Atlanta Hawks @ Boston Celtics – Friday March 8, 2013 8:00PM EST

celtics-win-ugly-scoring-game-in-ot-vs-hawks-0c1e5k4j-x-largeThe online sports books experts see the run for the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference going right down to the last game of the season. The Atlanta Hawks is in sixth place and the Milwaukee Bucks is in eighth place, but only three games separates them. Stuck in between those two teams is the Boston Celtics. The Philadelphia 76ers is in ninth place but more than seven games out of a playoff spot. That leaves the Hawks, Celtics and Bucks to battle it out to see where they will finish when the season ends.

The sports betting experts are impressed with just how well the Boston Celtics has played despite losing Rajon Rondo to an injury. There is talk that Rondo could return in the playoffs, but the Celtics would have to make a run into the second round before Rondo could even think about getting back on the court. The Hawks has learned how to play balanced basketball now that the team no longer has the services of Joe Johnson. There is plenty of balance in Atlanta that should help the team to maintain its playoff spot and possibly move even higher up in the standings.

Boston Celtics

The online sports betting world realizes that the Boston Celtics could move up as far as fourth if it can just put some wins together in a row. To that end, the Boston Celtics has been putting together a three-game winning streak since last weekend and thing have been looking very good for Boston. Veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have helped to pick up the slack since Rondo’s injury. It seems like every player that Boston tries to put in Rondo’s spot gets injured, but the Celtics continue to move forward and look to move higher in the standings.

Atlanta Hawks

The betting sites actually left the Hawks for dead when Joe Johnson moved up to Brooklyn, but there is too much talent on the Atlanta team to count it out. But Atlanta has two things working against it when it comes to this game. The Hawks is 14-15 on the road and the team is riding a three-game losing streak. Atlanta has not been able to finish off games over the past couple of days and it is costing the team positions in the standings. Atlanta will try to open things up in this game against an older Boston team, but that strategy may not work.

The Bottom Line

The Boston Celtics continue to fight against injuries and win key games. The team has become stronger at home and more resilient as the season has worn on. The Atlanta Hawks have developed a trend of losing key games on the road, and this definitely qualifies as a key road game.

Click here to read more the Boston Celtics and its playoff push.

Pick: Boston Celtics

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