Rockets Still Undervalued vs. Celtics in NBA Betting Circles

Friday, March 2, 2018 9:33 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 2, 2018 9:33 PM UTC

The Houston Rockets are all sorts of awesome, but the NBA betting market still hasn’t caught up. The Boston Celtics are getting too much love for Saturday’s matchup.

<h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" title="Celtics vs. Rockets">NBA Betting: Celtics vs. Rockets</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NBA Pick: Rockets -6.5</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=BetOnline" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">BetOnline</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3264841, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,169,1275,238,93], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>Is there something wrong with the Houston Rockets (48-13 SU, 32-28-1 ATS)? They’re one of this year’s elite teams, they’ve won 14 straight games (9-5 ATS), and they've taken over first place in the league standings – so why aren’t more people betting on them? <a href="">We took advantage</a> last week when Houston beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-102 as 7.5-point home favorites. Now we get a chance to do it again: Boston (44-19 SU, 37-24-2 ATS) visits Houston on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET; ABC), and the Celtics are only 6.5-point underdogs on the <a href="" title="NBA Odds">NBA odds board</a> as we go to press.<br /><br />I say “only” because the projections compel me to. The hoop nerds at FiveThirtyEight have the Rockets at 84 percent to win the game, or -10 using their CARMELO-based formula. As usual, ESPN’s Basketball Power Index is less enthusiastic about Houston’s chances at 72.9 percent, but that’s still good for between -6.5 and -7 according to the NBA numbers at Wizard of Odds. Seems like we can bet this one with at least some confidence.</p><h2>Boston Market</h2><p>It’s not as if bettors have completely ignored the Rockets. Although this remains a “regional” franchise (despite playing in the fourth-largest city in the United States), Houston still has this year’s leading MVP candidate in James Harden (plus-11.0 BPM), alongside his MVP-quality sidekick Chris Paul (plus-7.7 BPM). They’re a big draw on the betting market.<br /><br />But not as big as the Celtics. Nobody has pulled in more handle this year, if the public money charts are correct. The C’s made a mountain of money right out of the gate, starting the season 16-2 SU and 15-2-1 ATS. They’ve broken even the rest of the way, <a href="">defying the regression monsters</a>, and they’re 4-3 SU and ATS since adding center Greg Monroe (plus-1.8 BPM) via free agency. Smoke and mirrors? Maybe, given some of the flack Monroe has gotten for his effort level in Boston. Then there's this:</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;With &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@dtheis10&lt;/a&gt; sidelined, &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@M10OSE&lt;/a&gt; took a chance and played some solid basketball, showing some great post-up game. Watch: &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Tomek Kordylewski (@Timi_093) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;March 1, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>We’re still content to put Houston in our <a href="" title="Free NBA Picks">NBA picks</a>. When the Rockets and Celtics met just after the holidays, Boston prevailed 99-98 as a 2-point home dog. However, Paul missed that game while the C’s were at full strength (Gordon Hayward notwithstanding). Houston won’t have PF Ryan Anderson (plus-0.3 BPM) for Saturday’s game because of a sore hip, but they will have Paul, and that’s good enough for us here at the ranch.</p>
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