Tonight, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics will engage in a rematch of last year's Finals matchup and in what could be a possible preview of this year's championship series. The game tips off at 8:00pm ET at the TD BankNorth Garden in Boston and will be broadcast live on TNT. NBA Picks: Los Angeles Lakers vs Boston Celtics at Sportsbook.com have the red hot Celtics listed as a -5.5 home favorite.
Los Angeles has been unbeatable in their current six game road swing, winning against the Timberwolves, Grizzlies, Knicks, and Raptors; however, the going gets much tougher for Kobe and company starting tonight in the Garden. Boston is 24-2 at home this season and they are not likely to give an inch to the Bynum-less Lakers, especially after Los Angeles' relatively easy Christmas day win over the Celtics at the Staples Center.
The Lakers have not felt the sting of Bynum's loss yet, but tonight will be their first real test since he left the lineup on January 31st. Still, they have plenty of breathing room in the Pacific division. Their 39-9 record is 12.5 games better than the second place Suns.
Los Angeles, who is second in the league in road scoring average (108.9 points per game), is 16-5 on the away from home this season. The Lakers have also played well against Eastern Conference opponents, going 14-6 versus out of conference competition.
Boston is the hottest team in the league at the moment and they will look to continue their 12 game winning streak when they face the Lakers this evening. The Celtics last played on Tuesday night in Philadelphia where they narrowly escaped the 76ers, 100-99. Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo combined for 49 points, but it was Ray Allen's three pointer in the final seconds that sealed the win for Boston. The flu bug kept Kevin Garnett out of the game, but he is expected to suit up in tonight's game versus the Lakers.
The Celtics sport the league's best record at 41-9 and they have a 16.5 game lead over Philadelphia in the Atlantic division. They are holding team's to an average of just 91.5 points per game (second only to the Cavaliers 90.7 ) and team's are shooting a league worst 42.4 percent from the field against their stout defense.
Los Angeles Lakers +5.5 (-110), Over 204.5 (-110)
Boston Celtics -5.5 (-110), Under 204.5 (-110)
NBA Picks Betting Trend: Boston is 7-3 against the spread and 9-1 straight up in their last 10 games as a home favorite with a spread between 4 and 7.5 points.