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Boston’s Kyrie Irving  drives against Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox Thursday (Elise Amendola)
Boston’s Kyrie Irving drives against Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox Thursday (Elise Amendola)|Associated Press
NBA

NBA Saturday: Pouring It On Before St. Patrick’s Day

Hawks-Celtics, Nets-Jazz

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

HAWKS (+10.5) at CELTICS (231.5), 12:30 p.m.
Pick: Over (231.5)

Nobody allows more points per game than the Atlanta Hawks (118.6).

Boston (42-27) has been getting torched defensively of late as well, allowing 120 to Sacramento in its last game and 140 against the Clippers in the game before that. Atlanta (24-45) and its 39-30 Over record is third in the NBA behind only Washington and San Antonio and Boston’s Over record of 38-31 is just a game behind the Hawks’ mark. Everything points to the winner of this game flirting with 130 points and the total flying over the posted total of 231.5.

The line indicates that team will be Boston, but given Atlanta’s offensive production of late -- scoring above 110 points in 10 of its last 11 -- rather than sweat out the side, the stronger play here is on the Over.

NETS (+8.5) at JAZZ (221), 9 p.m.
Pick: Nets (+8.5)

For the third straight game, we’re fading the Jazz (39-29). This hasn’t worked out the last two nights as they have covered both games, but we have reason to believe the third time’s the charm.

First off, just based off of principle, the Nets (36-34) are a good play here as they’re catching 8.5 while the Timberwolves opened as an eight-point pup in Salt Lake City on Thursday. Obviously Brooklyn is better than Minnesota so this is an example of a team getting expensive based off of a couple of convincing wins.

Utah’s last two victories were by 20 and 17 points respectively. Despite Detroit jumping Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference standings recently, the Nets are still 6-4 in their last 10 and not yet in serious danger of missing the playoffs. Their 19-14 mark ATS on the road is fourth in the NBA. We like Utah to cool off a little here and the Nets to have a good chance to win this game outright.