The Houston Rockets (38-20) and their phenomenal offense head to Boston as 1.5-point underdogs to take on the Celtics (41-17) and their tremendous defense. The game starts at 8:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 29, 2020.
Houston Rockets at Boston Celtics ATS Odds
Both teams covered in their last outing. The Celtics (5-point underdogs) defeated the Utah Jazz 114-103, while the Rockets (12-point favorite) beat the Memphis Grizzlies 140-112. The Boston game finished 0.5 points under the projected point total of 217.5, while the Houston game went 15 points over the projected point total of 237.
The Rockets had a phenomenal effective field goal percentage of 0.683 (above their season average of 0.539), while the Grizzlies had a free throw rate of 0.120 (below their season average of 0.179). Meanwhile, Boston dominated nearly every stat category in their game. They had a free throw rate of 0.155 (matching their season average) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.601 (above their season average of 0.532). For those same stats, Utah was 0.124 and 0.517, respectively. Jayson Tatum fueled Boston with 33 points and 11 rebounds. Russell Westbrook had a good game for Houston, contributing 33 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
In their first matchup this year, Westbrook led the Rockets to a 116-105 win. He registered a double-double with 36 points and 10 rebounds. Houston covered as a 2-point favorite and the two teams combined for 221 points, which was under the projected point total of 232. Houston was effective at getting and making free throws. The Rockets made 37 of their 42 free throws (88.1 percent), while the Celtics were 20-25 (80.0 percent).
Rockets matchups have a tendency to finish under the total (55.2 percent). Houston comes into the game with records of 38-20 straight up (SU) and 30-28 against the spread (ATS).
Vegas is exceedingly precise when predicting totals of Celtics games, with an even split between overs and unders. Moreover, Boston is 41-17 SU and 36-21-1 ATS.
The Rockets’ Robert Covington has been playing at a high level over his last five games, averaging 13 points,7.2 rebounds,3.2 blocks,1.2 steals per game. Meanwhile, Tatum has averaged 32 points,7.6 rebounds,1.4 steals,1.4 blocks during that same time frame for the Celtics.
It might turn into a high-scoring affair as two of the NBA’s best offenses battle. Boston ranks fifth with 111.4 points per 100 possessions and Houston is third (112.2). Furthermore, the Rockets, who rank third in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.226), will go head-to-head against the Celtics, who rank 22nd in opponents’ FTA rate (0.214).
Rockets at Celtics Odds Pick
Pick: SU Winner – Rockets, ATS Winner – Rockets, O/U – Over
- The Celtics rank 15th in second chance points allowed per game (12.8) while the Rockets rank 26th (13.9).
- Boston ranks third in assists allowed per game (22.3) while Houston ranks 26th (25.5).
- The Celtics rank ninth in rebounds per game (45.9) while the Rockets rank 26th in rebounds allowed per game (46.8).
- Boston ranks fourth in points off turnovers allowed per game (14.6) while Houston ranks 20th (17.3).
- Houston averages 5.1 blocks per game, which ranks 12th in the league. Boston ranks 23rd in blocks allowed per game (5.5).
- The Celtics rank third in points allowed in the paint per game (43.3) while the Rockets rank 24th (51.7).
- The Rockets rank first in three pointers attempted per game (44.2) while the Celtics rank 16th in three pointers allowed per game (34.0).
- Boston ranks eighth in steals per game (8.2) while Houston ranks 18th in steals allowed per game (7.9).
- Boston ranks sixth in fast break points per game (15.5) while Houston ranks 27th in fast break points allowed per game (15.6).
- Houston is 3-0 when they allow below 100 points, while Boston is 12-2.
- The Celtics are 40-11 when they reach 100 points, while the Rockets are 38-17.
- Boston is 17-11 ATS at home, while Houston is 15-14 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone over in 15 of the Celtics’ 28 home games, while 18 of the Rockets’ 29 road games have gone under.
- The Celtics are 5-0 ATS over their last five games, while the Rockets are 4-1.
- In their last five games, Boston has 4 overs and 1 under, while Houston has 3 overs and 2 unders.
- During their last five games, the Celtics have scored an average of 122.4 points per game (9.0 above their season average) and allowed an average of 114.6 points per game (8.1 above their season average).
- The Rockets’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 18.0, up from 4.8 for the season.