Boston Celtics at Houston Rockets – NBA Picks, Odds, and Predictions
Boston Celtics at Houston Rockets
Tuesday February 11, 2020, 9:30 PM (EST)
Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
There are two reasons I’ve decided to back the Boston Celtics today. Firstly, over the past 3 seasons the Celtics have gone 15-6 ATS as a road underdog playing a Western Conference team, including 4-1 so far this season. Secondly, when it comes to the Houston Rockets’ extreme-small-ball experiment, my betting strategy (at least for the time being until I can acquire more data on its performance) is to take the points (+2.5 in this case) whenever their opponent does well at defending the three and has a Center who can handle constant switching. And while Daniel Theis is not exactly Anthony Davis on the defensive end, he does move relatively well for a big man and should, at the very least, not get cooked by Houston’s movement. As far as team defense, Boston ranks 7th in the league at defending the 3 (6th on the road) and limits opponents to just 86.1 field goal attempts per game, the 5th lowest mark in the league and something that should be incredibly valuable against a Rockets team that feeds off volume. Additionally, Boston holds the third best defensive efficiency in the league (both at home and on the road), trailing only the elite defenses of Milwaukee and Toronto. Finally, the Celtics have the 2nd best opponent scoring margin in the entire league, winning by an average of 7.2 points per game (4.2 on the road, the 5th best mark in the league).
All told, it’s clear that Boston’s defense ranks extremely well among the elite; whether that’s something that can hold up against Houston’s innovative new approach to basketball is not something we can know with absolute certainty until we see it on the court, but as far as edges on paper are concerned, there is a clear one here, making it worthy of a shot for those looking to get in on the betting action.
The Boston Celtics are 8-3 ATS over their last 11 games.
The Houston Rockets have lost 2 of 3 since trading away Clint Capela.
The Boston Celtics have won 7 consecutive games while covering the spread in 5 of them.