Atlanta @ Boston
Atlanta/Boston over 244½ -110

Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.

Pinnacle O244½ -114 BET365 O244½ -110 Sportsinteraction O244½ -110 888Sport O244½ -110

Atlanta/Boston over 244½ (-110)

7:40 PM EST. We're not in the business of blowing smoke up your ass so let's get right to it. First things first, the Boston Celtics are in a supremely good spot on Wednesday. Off a 40-point shellacking of the hapless Grizzlies at home, Boston got the gift of three solid days of rest, a rarity in any NBA schedule, and they've been in Beantown since January 26th. That's a two-week stay in the comforts of their own city and among their fans, not too shabby for the Eastern Conference giant. At most books, the C's remain the favorite to win an NBA title and they own a 6-game lead in the East, although a few recent performances haven't shown their best effort. In mid-January they dropped a home game to the defending champions, and over the last 10 days they lost two games to each LA program, scoring just 201 total points in those affairs. But worry not, tonight's contest won't feature a defense that's capable of stopping a well-rested Celtics' squad, and that's a huge part of this wager.

The Atlanta Hawks are what we'd like to call... an over's best friend. There was a point in time, a solid 1-2 week stretch, where Quin Snyder's program finally found a way to play defense. Regularly one of the NBA's worst, their defensive efficiency reached a high-mark of 4th overall from January 15th through the 20th, a startling transformation considering how porous their resistance was during the previous three months. But then the almighty regression hit. When we ran the metrics from January 20th to today, they're right back where they've been all season - 29th to be exact - and over the last two weeks no defense has been worse. That's not good for Atlanta fans, but it's great for our prospects tonight.

While the Hawks sit at a crusty 30th in defensive efficiency over the last 14 days, their offense is #1 overall in the same span. Even better, their assist/turnover ratio is the best in the association, meaning they're protecting the ball and maximizing possession, and no outfit has run at a faster tempo either (738 possessions in their last 7 games). Do you smell fireworks incoming? SAME.

Unlike years' past when Boston frequently underwhelmed against bad teams, this season the Celtics already have 9 wins by margins of 25 points or more. They smash bad defenses, there's just too much talent on their roster, and they're entering this game healthy sans Jrue Holiday, who's questionable with a right elbow strain. No Holiday is better for Atlanta's guards anyway, so feel free to sit this one out, Jrue! In any case, this total is already high but it's rising and rising for good reason. Boston has no lookahead game to worry about (they battle the pitiful Wizards on Friday, also at the TD Garden Center) and the Hawks are clearly choosing an identity- win by explosive offense, totally forget defense. This is a recipe for points worthy of a chef's kiss, and we're firing away!

Farley

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Our Pick

Atlanta/Boston over 244½ -110 (Risking 2.2 units - To Win: 2.00)

Atlanta 1H Team Total over 62½ +105
Charlotte +13 -110 over Golden State