Add Celtics -5.5 To Your NBA Picks vs. Inconsistent Rockets

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, March 11, 2016 7:06 PM GMT

The Houston Rockets continue their Eastern road swing with a stop at TD Garden to face the Boston Celtics. Who should we back with our NBA picks?

Houston Rockets vs. Boston Celtics (-5.5) 7:30 ET
The game is scheduled for a 7:35 ET tipoff.  This is the 4th game in a 5 game road trip in 8 days that will conclude with a stop at Charlotte tomorrow night.  The Celtics are well rested.  This game with Houston and the preceding home contest with Memphis 2 nights ago are the only 2 games for the Celtics in a 9 game span.  When these teams met earlier in the season, the Celtics emerged with a victory (111-95) in Houston on November 16th.  

Today’s meeting finds the Houston Rockets holding on to the final spot in the Western Conference playoff queue with a .500 record of 32-32 SU.  That’s just one game better than Portland and ½ game better than Dallas.  For Boston, it has been a year for the Celtics to come of age.  They currently reside in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference playoff queue.  

 

Houston Rockets
By all accounts, it has been an underachieving season for the Houston Rockets.  They are simply unable to mesh the individual talents of Harden and Howard into offensive team unity.  In the last 12 games, Harden has averaged 35 PPG, while Howard has chipped in with 18/13.  Yet, the Rockets languish at the .500 mark, including 15-18 SU on the road.  

The real issue, however, has been a defense that allows 107 PPG.  Only lowly Sacramento, Phoenix and the Lakers allow more than that in the Western Conference.  Until the Rockets tighten up on the defensive side of the floor, it is unlikely their 2-player offensive tandem will be outscoring foes.  That is especially true against tonight’s opponent

 

 

Boston Celtics
Averaging 106 PPG, the Celtics are easily the highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference.  They have been at their best while playing at home with a current 14-game winning streak.  With an 11-3 ATS record, they have averaged 112 PPG on their home floor.  There can be little question, that HC Stevens and GM Ainge have fit together the parts of this team in a highly successful way. 

 

Final Analysis
With a scheduling advantage, a huge home/road dichotomy edge, along with the more cohesive offense and better defense, I invite you to join me in putting the NBA odds in your favor and join me in my NBA pick on the Boston Celtics tonight.         

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NBA Pick: Celtics -5.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes