Bet On Lakers Celtics – Lakers Continue To Struggle On The Road In Boston
Most online betting players know that it’s always an occasion when Boston and the Los Angeles Lakers get together, and Thursday’s contest is crucial as the Lakers are having their troubles on the road, and they’re running into a red-hot Boston team that seems to finally be healthy. We’re going with the team that has the momentum, and is on their home floor.
What: NBA Betting
When: Thursday, February 9th, 8:00 PM ET
Where: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA
Pick: Boston Celtics
Why Bet On Los Angeles Lakers (14-11 SU, 11-14 ATS)
While Kobe Bryant ended up passing former teammate Shaquille O’Neal for fifth on the career scoring list on Monday night in Philadelphia, where he grew up, his Lakers ended up falling 95-90 and they’re now 3-9 SU and ATS on the road this season. Bryan scored 24 points in the first half, but he finished with 28 as he struggled badly in the second half, which is very un-Kobe-like, while Andrew Bynum had a huge night with 20 points, 20 rebounds and three blocks for the Lakers, who held a 55-30 edge on the glass. Where they lost the game was in the turnover battle as they had 16 to four for the 76ers, and beyond the three-point arc, where they were 7-of-24. If it wasn’t for a fantastic rebounding night (and the Lakers are first in that category in the league), the Lakers may have been run out of the gym in Philadelphia.
Rookie Andrew Goudelock has been getting more time in the absence of Steve Blake (ribs), who should be back in a couple of weeks, and of course, Bryant is battling a myriad of injuries (notably his wrist), but he is playing through it because, well, that’s how Kobe Bryant is. Right now, the Lakers have to figure out how to close out games on the road because it’s not like they’re getting blown out away from home, they just lose their way in the fourth quarter. Some are mentioning Bryant’s wrist as a problem, and they should probably start going more to Bynum and Pau Gasol down low….but as long as Bryant is in town, he’ll be getting the fourth-quarter shots.
Why Bet On Boston Celtics (14-10 SU, 12-12 ATS)
Smart NBA betting players knew not to count out the Celtics early in the season, but they’re coming around now as a 94-84 win over Charlotte on Tuesday was their fifth in a row. Kevin Garnett led the way with 22 points and seven rebounds, while Ray Allen added 17 points, Paul Pierce notched 15 points, nine assists and eight boards and Rajon Rondo steered the entire show with 10 points, 14 assists and no turnovers for the Celtics, who hit 50.6% of their field-goal attempts. When the Celtics are fully healthy, they can still run with anyone in the league and they’re currently leading the NBA in fewest points allowed, which has always been their bread-and-butter since they pulled off the moves to make a “Big Three” of Garnett, Allen and Pierce (who passed Larry Bird for second place on the Celtics’ career scoring list in this game). They dominated an active, but young, Charlotte team out of the lane, outscoring them 46-32 in the paint, the Celtics had a +5 edge on the glass and harassed them into making just four of their 16 three-point attempts. Boston also did a better job of passing the ball around with 31 assists on 41 field goals; now, the question is, can they keep this run going?
The only way that the Celtics can continue this play is if they can stay healthy, because their top trio has to share the load and Rondo isn’t a point guard that is going to score 18-21 points per game for you. You also have to take into account that they were playing a Charlotte team that dropped to 3-22, but the Celtics never took their foot off the gas and that is the mark of a veteran team. You know they’ll be able to get up for Thursday’s showdown with their longtime rivals.
How It Will Play Out
Boston should be the NBA betting favorites in the latest edition of the NBA’s most historic rivalry, but they’re only 2-3 SU and 2-2-1 ATS in their last five at home against the Lakers, with all five games going under the posted total. Boston is 10-6 SU and 7-9 ATS at TD Banknorth Garden this season, and to claim a win, they’ll have to find a way to slow down the Los Angeles big men.
Look for the Celtics to allow Bryant to get his points and then force Bynum and Gasol to give it up out of the post; perhaps they can goad Bynum into foul trouble. The Lakers have a big edge in the post, but the Celtics can overcome that and they’ll also need a big night from Rondo as Derek Fisher has no chance at staying in front of him, and Goudelock will be playing only his 18th career game in the NBA. Roll with Boston to cover the sports betting spread on Thursday night.
Bet On Lakers Celtics Pick: Boston Celtics