Lakers vs. Celtics odds, line: NBA picks, predictions from model on 52-37 run
The Boston Celtics look to stay perfect on their West Coast swing when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. The Celtics (40-26) are in a battle for home-court advantage in the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs and trail fourth-place Philadelphia by 1.5 games with just 16 remaining. The Lakers (30-35), meanwhile, have lost four in a row as their playoff hopes have gone up in smoke. Tip-off from the Staples Center is set for 8:30 p.m. ET. The Lakers are 11th in the West and trail the Spurs and Clippers by 6.5 games for the final playoff spot.
Boston is a 4.5-point favorite in the latest Lakers vs. Celtics odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 220.5. Before making any Lakers vs. Celtics picks of your own, see the NBA predictions from SportsLine’s proven model.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is crushing its NBA picks. It entered Week 21 of the 2018-19 NBA season with a sterling 234-178 record on all top-rated picks, returning more than $4,000 to anybody following them. And it has been particularly red-hot on its A-rated NBA picks against the spread, entering Week 21 on a strong 52-37 run. Anybody who has followed it is way up.
Now the model has dialed in on Lakers vs. Celtics. We can tell you it is leaning over, but it’s also generated a pick against the spread that cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations. That one is available exclusively at SportsLine.
The model knows the Celtics lead the all-time series 159-130. After struggling for much of February, Boston has been on fire, winning three of four, including a 33-point victory over Golden State Tuesday. The Celtics are third in point differential at plus-5.6 and third in free throw percentage (.365). Boston also has proven to be one of the league’s most opportunistic teams, ranking fourth in points off turnovers.
Guard Kyrie Irving (23.4 ppg), who sat out Wednesday’s win at Sacramento with a bruised thigh, is expected to return against the Lakers. Irving is one of just three players who average 23 points, four rebounds and seven assists (LeBron James and James Harden are the others). Forward Jason Tatum (16.3 ppg) had a huge game in Irving’s absence against the Kings, scoring 24 points. He had 22 against the Lakers in the Feb. 7 meeting.
But just because Boston has played well lately doesn’t guarantee it will win or cover the Lakers vs. Celtics spread.
That’s because the Lakers have had Boston’s number of late, winning nine of the last 15 games. They have also won five of the last seven meetings in Los Angeles. In their meeting at Boston in February, the Lakers’ Rajon Rondo picked up the ball after a mad scramble and drained the game-winning shot at the buzzer.
Los Angeles is led by James (27.1 ppg), who passed Michael Jordan last week for fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. James has been on fire and had 28 points against the Celtics in Boston. Forward Kyle Kuzma (18.8 ppg), who is day-to-day with an ankle injury, had 25 in that first meeting. He also scored 39 at Philadelphia Feb. 10.
Who wins Celtics vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread can you bank on in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Celtics vs. Lakers spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up more than $4,000 on its NBA picks this season, and find out.