The Boston Celtics come into the Staples Center to take on the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers feeling pretty good about themselves with the team in something of a groove considering they’ve won their last four straight games. They’ve been doing it against some of the top teams the Western Conference has to offer as well, which should give them added confidence against this banged up Lakers squad.
Free Picks: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics
Celtics, Lakers Meet In NBA’s Marquee Matchup At Staples (Season Betting Record: 82-88)
The Lakes started out losing their first four in a row after LeBron James went down with an ankle injury—which is expected to keep him out until at least May—before then winning their next two in a row. Since then the Lakers have alternated wins and losses for the past eight games. Considering they won in their last game, the Celtics’ NBA point spread looks like a solid NBA pick for this matchup.
Anthony Davis is not returning to the team until at least after this tilt so no worries there for Boston, and Markieff Morris is unsure to play as well with a nagging ankle issue. Andre Drummond, L.A.’s most recent addition, has not been panning out quite as the team had hoped, scoring just seven points total over his past two games.
L.A. is also returning home to the Staples Center for this clash with the Celtics after having played their last seven games on the road. While it will certainly be nice for them to be back home, the first home game after a long road trip is historically not a great spot since the team is exhausted from the road trip and still in the process of reacclimating to their home routine after over 14 days away.
The Lakers have not often been listed as an underdog when they’re playing at Staples, but that is the situation they find themselves in on Thursday night. L.A. has only experienced that situation thrice before this season, and all three of those games ended in a spread loss for the Lakers. They’re also just not great at Staples in general, posting a yikes-inducing 11-16 ATS mark there so far this season.
Boston has not been that great of a road team this season either, going just 12-16 ATS so far this season, but they have been on a roll away from the TD Garden lately, covering the spread in each of their last five road games. The Celtics haven’t really gotten a look at trade deadline addition Evan Fournier because he’s been stuck in the health and safety protocols, but the rest of the team has been on it lately, winning four straight and six of their last seven.
Their last two straight wins came against a pair of big, bad teams from the Western Conference, winning a tight one against the Blazers their last time out and using a 31-3 run during the late third and early fourth quarters to bust Denver’s eight-game winning streak in the game before that.
Boston has also dominated this matchup of late, taking the last four straight meetings ATS and seven of the last 10 ATS at the Staples Center. We like them to keep that dominance up considering L.A.’s injury issues and easily cover their -4.5 point spread at lovely -118 NBA odds as one of our best bets for today.
- Boston is 5-0 ATS in their last five road games
- Boston is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings
- Los Angeles has not had 2 consecutive SU wins since March 28th
- Los Angeles is 0-3 ATS as the home underdog this season
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The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.