Lakers vs. Celtics Betting Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions: Is LA Undervalued With Anthony Davis Returning?

Lakers vs. Celtics Betting Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions: Is LA Undervalued With Anthony Davis Returning? article feature image

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Davis (3) of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Lakers at Celtics Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions

  • Spread: Lakers -2.5
  • Over/Under: 226
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT

Odds as of Monday afternoon and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

Lakers vs. Celtics never gets old, especially when the teams are as competitive as these two squads have been. The Lakers have won four of their past five games without Anthony Davis, while the Celtics — who have also battled through various injuries lately — sit fourth in the East standings at the halfway mark of the regular season.

Will Davis’ return make the Lakers even more dominant than they’ve been recently? Our NBA experts analyze the matchup and preview how their betting the game of the night in the league.

Betting Trend to Know

In the Brad Stevens era, as underdogs the Celtics are 128-107-3 (55%) against the spread. But there are sharp home/road splits:

  • At home: 31-37-2 (46%) ATS
  • On road: 97-70-1 (58%) ATS

John Ewing

Bryan Mears: Anthony Davis Has Frontcourt Mismatch

It’s the game of the day, although for the millionth time this season, a national TV primetime matchup could be marred by injuries.

In this one, Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown are both questionable for the Celtics and missed their last game, while Davis is going to return after missing the last several games with a glute injury.

In terms of value, I think the Celtics ones are the most consequential here. They’ve lost three straight, which coincides with some of this poor injury luck, and without Kemba this season they’ve been 9.5 points/100 worse on offense. Their eFG% has dropped by 5.8%, which is a problem against a Lakers squad that ranks third defensively this year and fourth in eFG% allowed.

The splits for the Celtics are actually pretty darn interesting. In 817 possessions without Kemba and Brown on the floor, they’ve actually posted a +12.6 Net Rating. But a lot of those possessions were against bench units, which will not be the case tonight. Further, they’ve been bad on offense and amazing defensively, and a lot of those units include Enes Kanter — not exactly known for his defense.

They’ve done a decent job defending the rim in those minutes, although I wouldn’t expect that continue against starters. But really they’ve just run pretty hot in terms of opponent shooting from outside. The Lakers don’t take a ton of 3s, but they optimize around corner ones and nail those at an awesome rate.

The Lakers offense is, no surprise, pretty darn efficient. They attack the rim relentlessly and get up +EV looks from outside. Against a Celtics squad that’s going to play 48 minutes of Kanter and Daniel Theis, I’m not sure that rim defense is really going to hold up.

The Celtics are still getting respect in the market, whether because bettors believe Kemba and Jaylen will play or they like this spot for them as a short home dog. Interestingly, while the narrative around the Celtics is they thrive in these spots, in the Brad Stevens era they’ve actually gone just 27-31-2 ATS as a home dog. Where they really excel is as a road dog, going 88-57-1.

Still, two of the three steam moves tracked so far today have been on the Celtics. I was going to wait for injury news on this one with the Celtics guys, but with Davis just confirmed in, I grabbed the Lakers at -2.5. — Bryan Mears

Justin Phan: How I’m Betting the Lakers Tonight

I like the Lakers spread and moneyline tonight up to -3 and -150 with news that Anthony Davis will suit up and Jaylen Brown is available to play for the Celtics — Kemba Walker expects to play for the C’s as well. Boston’s defense has been in free fall as of late and this is a brutal matchup with Davis active given the Celtics’ lack of size up front.

Matt Moore: Bending the Celtics’ Interior

The Celtics have been so much better this season than I expected on the interior line. But they struggle vs. teams with great frontcourts because they’re just not as talented there.

The defense is at its worst point of the season. The starters are getting absolutely blitzed over the last 10 games, with a Defensive Rating above 110.

The Lakers are uniquely positioned to hit them on both fronts, with a dominating starting unit and the size to bend them backwards. Anthony Davis is back in the lineup.

The Celtics have been good this season. They’re a good team. But the Lakers are a great team, and as such this line needs to be closer to -4. There’s just too much value this season if the Lakers are less than five-point favorites against anyone but the most elite teams. Boston’s record outpaces its point differential.

LeBron James is 10-2 since 2016-17 vs. the Celtics straight-up. With that number and a spread under a full three-point possession, there’s too much value. — Matt Moore

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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