Hawks vs. Celtics series prediction and odds (Don’t be shocked if Boston sweeps)

Last season, the Boston Celtics finished with the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and swept their first round opponent, the Brooklyn Nets.

Could history repeat itself in the 2022-23 season?

Boston is once again the No. 2 seed, only this time it will face Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks after they upset the Miami Heat in the play-in tournament on Tuesday night.

This is a favorable matchup for the Celtics, who beat the Hawks all three times that these teams played in the regular season. While the Hawks have two elite guards in Young and Dejounte Murray, Boston is going to be able to pick on Young when he’s on defense.

Boston finished in the top two in the NBA in both offensive and defensive rating this season, leading to the team capturing the No. 1 overall spot in net rating.

The preseason title favorites, Boston is hoping to make quick work of the Hawks to set up a potential barnburner of a series with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Boston is set as -1000 favorites, so oddsmakers are extremely confident in the Celtics to get past Atlanta.

Hawks vs. Celtics series odds

Hawks vs. Celtics correct score (Exact outcome odds)

Hawks vs. Celtics prediction and pick

Don’t buy the Hawks just because they beat Miami, which has objectively been one of the worst teams in the league this season (21st in net rating).

This is the Celtics series to lose, and I wouldn’t be shocked if they swept this Atlanta team. These teams are miles apart when you look at the advanced numbers:

Offensive Rating

Celtics: 2nd
Hawks: 7th

Defensive Rating

Celtics: 2nd
Hawks: 22nd

Net Rating

Celtics: 1st
Hawks: 19th

Effective Field Goal Percentage

Celtics: 4th
Hawks: 19th

The Hawks do have the league’s No. 5 offense since the All-Star break, but the team lacks the defenders to slow down the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. De’Andre Hunter and Murray are solid, but after that the team doesn’t have many elite options on the wing.

Boston has been dominant for almost the entire 2022-23 season, and the team should be able to handle Clint Capela on the glass (22 boards vs. Miami) as long as Robert Williams III is healthy enough to play in the whole series.

When Williams plays this season, Boston is an impressive 24-11.

The most likely outcome (according to oddsmakers) is for Boston to win this series in five games. I’ll take it a step further and back the C’s to sweep.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.