them to win their home games by an average margin of victory of 6.59 points. I really should have been on them in the first game, but I played light cards for the first set to see how these coaches would play the series. Well now we know that the Hawks are significantly more athletic than the Celtics. Watching KG in particular and you really got a sense of how old this team feels at this point in the season. He flat out didn't participate in some of the offensive sets as he was more willing to hang back on the defensive end and watch his team throw up long range jumpers. Not a good sign when your 4/5 player isn't even inside the perimeter to crash the boards - no wonder the Celtics rank last in offensive rebounding. Now with Rondo out for this game I really have to back the Hawks at this ridiculously short line no matter how square it is. I've run the numbers in my playoff series breakdown thread but I'll re-post them here so you can see exactly how Rondo's absence will affect the Celtics both offensively and defensively:
When Rondo is off the court the Celtics power ranking drops 4.71 points. The projected spread for Atlanta home games is thus adjusted from ATL -6.59 to ATL -11.30.
Rondo has a bigger impact on the total. Here are the Celtics projected Points For (PF) and Points Against (PA) when Rondo is ON versus OFF the court:
PF: 96.91 >>> 89.44 (Net: -7.47)
PA: 93.68 >>> 90.92 (Net: -2.76)
The projected total of 172.46 should therefor be adjusted down 10.23 points to 162.23.
Projected line and total for game 2 (without Rondo):
Atlanta Hawks: -11.30 / Total: 162.23
And there you have it. My model projects the Hawks to win by 11 points with a total score of 162. I don't need to repeat myself why I like the under so much in this series. If you want a refresher, just read my write-up in my playoff breakdown sheet linked in the following post. It's pretty simple really, at the current Vegas line of ATL -4 and 173.5, I don't think Vegas has corrected the spread or total as much as they should have. There's value in both markets and that's why I'm playing both the side and total in this game.