The Boston Celtics (39-16) visit Los Angeles to take on the Lakers (42-12) in a matchup that pits outstanding offense against exceptional defense. The game gets underway at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 23, 2020.
Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Free Prediction
The last time the Celtics played, they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 127-117, as 2.5-point underdogs. The combined points for the game (244) came in over the O/U total of 230. Boston out-rebounded Minnesota. The Celtics had more offensive rebounds (16 vs. eight), defensive rebounds (42 vs. 35) and total rebounds (58 vs. 43). Boston rallied around Jayson Tatum, who had 28 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lakers beat the Memphis Grizzlies in their last outing, 117-105, despite being 3-point underdogs. The game’s combined points (222) finished just over the projected point total of 220.5. The Lakers had a superb free throw rate of 0.302 (above their season average of 0.195) and had a turnover percentage of 11.9 (better than their season average of 12.9). With 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks, Anthony Davis put together a good performance for Los Angeles.
The game should be a showdown of strength against strength as the high-octane offense of Los Angeles (fourth in the NBA with an offensive efficiency of 111.7) takes on the top-notch defense of Boston (fifth in the league with a defensive efficiency of 104.6).
Both teams have had a player step their game up over their last five games. Tatum (29 points,8.2 rebounds,3.4 assists,1.6 steals,1.4 blocks) has been stellar for the Celtics while Davis (27 points,9.8 rebounds,2.0 steals,1.4 blocks) has contributed greatly to the Lakers.
This will be the second game of the season between these two teams. In the first, Tatum scored a game-high 27 points and the Celtics beat the Lakers 139-107, covering as 2.5-point underdogs. He also recorded five rebounds. The game finished with a total of 246 points, which was 19.5 points above the projected point total of 226.5 points. The Celtics had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (36.8 vs. 26.1) and had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.645 vs. 0.478).
Celtics vs. Lakers ATS Pick
Prediction: ATS Winner – Celtics, O/U – Over
On the road, Boston is 15-10-1 ATS with 16 unders and 10 overs.
At home, Los Angeles is 13-11-1 ATS with 14 unders and 11 overs.
Boston is 12-2 when they hold opponents below 100 points, while Los Angeles is 15-0.
The Lakers are 38-11 when they score more than 100 points, while the Celtics are 38-10.
Los Angeles averages 6.9 blocks per game, which ranks first in the league. Boston ranks 25th in blocks allowed per game (5.6).
The Celtics rank sixth in fast break points per game (15.4) while the Lakers rank 28th in fast break points allowed per game (16.3).
Boston ranks sixth in steals allowed per game (6.9) while Los Angeles ranks 25th (8.2).
The Lakers rank fifth in assists per game (26.3) while the Celtics rank 21st (23.2).
Boston ranks third in points off turnovers allowed per game (14.5) while Los Angeles ranks 16th (17.0).
The Lakers rank second in second chance points per game (14.9) while the Celtics rank 14th (13.2).
Los Angeles ranks second in points in the paint per game (53.6) while Boston ranks 11th (48.5).
The Lakers rank first in rebounds allowed per game (41.7) while the Celtics rank eighth (44.0).
In its last five contests, Boston is 2-3 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
Los Angeles is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders over its last five games.
The Celtics’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 2.6, down from 6.9 for the season.
During their last five games, the Lakers have scored an average of 119.6 points per game (4.8 above their season average) and allowed an average of 112.4 points per game (5.1 above their season average).