Celtics vs. Rockets odds, line, spread: 2020 NBA picks, Feb. 29 predictions from model on 47-30 roll

James Harden and the Houston Rockets (38-20) will put a five-game winning streak on the line with a difficult road game on Saturday night. The Rockets will visit Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics (41-17) in a prime-time slot, with the attention of the NBA world on this cross-conference battle. Eric Gordon (knee) is questionable to play for Houston, with Kemba Walker (knee) unavailable for the Celtics. 

Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. ET at TD Garden. Sportsbooks list Boston as a 1.5-point home favorite, holding steady from the opener, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 231.5 in the latest Rockets vs. Celtics odds. Before making any Celtics vs. Rockets picks or NBA predictions, see what SportsLine’s advanced computer model has to say.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and last season it returned a whopping $4,280 on its top-rated spread and money line picks. It’s already returned well over $3,000 in profit on all top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season and entered Week 19 a blistering 47-30 on all top-rated spread picks this season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Celtics vs. Rockets. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are the NBA odds and trends for Rockets vs. Celtics:

  • Rockets vs. Celtics spread: Celtics -1.5
  • Rockets vs. Celtics over-under: 231.5 points
  • Rockets vs. Celtics money line: Celtics -123, Rockets +103
  • HOU: The Rockets are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
  • BOS: The Celtics have covered the spread in five straight games

Why the Rockets can cover

The model has taken into account that the Rockets boast one of the NBA’s best offenses, and the team has been even better on that end of the floor since making moves at the trade deadline. Harden and Russell Westbrook headline Houston’s attack, with Harden averaging 35.2 points, 7.3 assists and 6.4 rebounds per game. 

Westbrook is playing his best basketball at the moment as well, and the Rockets are a top-10 team in shooting efficiency and turnover avoidance. Houston is also one of the best teams in the league at generating free-throw attempts, which could be magnified with Boston’s issues at avoiding fouls near the rim. The Rockets aren’t elite defensively, but they do force turnovers at a high rate, and they can rely on that trait in this matchup.

Why the Celtics can cover

Even so, Houston isn’t a lock to cover the Celtics vs. Rockets spread. The model has also considered that the Celtics are a tremendous team on both ends of the floor, leading to a 14-3 record in the last 17 games and an impressive 23-5 mark at home. Boston is a top-five offensive team and, while Houston is certainly explosive as well, the Rockets are merely a middle-of-the-pack team on the defensive side. 

The Celtics are a balanced offensive team, with above-average metrics in shooting efficiency, turnover avoidance, free-throw creation and offensive rebounding. On the defensive side, Boston is tremendous, headlined by top-level metrics in defensive shooting efficiency and turnover creation. 

How to make Rockets vs. Celtics picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, with Harden and Gordon Hayward projected to fall short of their scoring averages. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 70 percent of simulations.

So who wins Rockets vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread hits in almost 70 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Celtics vs. Rockets spread you need to jump on Saturday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.  

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