The Boston Celtics will be gunning for a fifth straight victory when they open a three-game road trip in Miami on Thursday as 1-point favorites on the NBA basketball betting odds.
Boston closed out a four-game homestand on Wednesday with a 135-108 rout of the Indiana Pacers, and has claimed victory by a double-digit margin in five of six outings ahead of Thursday night's game at American Airlines Arena.
The Celtics have been equally stingy on defense during their current four-game tear, limiting opponents to 99.5 points per game, further extending a solid run that has produced against the spread victories in seven of their past nine outings. Tight defense has also rewarded bettors taking the UNDER in each of Boston's past two games. That brings a close to a lengthy 10-1 run for the OVER in the team's previous 12 outings.
However, the Celtics have failed to duplicate their recent success when they play on the road. Boston has lost three of four SU away from TD Garden, and is winless in its past two dates with the Heat, including a 104-98 loss in Miami as 1.5-point chalk in November 2017.
The Heat have struggled since recording a season-high five-game SU win streak in mid-December. Miami has lost four of seven games since, and has averaged a meagre 90.5 points per game in consecutive defeats, capped by a 103-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets as 2-point home chalk on Tuesday night.
Miami has been particularly shaky on home court this season. With just two wins in their past five home dates, the Heat now sport the worst SU home record of any team currently in the playoff picture at 9-12, and have also failed to cover in three straight home dates.
Thunder at Spurs as NBA Favorites for Thursday
In other NBA betting action on Thursday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder visit the surging San Antonio Spurs as 1-point betting favorites on the NBA odds.
The Thunder travel to San Antonio for the first half of a home-and-home series after falling to defeat in both dates of a two-game homestand earlier this week. Oklahoma City was outclassed in a 116-98 loss to the Washington Wizards as 10-point home chalk, and came out flat in a 119-117 loss to Minnesota as an 8-point favorite on Tuesday.
The road has been somewhat kinder to Oklahoma City, with the Thunder posting SU wins in five of their past seven. But the club has failed to pay out on the NBA odds in their past three while pegged as favorites of two or fewer points on the road. The Thunder suffered outright defeats in each of those contests, most recently dropping a 113-109 decision in Houston as 1-point favorites on Christmas Day.
While the Thunder have taken two of three from the Spurs, they have struggled in recent visits to San Antonio, losing SU in three straight and in seven of their past nine. Things get no easier for the Thunder this time around as they take on a Spurs team that has won seven straight home dates and leads the Western Conference with 17 home wins this season.
*Odds as of January 09, 2019