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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:54 PM

Celtics at Rockets Preview

By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com

Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS)

Betting Odds Breakdown

Houston opened as a 2.5-point home favorite with a total of 231.

Eye Test

Both these teams are involved in tight races atop their respective divisions. Boston (37-15) has won seven straight games, but still remains behind Toronto for the top spot in the Atlantic division due to the Raptors running off 14 consecutive victories. The Celtics own the third-best record in the Eastern Conference behind the Bucks and Raptors, while sitting five games ahead of the 76ers for second place in the division. Since losing at home to Phoenix on January 18, the Celtics have won 10 of 11 games, with the only loss coming at New Orleans on January 26.

The Rockets (33-20) are still in first place of the Southwest division in spite of losing the last two games to the Suns and Jazz. This year's record is two wins better at this point of the season than last season's team that finished at 53-29, but Houston possesses the fifth-best record in the Western Conference heading into Tuesday's action. NBA leading scorer James Harden has been inconsistent of late by scoring 18 points or less three times in the last eight games, but also putting up 35 points or more three times in this stretch to maintain a scoring average of 35.2 points per game.

Current Form

Boston won 10 consecutive games after losing the season opener at Philadelphia, but the Celtics are playing pretty solid basketball now in the midst of this seven-game hot streak. The Celtics have knocked off the likes of the Heat and 76ers, while holding off the Thunder on Sunday, 112-111 as 1.5-point road favorites. In their last 19 victories, only six have come against teams with winning records, which includes a 24-point blowout of Memphis, who is currently at 27-26.

Houston picked up an impressive 121-111 victory over the Lakers last Thursday night at Staples Center behind 41 points from Russell Westbrook. However, the Rockets were blasted by the Suns the following night in Phoenix by 36 points, then lost at the buzzer to the Jazz on Sunday, 114-113. The Rockets erased a seven-point deficit in the final three minutes, capped off by a P.J. Tucker go-ahead three-pointer with 1.8 seconds remaining. The Jazz walked-off with the win behind a three-pointer from Bojan Bogdanovic at the horn to snap Houston's four-game home winning streak.

Head-to-Head

These teams haven't met this season as their next matchup takes place in Boston on February 29. The Rockets have had the Celtics' number of late by capturing the last three meetings, including a 127-113 triumph at Toyota Center in December 2018. Harden torched the Celtics for 45 points that night, including hitting 9 three-pointers, while scoring 42 points in a 115-104 victory at TD Garden last March.

Inside the Stats (Home/Away)

Points Per Game:
Boston 112.7 (109.3)
Houston 118.2 (119.3)

Points Allowed:
Boston 105.5 (105.1)
Houston 114.6 (111.7)

Home-Away Records

-- Boston 15-10 SU, 15-9-1 ATS
-- Houston 18-8 SU, 13-13 ATS

Situational (Vs. Non-Conference)

The Celtics have fared well against the Western Conference this season by going 12-6 SU and 11-7 ATS, which includes a 5-4 SU/ATS record on the road. Boston is making its third trip to Texas this season as the Celtics have already knocked off the Spurs (135-115) and Mavericks (109-103).

The Rockets have not disappointed when facing Eastern foes by posting a 12-4 SU and 9-7 ATS mark this season. Houston has lost only twice in eight home games against the Eastern Conference, coming to Milwaukee in the season opener and a surprising loss to Detroit on December 14 as 7.5-point favorites, 115-107.

Score Projection

TBA

The VegasInsider.com Score Projections are produced daily for all NBA matchups. More...

Betcha Didn’t Know

The Celtics have covered in 11 of 14 opportunities in the underdog role this season, including a perfect 4-0 ATS mark as a road 'dog against Western Conference opponents. <!--

NBA Expert Picks – Tony Mejia

Indiana opens the second of its season-long three five-game road trips in Denver and must be ready to face a challenging back-to-back since it will play in Salt Lake City on Martin Luther King Day. I believe his is going to be the Pacers’ best chance to grab a win given that they haven’t prevailed on the second night of a back-to-back in each of their last four tries. At first glance, this spread is awfully surprising given the venue and it’s clear that the books don’t expect the Nuggets to overcome the absence of point guard Jamal Murray, shooting guard Gary Harris and forward Paul Millsap. Best Bet: Indiana-->

VI Prediction Tool

The VegasInsider.com Prediction resource gives an edge to either team in eight specific categories listed above and there are instances where both clubs receive a positive edge (). Depending on how you weigh the below factors could provide more reason to fade or follow those teams in your wagers.

VI Edge Predictions
Categories Boston Celtics Houston Rockets
Eye Test
Current Form -
Head-to-Head - -
Inside the Stats -
Home-Away -
Situational -
Score Projection -
Betcha Didn't Know - -
Expert Picks - -

Total Talk (Over-Under)

Boston: 23-29 (Away, 15-10 Under)
Houston: 23-30 (Home, 14-12 Under)

The Celtics cashed six straight 'unders' from January 22 through February 1, but Boston has drilled the 'over' in three of the past four contests.

The Rockets have hit the 'under' in three consecutive games, while hitting the 'over' in three straight contests on totals of 230 or lower.

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