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Boston Celtics vs. Houston Rockets: Odds, Analysis, NBA Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2018

Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving (11) with teammates, from left, Al Horford, Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Boston, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Two Christmas Day winners in the NBA will meet in Houston on Thursday when the Rockets (18-15) host the Boston Celtics (20-13).

Houston and Boston both rallied to win on Tuesday, with the former overcoming an eight-point halftime deficit to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-109 and the latter beating the Philadelphia 76ers 121-114 in overtime after trailing by three at the end of the third quarter.

       

NBA point spread: The Celtics opened as one-point favorites; the total is at 217, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NBA betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 111.8-110.1, Rockets (NBA picks on every game)

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or Spotify or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news.

           

Why the Celtics can cover the spread

The Celtics have won two games in a row after a three-game losing streak and are still trying to find their way back to becoming Eastern Conference favorites.

Kyrie Irving led them with 40 points and 10 rebounds against the 76ers and showed how valuable he can be come playoff time if healthy.

Boston has beaten the spread in each of its last 13 wins, according to the OddsShark NBA Database, and if this team can find a way to earn another victory here as an underdog it will obviously cover again.

         

Why the Rockets can cover the spread

Much like their opponent, the Rockets have played a lot better recently and started to show why they were one of the preseason favorites to win the NBA championship.

They have won seven of their last eight games, going 6-1-1 against the point spread during that stretch, capped by Tuesday's win over the Thunder.

In that game, James Harden scored 41 points to lead four Houston starters in double figures with Chris Paul out due to a hamstring injury.

While Harden is questionable because of a calf injury, he can make a huge impact as one of the game's biggest stars, so always monitor his status.

          

Smart betting pick

The Celtics and Rockets have split the past four meetings, with each of them winning twice on their home court. That said, Boston is also a perfect 4-0 ATS in those games, with the two losses decided by a combined three points.

The Celtics have a major edge at point guard with Irving playing at the top of his game right now, and he will be able to take advantage of Paul's absence.

Bet on Boston to cover and potentially win this one.

           

NBA betting trends

Boston is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games.

The total has gone over in six of Boston's last seven games.

Houston is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games when playing Boston.

           

All NBA odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.

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