Celtics vs. Rockets NBA expert prediction and odds for Sunday, Jan. 21 (Value on Boston)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Boston Celtics-Houston Rockets matchup on Sunday, Jan. 21.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) and  guard Jaylen Brown.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) and guard Jaylen Brown. / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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The Boston Celtics are on the road on Sunday as they look to avenge their loss to the Denver Nuggets – their first home loss of the season – when they take on the Houston Rockets. 

Houston picked up a crazy win in overtime over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night, pulling to one game within .500 on the season. 

Ime Udoka – Houston’s head coach – is hoping to have better luck against his former team than the meeting earlier this month when Boston beat the Rockets by 32 points in Boston. 

Oddsmakers aren’t expecting much to change at Toyota Center, setting the Celtics as double-digit road favorites on Sunday. 

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Let’s break down the odds, and my best bet for this matchup: 

Celtics vs. Rockets odds, spread and total

Celtics vs. Rockets how to watch

  • Date: Sunday, Jan. 21
  • Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Toyota Center
  • How to watch (TV): NBC Sports Boston, AT&T SportsNet Southwest
  • Celtics record: 32-10
  • Rockets record: 20-21

Celtics vs. Rockets injury reports

Celtics injury report

  • JD Davison – out
  • Jrue Holiday – questionable
  • Al Horford – questionable
  • Drew Peterson – out

Rockets injury report

  • Not submitted yet

Celtics vs. Rockets key players to watch

Boston Celtics 

Jayson Tatum: In his last game against Houston, Tatum went off – scoring 27 points in less than 30 minutes in a 32-point Celtics win. After shooting just 9-for-21 against the San Antonio Spurs and 9-for-24 against the Denver Nuggets, Tatum could be due for a bounce-back showing against Houston. 

Houston Rockets

Alperen Sengun: Sengun has gained some momentum as a potential All-Star in the Western Conference – and rightfully so – as he’s averaging 21.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game this season. He’s coming off a 37-point game in Utah on Saturday night, and the Rockets big man had 19 points and 10 rebounds in his first meeting with Boston this season. 

Celtics vs. Rockets prediction and pick

Houston may have beaten a red-hot Utah team on Saturday night, but I’m fading the Rockets here for multiple reasons. 

First off, the team was dismantled by Boston in the first meeting between these teams, struggling to keep up on offense all night long. 

Over the last 10 games, Houston has not looked like a team in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Rockets rank 24th in the NBA in net rating, 25th in offensive rating, and 18th in defensive rating over that stretch. 

After hanging their hat on the defensive end to start this season, Houston seems to be falling off a bit this month. 

Boston has been better as a road favorite as of late after a brutal start. The team has covered the spread in five of its last seven games when favored on the road. 

Houston is just 3-3-1 ATS on the second night of a back-to-back this season, and the team could have some tired legs after going to OT last night. 

I love Boston to avenge Friday’s loss to Denver. The Celtics are 6-3 ATS after a loss this season. 


Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.