Update: Porzingis is in for the Celtics, who have now become 5-point favorites. I’ll take the Lakers +5 as the ATS pick. The total is 235 and I still like the under.
The Boston Celtics (22-6) will look to keep their winning ways going when they head West to face the Los Angeles Lakers (16-14) on Christmas Day. The Celtics have won their last two and hold the best record in the East, while the Lakers are struggling to stay above .500. This is the first matchup between these teams this year.
Kristaps Porzingis is questionable for Boston with an ankle injury, while Luke Kornet is probable. Jayson Tatum has recovered from an ankle sprain he suffered a few games earlier. Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Cam Reddish are questionable but expected to play. Jarred Vanderbilt and Rui Hachimura are probable, while Gabe Vincent is out.
The Celtics are 3.5-point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total set at 234.5. Boston is -162 on the moneyline while Los Angeles is +136.
Celtics vs. Lakers, 5 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Lakers +3.5
The Lakers have looked like a completely different team when there’s something at stake or when they play at home. Los Angeles won the first-ever In-Season Tournament and holds a 10-3 mark at Crypto.com Arena. The Celtics, on the flip side, haven’t lost a home game all season but are 8-6 on the road. Boston is 4-8-2 ATS as the road team this season.
After snapping a four-game losing streak with a win over the Thunder, look for James and Davis to lead the Lakers to another strong showing here. Los Angeles might not win outright but the Lakers will keep this close enough to cover at home.
Over/Under: Under 234.5
The Celtics are 15-13 to the over this season, while the Lakers are 15-16 on overs. Los Angeles tends to hit the under as the home team, largely because of an improved defense at home. The Lakers are 3-9 on overs at home and they hold a 103.9 defensive rating at home, which goes to 119.2 on the road. Even though Boston is 8-6 to the over as the road team, I like the Lakers to lean on their defense and keep this total under 234.5.