NBA Betting – Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

One of the best rivalries in all of sports is relevant again now that the Los Angeles Lakers are winning games. After having their nine-game winning streak stopped by Orlando, LeBron and Co. responded with a gritty road win over Houston on Saturday to kick off a stretch of five straight away from home. The Lakers sit atop the Western Conference by 4.5 games thanks to the NBA’s best road record. They are 18-3 away from Staples Center and take on a struggling Boston Celtics squad that’s dropped three in a row following Saturday’s setback to Phoenix.  Be sure to claim your welcome bonus using promo code G911 - Maximum $1000.

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Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics

Date and Time: Monday, January 20, 2020, 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA

Opening NBA Odds: Lakers -2.5 (Line has been moving between -2.5 and -2 Monday morning)

Lakers at Celtics TV Coverage: TNT

Odds Analysis

Losing for the first time in almost a month was just a bump in the road for the Lakers, who bounced back from a stunning home loss to Orlando by beating the Rockets to improve their overall record to 34-8. They covered as a 3.5-point dog on Saturday to go 5-1 ATS in their last six. It’s been a while since the Lakers played an extensive road trip and Monday’s matchup is the second in a season-long five straight on the road. Their last two roadies against East teams resulted in losses. The slumping Celtics have lost three in a row and six of their last eight falling to 27-14 overall. And the struggles are evident at home. They dropped two straight on the parquet floor and are just 2-6 ATS in their last eight home games.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers have shown they are much more than just their big two. Anthony Davis, who leads the team with 27.1 points per game, hasn’t played since injuring his backside over a week ago. The Lakers are 4-1 without him and even won a game in Oklahoma City when LeBron joined him on the sideline. They’d probably have a tough time sustaining the success if both superstars were out for an extended period. It’s a good thing James keeps plugging along now that he’s turned 35.

James had a rough shooting night in the loss to Orlando making just 7 of 19 shots, but he continues to distribute the basketball, and that hasn’t changed with AD out of the lineup. LeBron had 19 dimes against the Magic and followed that with 31 points and 12 assists to help take down the Rockets. Even though he leads the NBA with nearly 11 assists a night, he still finds time to score the basketball. James is averaging 25.5 for the season and has reached the 30-point mark three times in the four games he’s played since AD got hurt.

Kyle Kuzma has picked up some of the scoring slack in the absence of AD. He tallied 26 against Houston and scored a season-best 36 in OKC last week with LeBron and Davis on the shelf. The Lakers score 114.2 points per game by leading the NBA shooting 48.6 from the floor. They’ve been stingy defensively as well with a top-5 unit surrendering 105.6 points a night. As a team they lead the NBA with over seven blocks per game and have three players – Davis, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard – ranked among the top-15 in blocks.

Boston Celtics

Missing two of their top three scorers for Saturday’s clash with Phoenix, the Celtics didn’t achieve the results LA did last week against OKC. With Kemba Walker nursing a sore knee and Jaylen Brown out with a thumb injury, Boston succumbed, 123-119, losing three in a row for the second time in two weeks while dropping six of their last eight. More disturbing is who the Cs are losing to. Four of those losses were to sub-.500 teams that are currently out of the playoff picture.

There will be some missteps over the course of a long season, that’s just to be expected. Heck, the best team in the history of the league lost nine times. But dropping games to Washington, San Antonio, Detroit and Phoenix over the last two weeks is alarming. We can blame the loss of two key players for Saturday’s setback. Walker and Brown combine to average 42.1 points with both topping 20 per game. But the defense has been suspect of late, which doesn’t help the problem.

During their current three-game skid the Celtics are allowing 122.3 points per game and they’ve cashed the over in all three. Despite the recent failures to stop opponents from scoring, the Celtics remain one of the best units overall. They allow just 105.6 points per game, the fourth-fewest in the NBA. And with Walker likely to miss a few more games, Marcus Smart did his best to ignite the offense going for 37 points on 11 of 22 shooting from three-point range against the Suns.

Bet Lakers at Celtics at BookMaker.eu

I don’t expect the Celtics to continue sliding, and they aren’t going to lose at home again. This is certainly a big one for both sides, and the Garden has been a house of horrors for LeBron during his time with the Cavs. The Celtics will play with a sense of urgency in a game they need to stop the bleeding, and they will emerge victorious.

NBA Score Prediction: Boston 112, Los Angeles 107

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