Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers – NBA, April 15, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| April 15, 2021 9:20 am PDT

As well as being two of the most famous teams in the NBA, what makes this clash special is both teams are heading into tonight’s game in identical positions. They both sit third in their Divisions and fifth in their respected conferences. Although we don’t have a Magic vs. Bird matchup tonight, there is plenty of ability on both sides.

The Lakers have won the last two games between these teams, with the latest game being played at the end of January. It was a very low-scoring game which certainly goes against the trend when analyzing their recent encounters against each other. Looking at the stats for that game, Boston will probably wonder how they lost it, especially seen as they missed a shot at the buzzer to win it.

Things have been even between them in LA, with both teams picking up two wins apiece from their previous four matches.

Although there head to head record is close between these two over their recent ten matches against one another, the Celtics have averaged nine more points than the Lakers during those games, suggesting when they win, they win big. This has predominantly been down to fast starts as they have taken a nine-point lead into the second half on average.

Here are the game odds, my team analysis, and betting prediction.

Celtics vs. Lakers Odds

Celtics -6 -110
Lakers +6 -110
Celtics To Win +220
Lakers To Win +205
Over 212 Points -110
Under 212 Points -110

The spread has grown by a point and a half since the betting opened, and my first thoughts are it looks big. However, the thing that stands out by a mile is the points total which seems incredibly low. Yes, they played out a 191-point game earlier on this year, but statistically, they combine for an average of 219-points over their previous ten meetings.

LA has a miserable record of 3-10 as underdogs this season. They haven’t done very well against the spread when facing Eastern Conference opponents at home, as they have only won three of their previous 12 matches.

Celtic’s Comments

The Celtics come into this game in excellent form, having won their last four in a row, meaning they have now won six of their previous seven matches. During that time, they have done it all. They have won high-scoring games and low-scoring games, close contests, and picked up some wide margin victories. Their one blemish came against Conference leaders Philadelphia as they ran into Joel Embiid, who was unstoppable on the night.

However, their form on the road has been relatively poor as they have won 12 and lost 16 of their away fixtures. Still, they have put together a run of four straight wins on the road, which is their best of the season, and therefore, they come into this game in the best shape possible.

Here are the latest betting trends for Boston:

Bet Type Trend
ATS They have won five of their last seven matches.
Total Eight of their previous ten games have gone under the betting total.
ATS Boston has only lost one of their last five matches against the Lakers.
SU The Celtics are 2-4 in their previous six matchups against LA.
ATS They have won their last five games in a row on the road.
Total Seven of their previous ten trips to Los Angeles have seen the points total go over.
ATS Boston has won four of their last five matches against teams from the west coast.
SU The Celtics have only lost two of their previous 14 games played in April.

All of the above statistics and trends show how well the Celtics are playing right now. However, it also highlights that they haven’t always had their own way against the Lakers and must respect them tonight.

The Celtics have an average offense that can and has shot well for most of the season, especially from deep.

Their offensive rebounding has been excellent this season as they have the fifth-highest average number of attacking rebounds made.

They have a solid defense that has been reliable most nights and has been the key to many victories this season. However, they aren’t always the best at covering their opponents, and they tend to sit off, which does leave them open against three-pointers. They need to be more smart and follow the example set by Marcus Smart, who is has reminded everyone recently what a terrific defensive player he can be.

I have been heavily critical of the Celtics this season as I can see how much potential they have. However, far too often, they haven’t shown up for me, and I feel if you can get on top of them early, they do tend to crack. To be fair to Boston, they have had key players missing for large parts of the season, and perhaps now they are showing their proper form.

The Celtics will miss Fournier tonight, who is out through quarantining.

Lakers Comments

The Lakers have been inconsistent as of late as none of their last nine games has seen the same results as the previous one. They remained solid during this time as they have only once conceded more than 110-points. However, their offense hasn’t been great, and they have only scored over 110-points twice themselves.

Their form in LA has been good as they have won 16 and lost 11 of their 27 matches played at the Staples Center. They have won two and lost two of their last four home games. The two wins came against struggling teams with no playoff aspirations, and the two defeats came against two of the top three teams in the east.

Here are the latest betting trends for Los Angeles:

Bet Type Trend
ATS The Lakers have only lost one of their previous five matches.
Total Four of their last five games have seen the betting total go over.
Total Only one of their previous six matches against Boston has failed to go over the points total.
Total All of their last six games have seen the points total go under.
Total The total has gone over in seven of their previous ten matches at home against Boston.
ATS They have won four of their last five matches against Western Conference opposition.
SU LA is 3-6 in their previous nine matchups against teams based in the Atlantic Division.
SU The Lakers have only won two of their last six games played on a Thursday.

The biggest thing to take from all of this is that when these two meet, sparks fly, and it’s usually high-scoring.

The Lakers have a poor offense this season despite having a good field goal percentage of 47%. They will need new recruit Andre Drummond to start adding more points to help them fire, especially in the absence of key players. Drummond is predominantly a defensive player, but he will undoubtedly want to add more points to his game for the Lakers.

However, they are averaging a couple of extra points per game at home, which could make all the difference in what looks like a very close contest.

Uncharacteristically for a Lakers team, they are making 15 turnovers on average per game, which is the highest average in the league. This is why their offense is misfiring more often than not.

Their defense has been superb and is only conceding 105-points per game on average. They have been particularly good at defending against three-pointers this season, reducing their opponents to a success rate of only 34%, which could nullify the Celtics attack.

The Lakers will miss trio James, Dudley, and Davis through injury. Morris remains a doubt also and faces a late fitness test.

Celtics vs. Lakers Betting Pick

Pick
  • Under 228.5 Points
    -110

This is a challenging game to call, and if the Lakers had James and Davis back is would undoubtedly be a spectacle to watch. Although they are missing, I was tempted to take the Lakers with the handicap, but instead, I will stick to my gut feeling and pick over the points total.

Neither offense has been inspiring this season, but apart from their previous matchup, the scoreboard usually has a tough night when these teams meet. They are also combining for an average score of 221-points this season.

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