Boston Celtics at LA Lakers Predictions & Best Bet

Boston Celtics at LA Lakers Predictions & Best Bet

Darin Zank
Date: December 25, 5:00 pm
Location: Arena

Betting Odds

Point Spread: Bos -3/LAL +3
Moneyline: Bos -140/LAL +120
Total: 234.5

The greatest rivalry in the League highlights the NBA’s fivesome of Christmas Day games when Lakers host the Celtics Monday afternoon.

These teams are trending in opposite directions as of late, Boston coming in hot, the Lakers suffering through a post-Tournament hangover.

How are we playing this game with our free Celtics/Lakers pick?

NBA Betting Odds

The Christmas Day NBA betting lines opened Boston at -2.5 over Los Angeles, with an over/under of right around 234.5. Early betting action edged that spread to -3.

Celtics Betting Preview

Boston is 7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS over its last eight games after blowing out the Clippers also in Los Angeles Saturday 145-108. The Celtics led 68-51 at the half and pulled away from there for the W and the easy cover at -4.5.

Boston shot 52 percent from the floor Saturday, hit 25/53 from 3-point land, and out-rebounded the Clippers 51-34.

The Celtics have now shot at least 50 percent from the floor six times over their last ten games.

Two games ago, Boston shot 55 percent from the field and won at Sacramento 144-119.

At 22-6 overall, the Celtics lead Milwaukee by a half-game in the battle for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Lakers Betting Preview

Meanwhile, Los Angeles just snapped a four-game losing skid by winning at Oklahoma City Saturday 129-120. The Lakers scored 71 points in the first half, pushed their lead to 26 late in the third quarter, allowed the Thunder to get within eight with just under six minutes left but hung on for the W.

LA also cashed at +150 on the money line.

Los Angeles shot 52 percent from the floor Saturday and hit 16/32 from 3-point land.

But actually, Saturday was the first time in five games the Lakers shot better than 50 percent from the field.

Two nights earlier, LA lost at Minnesota 118-111. The night before that, they lost at Chicago 124-108. The Lakers are also just 2-5 both SU and ATS since winning that silly In-Season Tournament.

At 16-14 overall, Los Angeles occupies the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference playoff standings.

On the injury front, Boston C Kristaps Porzingis (19 ppg, 7 rpg) has missed recent action with a sore ankle and is Q for Monday.

Celtics-Lakers Recent History

Boston is 4-1 SU, 2-2-1 ATS over the last five meetings with Los Angeles. Last year, the Celtics swept two games from Lakers, both in overtime, 122-118 in LA and 125-121 in Beantown.

Totals Report

The Overs are 14-13 in Celtics games this season, which are averaging 229 total points.

The totals are split 15-15 in Lakers games, which are averaging 227 points.

The Overs are 8-2 over the last ten meetings between these teams. However, both of last season’s meetings played under through regulation, then over in OT.

Zank's Point Spread Pick

Both teams are coming off solid performances, but Boston is the more consistent outfit, less susceptible to a letdown. The Celtics also - according to the numbers and the eye test - shoot the ball better, play better defense, do a better job on the boards, and take better care of the ball. Also, 38-year-old LeBron missed Thursday’s game with a sore ankle, then did 37 minutes Saturday. He produced big numbers and a victory but we wonder about him a bit two days later. We’re backing Boston for some Christmas Day betting cheer.

Free Pick: Take the Celtics -3
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