Editor’s note: Matt Jacob’s Going for Broke is going daily. Picks are rated on a scale of one to four for confidence in the pick. In other words, when you
see a 4-star play, bet the house; when you see a 1-star, bet the dog’s house.
In classic Hawks fashion, Atlanta pissed away a great chance to put Boston in a huge hole in
this best-of-7 series, dropping Game 2 on Tuesday, 87-80, as a 4 1/2-point home favorite—even though the Celtics were without starters Ray Allen (injury) and Rajon Rondo (suspension). Expect the schizophrenic Hawks to come with a much more focused effort in Boston, where just two weeks ago they topped the Celtics, 97-92. Granted, Boston rested all of its big guns in that game; still, Atlanta
remains on a 15-7 run that dates to March 21 (and only once in that 22-game span have the Hawks dropped consecutive contests). Atlanta has also covered five straight when coming off a loss, five straight on the road and eight of 11 as an underdog. Additionally, the underdog has cashed in five of the last six Hawks-Celtics matchups, while Boston has brought home the money just three times in its last 17 playoff games when laying between 5 and 10 1/2 points.