After getting rolled in Milwaukee by 33 points, the Boston Celtics look to get back on track against the youthful Houston Rockets. Find our Houston Rockets vs. Boston Celtics predictions, matchup preview, and betting picks for this game below!
Houston Rockets Vs. Boston Celtics Prediction
We should blame the NBA for scheduling the Celtics to play one of their newest rivals, and biggest competitors in the Eastern Conference, on the road on a second night of a back-to-back against the Milwaukee Bucks, who had a two-day rest advantage.
Dead legs hardly even described what we saw from the Boston Celtics on Thursday; it was an inevitable result after four of their five starters logged over 40 minutes in an emotional overtime win against Minnesota, the best team in the west, the night before.
For some, this line might be slightly challenging to understand; Houston is in ninth place in the Western Conference right now and is an above-.500 team overall. The Rockets also bring back notorious villain and perimeter pest Dillon Brooks to the starting lineup after he missed the team’s past nine games. Houston will be fully loaded for this matchup.
Let’s explain why this is a 15-point line and why we will lay 15 with Boston. First, the Celtics are an astonishing 18-0 at home this season; they have been unbeatable, holding a net rating of +14.8 in T.D. Garden.
Conversely, the Houston Rockets have performed worse on the road than any Western Conference team not named Portland or San Antonio. The Rockets have a net rating away from their home floor of -5.0 and shoot only 33% from behind the arc, which is not a good recipe when playing a team with Derrick White, Jrue Holiday, and Jaylen Brown, who all can clamp down on the perimeter.
Boston’s biggest weakness this season has been in allowing the second-most wide-open (6+ feet) three-point attempts to opponents per game; however, we don’t have faith in the Rockets knocking them down, especially on the road, where they have been awful. The Cs are seal-tight in every other facet of the game.
The Celtics also match up extremely well on an individual level with Houston; they have Kristaps Porzingis, an extremely underrated interior defender, and Al Horford to deploy on Houston’s best player, Alperen Sengun. Further, they can put Jrue Holiday, one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA, on explosive two-guard Jalen Green, as well as physical, strong, quick, and disciplined point-of-attack defender Derrick White on the Rockets’ lead guard Fred VanVleet.
It also wouldn’t shock us if Houston got down early and punted the game, as these are not the sort of games that the Rockets will consistently win or, at least, have a good chance at winning; they should save their legs and energy for other spots throughout the season. This could be a massive blowout.
Houston Rockets Vs. Boston Celtics Prediction: Celtics -15 (-110)
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Houston Rockets Vs. Boston Celtics Best Odds
The Boston Celtics are extraordinarily sizable 15-point favorites at home against Houston on Saturday night. Boston’s Moneyline odds of getting back in the win column are -1200, while the Rockets are +750 dogs to steal what would be an impressive road win. The point total holds fairly steady, around 227.5 points, with -110 odds on both the Over and the Under.
Houston Rockets Starting Lineup
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
Houston Rockets Vs. Boston Celtics Injuries
We are not expecting the Boston Celtics to miss any players for their home matchup against Houston on Saturday night. As of late on Friday, no players are listed on the injury report for the Cs; however, that could always change, so keep an eye out.
On the other hand, Houston will continue to miss Victor Oladipo (knee) and Tari Eason (lower leg), but should have Dillon Brooks available. Brooks missed the team’s past nine games due to an oblique injury.