Tuesday NBA Betting Odds & Picks: 2 Best Bets for Celtics vs. Lakers (Dec. 7)
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Russell Westbrook #0 and LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers.
- With only three games on the docket Tuesday night, our staff is focused in on one.
- The Boston Celtics look to seal a fourth win in five games against the Lakers.
- Check out two ways to bet this big-time matchup below.
Tuesday’s NBA slate has just three games on the schedule, but our Action Network NBA Staff has you covered with two best bets for tonight’s late night matchup between the Celtics and Lakers in Los Angeles.
Jacob McKenna is eyeing a player prop while Kenny Ducey sees value on the spread. Keep reading to find their analysis and best bets below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Jacob McKenna: Jaylen Brown has been dealing with a hamstring injury that has kept him out of Boston’s last two games, and consequently, it has given some of his teammates more opportunities to score. One of those teammates has been Marcus Smart, and I think he is positioned well to continue his stellar play on the offensive end of the floor tonight.
Smart enters this matchup averaging 11.3 points per game and is shooting just 39% from the floor overall and 30% from behind the arc. However, in his most recent two games, he has increased those numbers dramatically by averaging 16 points per game while shooting 52.3% from the field and 50% from three.
Furthermore, dating back to November 24th, Marcus Smart has eclipsed the 11.5-point mark in five of six games, and in that six-game span he is averaging just over 15 points per game.
Boston gets to go up against a Lakers team tonight that is in the bottom half of the league in Defensive Rating according to NBA Advanced Stats. The Lakers have allowed their opponents to shoot over 45% from the field and almost 35% from behind the arc, so Smart will certainly have his fair share of chances to score the ball tonight.
Furthermore, Marcus Smart scored 22 points on 13 shots when the Celtics beat the Lakers earlier in the year, and I think we could definitely see that kind of efficiency from him once again in this matchup, especially if Jaylen Brown misses another game. I would take his total up to 13.5.
Boston Celtics vs. L.A. Lakers
Kenny Ducey: Things could be going better for the Celtics, who hit a snag over the last six games. In splitting those with three wins and three losses, Boston has been horrible on the defensive side of the ball, allowing 113.3 points per 100 possessions to rank 21st in the NBA over that span.
While we can cut them a little slack since they were tasked with stopping the Nets, Sixers and Jazz over this span, they also did face two weaker offenses in the Spurs and Raptors. On top of that, this matchup with the Lakers has the makings of a disaster.
Boston’s frontcourt defense has struggled all season long, allowing the fifth-worst field goal percentage in the restricted area at 66.3%. The Lakers are taking 29.9 shots per game in the restricted area — the third-most in the league — and Anthony Davis (7.8), Russell Westbrook (6.6) and LeBron James (6.3) are all averaging more than six attempts there per game.
The Celtics are also allowing a gaudy 42.8% of shots to fall in the surrounding paint, for good measure.
If you don’t catch my drift, this is the makings of a nightmare for the Celtics. The core of Los Angeles’ offense is predicated on its three best players getting inside and scoring with high-percentage shots. With a fast-paced offense, the Lakers should control the tempo of this game and continue to hurt the Celtics around the rim.
I’ll take L.A. down to -3.