The Boston Celtics will look to hand the LA Lakers their third straight loss on Saturday. Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire.
- The Boston Celtics are 2.5-point home underdogs to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday (Jan. 30th, 8:30 pm EST)
- LA is in the midst of its first losing streak since before the start of last season’s playoffs
- See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction
The NBA’s most storied rivalry writes its first chapter of the 2020-21 season on Saturday (Jan. 30th, 8:30 pm EST), as the Los Angeles Lakers visit the Boston Celtics.
For LA, this will be the sixth game of a seven game Eastern Conference road trip, which they’ve went 3-2 on so far. Boston meanwhile, is back home after two straight on the road, looking for its sixth win at TD Garden in eight tries.
Lakers vs Celtics Odds
|Los Angeles Lakers||-2.5 (-110)||-138||Over 219.5 (-110)|
|Boston Celtics||+2.5 (-110)||+118||Under 219.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Jan. 30th.
The Celtics opened up as 2.5-point underdogs in a game that features a total of 219.5. Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who missed the Lakers last game with a knee bruise, are listed questionable ahead of this contest, but it doesn’t appear there’s much chance the King is going to miss.
LeBron: “I don’t get tired … I don’t even think about that … when we have our games, I’m ready to go.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 29, 2021
LA’s Road Woes
After starting the season 10-0 on the road, the Lakers have dropped back-to-back outings on their current road swing. On Wednesday, they lost a nail bitter to Philadelphia by a single point, and on Thursday they fell by 15 in Detroit.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 29, 2021
James started out on fire versus the Pistons, knocking down each of his first seven attempts, but went ice cold from there. He made just one of his final 12 attempts, and racked up only 2 of his 22 points after halftime. Without AD, the Lakers offense showed little life, as only Kyle Kuzma (22 points) and Dennis Schroder (10 points) reached double figures besides James. They shot 40.9% from the floor, and lost the turnover, rebounding and assist battle.
On the bright side, they did hold their opponent below 110 points for the fifth straight outing, showcasing a defense that ranks second in points allowed, and seventh in opponent field goal percentage this season.
2021 NBA Championship Odds Tracker
Celts Fall to Spurs
Boston meanwhile, is fresh off a loss of its own, falling by 4 in San Antonio. The Celts shot just 42.9% versus the Spurs, including 10-for-30 from beyond the arc.
We went down to the wire in San Antonio but weren’t able to close out our third straight win. pic.twitter.com/fu9dtBhkRJ
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 28, 2021
Jayson Tatum led the way with 25 points and 7 boards, while Jalen Brown poured in 24 in a losing effort. The game marked the first time all season Boston’s projected starting five was able to play together, and although four of the five reached double figures, they couldn’t overcome a sparkling shooting performance by San Antonio.
Kemba: “This is our first time all back together. It might take some time, it might not. We just have to figure it out and we will. We just got to get back to helping each other and playing together and playing with pride.”
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 29, 2021
Now, Boston returns home looking to bounce back against a potentially undermanned Lakers squad. The Celts are the ninth best shooting team in the league, and only six squads are more proficient from beyond the arc.
Last time they met the Lakers at TD Garden, they cruised to a 32 point victory in a game they held James and AD to a combined 24 points on 8-of-19 shooting.
Expect a Low Scoring Affair
Boston isn’t an elite defensive team, but they do allow the 11th fewest points per outing and rank 12th at defending the 3-ball. The under has hit in back-to-back Celtics games, while Laker contests are routinely coming in under the total.
“This is a special opportunity, a special rivalry,” Brad Stevens says of tomorrow’s matchup against the Lakers. “And obviously the opportunity to compete against the very best is always a great challenge.”
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 29, 2021
14 of LA’s 20 games this season have gone under, including four of its last five. The under is 10-2 in Laker road games and with AD likely limited, if he even plays, I like this game to fall under the total as well.
Pick: Under 219.5 (-110)
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.