The NBA's most famous rivalry will renew on Thursday night, with the Boston Celtics wrapping up a three-game road trip at Staples Center against the L.A. Lakers.
With a win, Boston can go 3-0 on its west swing, after a dominant win against the Nuggets and a one-point victory over the Trail Blazers. Can L.A. end its old Finals foe's trip on a down note? Find out who we like in our best free NBA betting picks and predictions for Celtics vs. Lakers on April 15 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Celtics vs Lakers odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
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NBA sharp money and line movement reportBy Patrick Everson
Boston hit DraftKings' odds board as 6-point chalk late Wednesday night, briefly dipped to -5.5, rose to -6.5 a couple of times and is back at the opener as of 6:30 p.m. ET. The Celtics are taking 72 percent of spread tickets and 67 percent of spread money. The total fell from 212 to 211, then rebounded to 212.5, with 69 percent of tickets/58 percent of money on the Over.Check out the full line movement for this game
Celtics at Lakers betting preview
Celtics: Evan Fournier SG (Out).
Lakers: Marcus Morris PF (Questionable), Marc Gasol C (Questionable), LeBron James SF (Out), Anthony Davis PF (Out), Jared Dudley SF (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Celtics are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games. Find more NBA betting trends for Celtics vs. Lakers.
Against the spread (ATS) pick
Despite new addition Evan Fournier only featuring in four games since being acquired by Boston, the Celtics have seemingly finally figured it out. One of the NBA's most underwhelming teams over the first half, Boston is 7-3 SU and 5-4-1 ATS over its last 10. Best of all for the Celtics — their success comes with real reasons for optimism. Jayson Tatum is recapturing the form he had before last year's postponement, Kemba Walker has looked increasingly effective in a reduced role and Daniel Theis's trade to the Bulls has allowed Robert Williams to enter the lineup, where he has thrived.
Despite losing both its All-NBA superstars, Los Angeles has been able to largely tread water in the 13 games it has been without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as they currently sit 6-7 over that stretch. Encouragingly, they just wrapped up a seven-game road trip by going 4-3, with a bizarre domination of the Nets headlining that stretch. However, much of L.A.'s success without James and Davis has been against downright bad teams, with wins over the Cavaliers, Magic and Kings in this stretch.
Boston is still a cut below the Eastern Conference elite, but it has begun to resemble a standard, solid-to-good NBA team. Like any solid-to-good NBA team, the Celtics should handle the spread in this spot against an injury-devastated Lakers squad.
PREDICTION: Celtics -6 (-110)
Despite being down its two best players, L.A. has continued to be a reliable Under bet in 2021, with a 5-8 O/U mark without James and Davis and a 20-35 mark on the season. A stretch of six straight Unders was followed by four straight Overs, as the books adjust to a Lakers team in a highly odd position. Despite having gone now two full months without an All-NBA defender in Davis, L.A. remains atop the league in defensive rating.
Boston's strong run of play, meanwhile, has seen a string of Unders, with a 2-8 O/U mark over its last 10. Their only Overs during that stretch were in an overtime thriller against the Timberwolves and against the Blazers' nonexistent defense. Though the Celtics don't have a strong defense by any metric, they are more than good enough to limit an already limited Lakers offense.
PREDICTION: Under 212 (-105)
Player prop pick
Robert Williams' emergence as a bona fide starting center for the Celtics has been a major boost post-trade deadline and it's easy to see why Danny Ainge moved Theis in order to get Williams in the starting lineup. Williams is a superb athlete and thus, an excellent rim runner, and he has a shooting stroke to boot.
It hasn't been all great for Williams, as he was limited against All-NBA centers Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid, but he has been the best big on the floor in other matchups. That will be the case in this one against Andre Drummond, who may dominate the glass — but that's about it.
PREDICTION: Robert Williams Over 9.5 Points (-120)
Celtics vs Lakers betting card
- Celtics -6 (-110)
- Under 212 (-105)
- Robert Williams Over 9.5 Points (-120)
Picks made on 04/14/2021 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
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