Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics – NBA, Friday, November 19, 2021

By Dan Vasta in NBA
| November 18, 2021 8:29 pm PDT

We are less than 20 games into the season, and both the Lakers and Celtics have issues. They have been struggling out of the gates thus far.

Two of the best franchises in NBA history each have 17 NBA titles, and no other franchise has more than six. Boston was not among the top five teams entering the season, but Los Angeles was.

The Lakers won the title in 2020 and have added pieces, none bigger than future Hall of Fame point guard Russell Westbrook. They have missed the play of LeBron James and are losers in three of their past four games.

The Celtics have lost two of four. Improvement needs to be had before we get closer to the halfway mark. Here are your latest odds from SportsBetting.ag for this nationally televised clash between the Lakers and the Celtics.

Lakers vs. Celtics Odds for 11/19

Lakers (+2)-110
Celtics (-2)-110
Lakers to Win+105
Celtics to Win-125
Over 214.5-110
Under 214.5-110

The Lakers are 6-13 against the spread in their past 19 games. The over has hit in four of the past six. The Lakers are in the midst of a six-game road trip and are 2-2 ATS on the road this season.

The Celtics are 2-3 ATS at home, but the under has been a recent trend with three in a row. In the past 13 games against the Western Conference, Boston has gone 10-3. As a road underdog, the Lakers are 5-5 in their past 10 with a 2-8 record straight up.

If you are interested in making wagers on them or any other stars in the game, check out our complete guide to understanding prop bets.

LAL-BOS is a game that should be highly entertaining. Here are your latest keys to victory for this Western against Eastern Conference clash.

Why the Lakers Will Win

The Lakers could be getting LeBron James back after he had missed the previous eight games (abdominal), and sources say he is 50-50 to play on Friday night. The absence and lack of a ball-handler and playmaker to the magnitude of King James have left a mark.

The last nine games on the defensive end have been a challenge to watch, even for the Laker die-hard fans that have seen it all. If they can improve upon their recent nine-game slide on the defensive end, they will soon catch fire and find ways to win the close games.

  • Points Per Game Allowed: 112.4
  • Games Allowing 100+: All Nine
  • Record: 4-5

Anthony Davis and Westbrook are averaging over a steal per game, but their inability to run the opposition off the three-point line has been a growing concern.

The backcourt is an issue, but the top pick of the 2021 draft comes in. The lack of a stud scoring guard is pivotal in the NBA.

If Talen Horton-Tucker can continue dropping 20-plus a night, the Lakers will look great. However, he could make more of an impact off the bench.

They have seen a recent improvement from their bench, but the potential return of LeBron eases the pressure off every player.

Why the Celtics Will Win

The Boston defense may not be where they want it. However, it is far superior compared to Los Angeles. The Celtics have ranked among the better defenses for points allowed and defensive field-goal percentage.

The current loss of Jaylen Brown (hamstring) has been a challenge for the franchise. The former McDonald’s All-American has been a tremendous offensive scorer thus far in his young career.

Luckily for Boston, Jayson Tatum has become a Top 20 player due to his silky smooth offensive ability. Tatum has the size, but his ball-handling skills are among the better players in the league for his size.

Tatum has had guard-like skills since his days at Duke. His ability to finish with authority at the rim should enable the Celtics to have other players involved in their offense. The one concern for Boston is their third, fourth, and fifth scorers without Brown on the court.

  • Tatum Past Six Games
  • 26.5 PPG
  • 9.0 REB
  • 3.6 APG

We have seen Tatum become a budding superstar, but Al Horford is past his prime, and Marcus Smart has not been known for his offensive prowess over the years. Josh Richardson is capable off the bench, but the team is relying on Dennis Shroder to bail them out of games these days.

That hasn’t gone as planned, but he did drop a respectable 15 points in their recent loss to Atlanta. If the franchise wants to take that next step, they need to find more from Horford and pray that Grant Williams develops as an outside shooter.

Lakers vs. Celtics Prediction

The lack of size for Boston has been a concern. They are a franchise that has hopes of reaching the playoffs and doing damage.

I have even more concern for the Celtics than the Lakers. Yes, both have been abysmal as of late. We saw them win a thriller in overtime over the Heat last weekend without LeBron, and I see them doing the same.

Lakers vs. Celtics Pick

Pick
  • Lakers (-2)
    -110

Boston can catch fire and win this game from behind the arc, but I have concerns with their overall offensive ability. Until Jaylen Brown comes back, they will struggle in stretches.

Russ is bound for a triple-double, and if James suits up, we may see the point spread waver a bit. Either way, I like the value of the Lakers on the road.

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