Last Updated Feb 03, 2023, 3:00 PM

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics Picks, Predictions, Odds

NBA regular season action resumes on Saturday night with another entry into a historical non-conference rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. Coverage begins from TD Garden in Boston at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.


At this point, most people have grown to expect pure mediocrity from this Lakers squad spearheaded by the trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook, and rightfully so, considering this is an incredibly top-heavy roster that simply cannot stay healthy, and the results have been lackluster, to say the least.

In their previous outing against San Antonio, Davis finally returned from an injury that kept him sidelined for a month or so. However, the damage had already been done. The Lakers have fallen to 13th in the Western Conference standings with a record of 23-26, and following their latest 20-game stretch, they now rank 26th in the league in points allowed and 2nd in pace (118 PPG, 101.9 PACE.).

When AD is healthy, though, the identity of this L. A. squad is much different, and that was on full display in his return to action on Wednesday night, as the Lakers posted a relatively low-scoring 113-104 victory over a Spurs team that ranks dead-last in the league in points allowed and 6th in pace, which had a monster over-under set at OU 245.

While on the other hand, Boston has been one of the best teams in basketball all season, currently ranked 1st in the league in net rating (+5.5 NetRtg), but similar to Los Angeles, the Celtics have also strayed away from their usual tendencies, considering they rank Top 5 in the league in both points scored and offensive rating (118 PPG, 112 DRtg), which is a pretty big change-in-pace after finishing 12th in scoring last year, and 16th the year before that.

However, when things go awry for this Celtics squad, they typically lean on the aspect of their game that has differentiated them from the rest of the pack over the last few seasons, and that’s their stellar defensive play. 

The return of AD should continue to slow down the pace of Lakers’ games moving forward, and now that Boston is averaging just 103 PPG across a three-game losing streak, the bar for this one appears to be set way too high. So, I’ll take the ‘under’ in Saturday’s primetime clash.

Score Prediction: Celtics 114, Lakers 109
Best Bet: Under 233.5 (-110)

Take the Under!


More Odds | Expert Picks


Date: Saturday, January 28, 2023
Matchup: Pacific vs. Atlantic
Venue: TD Garden
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
TV-Time: ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET


The Lakers have been conference bottom-dwellers due to injury for most of the season, however, they finally appear to be back on track at this point, having posted a record of 9-5 in their last 14 games, and 13 of those contests were played in the absence of Anthony Davis.

The Lakers simply aren’t title contenders like Boston is at this point and time, though. They rank 18th in the league in offensive rating and 19th in defensive rating. And quite frankly, everything about this squad is just very average at the moment.

But at the very least, the combined presence of LeBron and Davis elevates this squad to playoff-caliber status. So, on a broad  scale, there’s no reason to think L. A. has zero shot at escaping with a win in tonight’s contest, especially after seeing the Celtics drop three straight matchups to the Magic, Heat, and Knicks.

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The Celtics are 0-5 ATS in their last five games. (Getty)


The Celtics enter Saturday following three straight losses, marking just the second time Boston has dropped a trio of consecutive contests this season, and the last time they did such a thing, their losing streak ended on their fourth trip out.

Unlike years past, though, the strength of this Celtics squad has been offense throughout this season. So, in turn, they’ve tried to take advantage of that by ramping up the pace, and exerting a little bit less effort at the defensive end.

However, Boston didn’t reach last year’s NBA Finals by outgunning everybody in their path. The Celtics aren’t one of the most feared teams in the East because of their lethal long-range shooting.

The main factor capable of separating this squad from the rest of the pack, is their ability to dominate both ends of the floor within a halfcourt set, and when things get tough for them, they typically like to slow things down and lean into that style of play.


  • The Lakers are 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in four of the Lakers' last five games.
  • The Lakers are 4-2 SU in their last six games.
  • The Celtics are 0-5 ATS in their last five games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in four of Boston's last five games.
  • The Celtics are 9-3 SU in their last 12 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in eight of Boston's last ten games against the Lakers.
  • The Celtics are 7-1 SU in their last eight home games.
  • The Lakers are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games against Boston.
  • The Lakers are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five road games.
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