Houston Rockets vs. Boston Celtics Prediction: Houston, We Have a Problem

NBA predictions and pick for Monday, including Rockets vs. Celtics predictions and Suns vs. Spurs predictions. Jonathan Macri gives us his picks
Jonathan Macri
Mon, November 22, 2:55 PM EST

Houston Rockets vs. Boston Celtics Prediction: Houston, We Have a Problem

Houston Rockets vs. Boston Celtics Prediction

Rockets vs. Celtics odds

We’re 16 games into the season, and the NBA has already sorted itself into tiers: there’s about a handful of contenders, followed by a larger than normal middle class with about 15 to 20 teams trying to figure themselves out, followed by four bad teams who can surprise on any given night, followed by one team in a class by itself.

The Houston Rockets, following their Saturday fall from ahead loss to a Knicks team that was playing worse than it has all season, have no lost 14 games in a row. Over those 14 games, they have been outscored by 188 points. The next worst team in that stretch, the New Orleans Pelicans, has been outscored by 124. They have been outscored by nearly three times as many points over these 14 games than the 25th ranked Spurs. Again, there is bad, and there is bad.

Prior to Saturday’s cover (and again, it cannot be overstated how poorly New York played in that game), the Rockets had dropped five straight against the spread. There is nothing about the way the team is playing that speaks to competitiveness against solid competition, and no player likely to get hot from deep to put a scare into opponents.

Meanwhile, the Boston team they’re playing has begun to right the ship, winning seven of 10 games and covering just as many in this span. They have the fourth best net rating in the NBA over those 10 games, and in what should be frightening news for the offensively challenged Rockets, the third best defense in the league over this stretch.

This game is in Boston, and Houston has scored under 100 points per 100 possessions on the road this season. Best of all, the Celtics will be weary of looking ahead after playing the similarly challenged Thunder in a too-close-for-comfort win on Saturday night.

Lay the points at home.

Rockets vs. Celtics Pick

Phoenix Suns vs. San Antonio Spurs Prediction

Speaking of the NBA’s lower class, is it time we start talking about where the San Antonio Spurs belong in the league’s hierarchy?

The Spurs go into Thanksgiving week with a record of just 4-11, and while they’re net rating speaks to a team that is better than that record, the arrow isn’t pointing in the right direction. San Antonio started off with six covers in nine games but has since dropped five of six against the spread, getting outscored by nearly eight points per game during that time.

Those six games have come against the Thunder, the Kings (their lone win), the Mavs, the Lakers, the Clippers and the Wolves…not exactly a murderer’s row. Now they face off against a Suns unit that is firing on all cylinders, winners of 12 straight games and looking very much like the team that went to the Finals last year.

This line is smaller than it should be because Phoenix recently dropped three straight against the spread, albeit barely each time. They’re coming off a 29-point win against the Nuggets and their road trip only gets tougher after this one. They’ll take care of business here. Give the points on the road.

Suns vs. Spurs Pick

Jonathan Macri
JCMacriNBA
Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball than Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.
Jun 2021
Record
Wins
8
Losses
7
Push
0
ROI
3.35%
0Betslip

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