The NBA odds for this game favor the Celtics by -2 ½, with a total of 200 ½ points. While there is some value up for grabs with the total, I feel the most confident by adding a play on the point spread to my sports picks tonight.
Houston has fought their way up to the 6th seed in the Western Conference. They have been playing so well recently that they are now just seven games back of first place, and only two games back of Golden State for the 5th seed.
With James Harden and the Rockets’ other consistent scoring options, this team is very hard to stop on any given night. They can play defense, even though they choose not to on most nights, and they have a nice and deep team, full of offensive weapons.
In tonight’s game, the Rockets match up well with Boston, as the Celtics’ main two weapons will be defended nicely. Harden will have to play his best defense against The Truth Paul Pierce this evening, and Omer Asik will be guarding Kevin Garnett for the evening, something the young Turk has shown he can do in his days coming off the bench in Chicago.
The Rockets’ main concern will be having to stop everyone else on the Boston squad, because no one else on Houston’s team can play defense very well. Jeremy Lin is going to get a nice dose of Rajon Rondo blowing past him tonight, and who knows if anyone will be able to stop the likes of Jeff Green and Jason Terry off the bench.
Celtics turning it on
I was wondering if this team was going to put up a fight this season, as age seemed to be taking its toll. They went out and spent some money this offseason, and they have hardly anything to show for it. Boston however is starting to play well, as they have won four of their last five games overall.
In those five games, (all in the New Year, which suggests one hell of a resolution) Boston is giving up fewer than 85 points per game, and all but one of those were against playoff teams.
Boston seems to have turned on the defense, and if they let Harden get his tonight and just shut down everyone else, they should walk away with a win.
The Sharp Pick
Boston hasn’t done much this season ATS anyways, but at least they are better ATS at home than they are on the road. The Rockets are decent when it comes to covering the NBA lines, but there isn’t much different between their road and home records against the spread.
The Rockets have had success against the Celtics in TD Garden, as Houston has a 5-1 ATS record in their last six games in Boston. The Celtics however, are 7-2 SU in their last nine games this season at home.
Boston has performed so well on the defensive side of the ball this New Year that they now rank 8th in points allowed. If they can chase Harden and the Rockets off the three point line and slow the game down to their pace, the Celtics will get the win and cover tonight at home.
My Pick: Celtics -2 ½ at Pinnacle