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Tips For Betting On Lakers Celtics – Lakers, Celtics Clash Thursday Facing Contrasting Circumstances

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/5/2013 5:58:12 PM

Sometimes in life less is more. That certainly isn’t usually the case when it comes to the NBA and the number of superstars on the roster for any given team, which makes the sports betting circumstances surrounding Thursday night’s showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics that much more interesting. The Lakers have struggled this season despite the additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to the lineup, as inconsistent play and a general lack of chemistry has prevented them from holding down a playoff spot all season. Meanwhile, Boston has managed to hold down a playoff spot these past couple of months despite an aging core, and ironically has played some of its best basketball since losing its biggest superstar in Rajon Rondo.

Los Angeles Lakers @ Boston Celtics
Thursday February 7, 2013 – 8:00 PM ET
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
NBA Sportsbook Line: Los Angeles – 2.5

The Celtics have won four-straight games since Rondo went down with a season-ending ACL tear, an injury that was expected to end any chance of Boston reaching the postseason. A greater sense of urgency and more complete team approach has been the difference for the Celtics since losing Rondo, and will be among the many keys to Thursday night’s contest.

NBA Betting Preview: Los Angeles Lakers

Despite their inconsistent play overall the Lakers have rallied together of late with strong play over the past couple of weeks, winning five of six games including back-to-back road wins in the midst of a seven-game trip. That stretch will continue Thursday at Boston where Los Angeles will look to continue to build on its team chemistry, which has looked much more cohesive since Kobe Bryant changed his approach to become more of a facilitator and pass up more shots for Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol in the post. With Howard and Gasol ranking among the most dominant post players in the game it only makes sense to give them more looks down low and working off the inside game, and that has led to the results the Lakers want over the past two online betting weeks.

NBA Betting Preview: Boston Celtics

A team that ranks 29th in the NBA in rebounding won’t have an easy time slowing down Howard and Gasol, with Jared Sullinger’s injury leaving Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass to handle the load inside. Sullinger wasn’t an outstanding defensive presence in the lineup anyway, and with Garnett wearing down due to age the Celtics have struggled against bigger opponents. The loss of Rondo has forced Paul Pierce to be a more complete player and he has responded with averages of 17.3 points and 6.3 assists over the last four games. Jason Terry and Jeff Green have also played bigger roles of late at the offensive end of the floor particularly, and will need to be at their best to keep up with the Lakers.

NBA Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

For as good as Boston has looked since losing Rondo, it’s only a matter of time before this group wears down under the pressure of having to win every night and the Lakers are built with the raw size to take advantage of them. Los Angeles is learning how to take advantage of its strengths and wear opponents down, and it won’t be a surprise when they have their way with the Celtics on Thursday night.

NBA Betting Pick: Los Angeles Lakers

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