Kyrie Irving and the red-hot Boston Celtics will look to tame LeBron James and the dysfunctional Los Angeles Lakers when the two storied franchise square off in the first of their two regular season meetings on Thursday night, live from TD Garden in Boston.
While Irving and the Celtics are starting to look like the Eastern Conference championship contenders we all expected them to be coming into this season, the Lakers are suddenly swirling in more controversy than normal (even for them) thanks to the widely-publicized trade talks aimed at acquiring superstar big man Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
Now, with both of these teams heading in polar opposite directions, let’s find out if the C’s can hold it down at home to cover the chalk as a decisive 7-point home fave!
Lakers vs Celtics NBA Lines & Betting Analysis
- When: Thursday February 7, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET
- Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA
- TV: TNT
- Radio: Los Angeles / Boston
- Live Stream: NBA League Pass
- NBA Odds: Boston -7 / Total: 221.5
Why Bet On The Lakers?
Why should you consider betting on the Lakers in this contest? Well, the best reason would be because they’re getting a healthy seven points and they still have arguably the best player on the planet in the incomparable LeBron James. Another good reason to back L.A. would be because they’ve gone a solid 13-13 ATS on the road this season.
That’s the good news. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they’ve got a bunch of drama going on surrounding their widely publicized attempts to trade almost all of their key young players to acquire all-star big man Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
The rumors left the Lakers looking like a team with absolutely no desire at all in their stunning 136-94 smackdown loss at Indiana on Tuesday. The defeat was the largest that James has suffered in his now, legendary career. The Pacers crowd serenaded several Lakers with chants of “LeBron’s gonna trade you” when L.A.’s young players went to the charity stripe.
James parked his rear end at the end of the bench with several empty seats between him and the rest of his teammates toward the end of Tuesday’s setback and acknowledged that what the young players are going through is difficult.
“I know it has to be tough on a lot of our guys, especially our young guys,” James told reporters. “Right now, they’ve just never been a part of it and they’re hearing it every single day — and I know that the worst thing that you can do right now is be on social media. And I know all young guys love social media. So, that definitely can’t help.”
The Lakers are averaging 111.8 points per game (15th) while allowing a generous 112.6 points per contest defensively (22nd).
- Average Score For: 111.78
- Field Goals: 47.26%
- Three Points: 33.33%
- Free Throws: 69.03%
- Rebounds: 47.20
- Average Score Against: 112.56
- Field Goals: 44.52%
- Three Points: 35.16%
- Free Throws: 78.13%
- Rebounds: 46.96
Why Bet On The Celtics?
Why should you consider betting Boston in this contest? Well, there are a bunch of great reasons starting with the fact that the C’s are playing at home in this one where they’ve gone a robust 22-6 so far this season.
An even better reason to back Boston is because they’re undeniably playing their best basketball of the season right now. The C’s have won five straight and nine of 10 and come into this Inter-Conference clash off a solid 103-96 win over Cleveland on Tuesday as second-year forward Jayson Tatum scored a team-high 25 points and Boston held the Cavs to just 41.7% shooting in the win.
The C’s have depth and a nice mix of youth and veteran leadership and they likely won’t make any roster changes prior to the trade deadline.
“I think it should stay the same,” Marcus Morris said recently. “Guys are playing into what’s going on, (the All-Star Game) is about to pass and that’s when it ramps up. Guys want to play the way they’re supposed to during winning time, like we did last year when the intensity picked up. We should stay the same.”
The Celtics average 112.7 points per game (12th) while holding the opposition to just 105.8 points per game defensively to rank fourth in points allowed.
- Average Score For: 112.67
- Field Goals: 46.44%
- Three Points: 36.92%
- Free Throws: 81.03%
- Rebounds: 45.09
- Average Score Against: 105.76
- Field Goals: 44.08%
- Three Points: 33.46%
- Free Throws: 76.86%
- Rebounds: 45.35
Lakers vs Celtics NBA Betting Trends
- LA Lakers are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games on the road
- LA Lakers are 2-6 SU in the last 8 games
- The total went UNDER in 4 of LA Lakers’s last 6 games
- Boston is 2-3-1 ATS in the last 6 games
- Boston is 5-0 SU in the last 5 games
- The total went UNDER in 4 of Boston’s last 6 games
Expert Analysis and Prediction for Lakers vs Celtics
The Lakers have dropped two straight and three of four and they just have the look of a fractured team – and rightfully so, with pretty much every player on their roster not named LeBron James now worried worried about being traded at a moment’s notice.
Boston is heating up nicely and playing their best basketball of the season at just the right time and I expect them to go all-out in this nationally-televised affair against James and company.
The Lakers have gone 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600, 4-16-1 ATS in their last 21 games against their Eastern Conference counterparts and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games against teams from the Atlantic division. Conversely, Boston has gone 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games, 16-5 ATS in their last 21 home games against a team with a losing road record and an incendiary 37-17 ATS in their last 54 home games. Boston wins and narrowly cover the spread against a Lakers team that is in the midst of some big-time struggles.
NBA Betting Pick: Boston 116 L.A. Lakers 104