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Rockets, Celtics Close 2018 in NBA Odds Spotlight

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The Houston Rockets will be looking to continue their march up the Western Conference standings with a fifth straight win when they host the struggling Memphis Grizzlies on Monday as 5.5-point favorites in NBA basketball betting.

Houston kept up its recent torrid pace with Saturday’s 108-104 win in New Orleans, and has now won nine of 10 to climb into fifth place in the West going into Monday night’s matchup at the Toyota Center.

The Rockets close out 2018 after a streaky start to the NBA campaign that featured a worrisome 2-7 straight-up run just prior to the team’s current hot stretch. Houston also struggled on home hardwood early on in the season, falling to defeat in its first four outings before posting SU wins in 12 of its past 13 games.

The Rockets’ steady run on home court includes outright victories as betting underdogs in their past two, including a decisive 127-113 victory over Boston as 2.5-point underdogs which marked their seventh home victory by a double-digit margin this season. But despite their recent return to respectability, the Rockets still lag on the NBA futures, pegged at +1400 on the NBA championship odds, well back of the +850 odds they sported on opening night.

The Grizzlies travel to Houston looking for answers after dropping a 112-103 decision to the Celtics on Saturday as 3.5-point underdogs. With the defeat, the Grizzlies are now just 6-12 SU in their past 18 contests, including a 3-6 SU mark in nine road outings. After topping the Los Angeles Lakers 107-99 as 5-point underdogs on December 23, Memphis is looking to claim consecutive road wins for the first time since November 21.

However, the Grizzlies have lost three times in their past five visits to Houston, and are a dismal 3-13 SU in their past 16 road dates with the Rockets when pegged as underdogs of five or more points.


Spurs, Celtics Battle in NBA Odds Pick’em Contest

Elsewhere on the New Year’s Eve NBA odds, the San Antonio Spurs try to re-enter the playoff picture in the West as they return home to take on the Celtics in a pick’em matchup.

The Spurs closed out a brief two-game road trip with Saturday’s 122-111 win over the Los Angeles Clippers as 3-point underdogs on the NBA betting lines, ending a two-game road slide and improving the club to 9-3 SU in their past 12 overall.

Like the cross-state rival Rockets, the Spurs stumbled out of the gate this season, and posted SU wins in just five of 15 November contests. The Spurs have turned things around during the month of December, and have regularly rewarded bettors by posting against-the-spread wins in 10 of their past 12 games, and sit among the league leaders with a 13-6 ATS record on home court this season.

With their victory over the Grizzlies on Saturday as 3.5-point chalk, the Celtics have picked up the SU win in three of four outings and have made gains in the Eastern Conference standings during an overall 12-5 SU run. However, Boston has produced mixed results on the road this season, losing SU in two of three overall, and have fallen to defeat in six straight visits to San Antonio since March 2011.


*Odds as of December 31, 2018

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