The Boston Celtics (47-21) visit the Houston Rockets (15-52) on Monday night! Action tips off at 8:10 p.m. ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Celtics-Rockets prediction, pick, and how to watch.
Boston has won two straight games and sits in second place in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics covered 54% of their games while 52% went over the projected point total. Houston has lost three straight and sits in last place in the Western Conference. The Rockets covered 41% of their games while 52% went over. This will be the second meeting for the season between the cross-conference foes. Boston defended their home court to the tune of a 126-102 win back in December.
Here are the Celtics-Rockets NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Celtics-Rockets Odds
Boston Celtics: -12.5 (-110)
Houston Rockets: +12.5 (-110)
Over: 231.5 (-110)
Under: 231.5 (-110)
How To Watch Rockets vs. Celtics
TV: NBCS Boston, ATTSN Southwest
Stream: NBA League Pass
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Rockets Could Cover The Spread
Houston holds the second-worst record in the league but could be frisky tonight thanks to their work down low. The Rockets average the sixth-most points in the paint per game and the third-most rebounds per game. While Houston does struggle from beyond the arc, they do a good job getting to the free throw line where they average the eighth-most attempts per game. Their biggest strength on offense is their work on the glass. Houston’s 30% offensive rebound rate leads the league. While the Celtics allow the lowest offensive rebound rate in the NBA, the Rockets could surprise a Boston team who will likely be overlooking this lowly matchup.
Houston is led by second-year pro Jalen Green. The former No. 2 overall pick has been up and down this season but really looks to be coming along in recent games. Since the All-Star break, Green has averaged 21 PPG on 45% shooting. He’s been especially potent from deep, averaging 2.4 threes on 38% shooting. While he remains inconsistent, Green’s ability to get hot at a moment’s notice could be critical in their chances of covering a hefty home spread. Additionally, he has already shown the ability to tear up Boston’s top defense after dropping 28 points on 11/22 shooting the last time these teams met.
The X-factor for the Rockets tonight is forward Kenyon Martin Jr. Martin has been playing some of his best basketball of the season since the All-Star break. In nine games since the break, Martin Jr. has averaged 16 PPG and 5.4 RPG while shooting 59% from the floor. He remains an impact player on both ends and will have a ton of responsibility tonight matched up with Boston’s stellar forwards.
Why The Celtics Could Cover The Spread
Boston continues to be one of the premier teams in the league as they have cemented themselves as a serious NBA Finals contender. While the Celtics have been passed by the Bucks in the Eastern Conference standings, they have a good chance to make up ground and cover tonight thanks to their elite two-way play. Boston averages 117.9 PPG – the third-highest mark in the NBA. They’re nearly as impressive on the other end where their 112.4 points allowed per game ranks ninth. Offensively, Boston does a great job moving the ball and getting good looks. With the seventh-most assists per game, the Celtics’ generate a ton of three-point attempts. They rank second in both made and attempted threes – something that bodes well for their chances of covering considering Houston allows the most made and attempted threes per game.
The Celtics are led by their dynamic duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The two have been remarkably consistent all season long and have been playing especially well since the All-Star break. In eight games since the break, Tatum has averaged 28.8 PPG, 11.1 RPG, and 6.1 APG. He remains efficient in the scoring department, shooting 46% from the floor. He dropped 38 when they played the Rockets earlier – setting him up for another big night.
As for Brown, he continues to be one of the best second options in the NBA. Averaging 25.4 PPG since the All-Star break, Brown should play a big role again tonight considering he dropped 39 points the last time these teams met.
Final Rockets-Celtics Prediction & Pick
Despite the record of both of these teams, I think this is a good spot for the Rockets to keep things surprisingly close with one of the best teams in the league. While the Celtics should run away with it, the Rockets could surprise them, especially with their work on the glass.
Final Rockets-Celtics Prediction & Pick: Houston Rockets +12.5 (-110)