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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics Expert Pick – February 1, 2024

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics Expert Pick – February 1, 2024

LOS ANGELES LAKERS VS. BOSTON CELTICS EXPERT PICK – FEBRUARY 1, 2024 –Greetings, basketball fans. Welcome back to our NBA coverage here at Godzilla Wins.

One of the games on tap from today’s slate features the Los Angeles Lakers (25-25 SU, 22-28 ATS) taking on the Boston Celtics (37-11 SU, 23-23-2 ATS).

It has been said that “Game 7” is one of the greatest phrases in the world of sports. Well, with regards to NBA basketball, the same principle applies when you mention the Lakers versus the Celtics.

Both franchises have won 17 titles each, which is more than any other team in the NBA. No, it is not the same as Larry Bird’s Celtics going up against Magic Johnson’s Lakers, but it is still must-see television when these teams play against each other.

So, without further ado, here is a look at which team has the edge going into this matchup and why.


When: Thursday, February 1, 2024

Time: 7:30 PM ET

Where: TD Garden

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

TV: TNT and SportsNet LA


Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtic Odds






Los Angeles Lakers

(25-25 SU, 22-28 ATS)





Boston Celtics

(37-11 SU, 23-23-2 ATS)





Odds courtesy of DraftKings

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtic — Regular Season Stats & Betting Trends

Can The Lakers Slow Down The Celtics Offense?

 Los Angeles Lakers Season Stats:

  • Scoring Offense: 116.2 PPG – 14TH
  • Offensive Efficiency: 113.9 points per 100 possessions – 20TH
  • Scoring Defense: 117.6 PPG – 20TH  
  • Defensive Efficiency: 115.2 points per 100 possessions – 14TH

The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in a tie with the Utah Jazz for the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference. While the team is just 5-5 over its last 10 outings, this can be considered an accomplishment.

The reason for expressing that sentiment is because of the poor defensive effort the team has played with over the past five games. During that stretch, Los Angeles has given up 135.2 points per contest. That is nearly 18 points more than their season average of 117.6 per game.

Additionally, Los Angeles comes into this matchup amid a two-game losing streak. This includes a 135-119 loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday followed up by a 138-122 defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

Austin Reaves led the team in scoring with 28 points and six assists. LeBron James added 20 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, while Rui Hachimura contributed 16 points and four rebounds off the bench.

Although the Lakers were without Anthony Davis (hip/Achilles), the lack of effort at the defensive end of the court was the primary catalyst in the team’s most recent loss.

“In order to communicate, you got to know what we’re doing out on the floor, first of all,” LeBron James said, via CBS Sports. “And when you make adjustments throughout a game, you got to know when the adjustments are made so everybody is on the same page. Everybody needs to be in tune with what we’re doing so there’s no mishaps. And sometimes there will be mishaps, you have to cover for one another.”

The Lakers will need a much better defensive effort against a Celtics squad that is ranked fifth in scoring, and second in efficiency while boasting the league’s best point-differential (plus-9.3).

Can The Celtics Add To The Lakers’ Misery?

 Boston Celtics Season Stats:

  • Scoring Offense: 120.4 PPG – 5TH
  • Offensive Efficiency: 121.3 points per 100 possessions – 2ND    
  • Scoring Defense: 111.0 PPG – 5TH
  • Defensive Efficiency: 111.9 points per 100 possessions – 3RD

On the other side of this matchup, the Boston Celtics’ stock continues trending upward. They have the best record in the league. They have produced eight wins in their last 10 outings.

Boston comes into this matchup riding the wave of a two-game winning streak. This includes a 129-124 win over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.

As one would expect from the top league in the association, the Celtics received outstanding performances from multiple players. Jayson Tatum scored a team-high 30 points on 12-for-19 shooting from the field and 4-for-9 from 3-point range.

Jaylen Brown added 25 points, six rebounds, and two assists. Derrick White chipped in with 24 points and five assists, while Kristaps Porzingis contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds.

“I think we’re just a different animal when we’re clicking like that,” Porzingis said after the game. “Sometimes we almost overshare the ball a little bit, but I think it’s a good thing. Once we start swinging that ball and getting from a good look to a great look, I think we can just pick teams apart and that’s what we did in the first half. We have to try to do that for 48 minutes.”

Given the fact that Boston has multiple players who can put up huge numbers on any given night, it is difficult to foresee them losing against a Lakers team that has been inconsistent at best.

Now that we have set the table for this matchup between these two storied franchises, let us look at the betting trends for both sides.

The Spread

The Celtics opened as a consensus 8.5-point favorite. At the time of this writing, the line has climbed to a whopping 14.5 points for the home team. Here is a look at how both teams have fared against the spread this season.

  • The Lakers are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 matchups against Boston.
  • Los Angeles is 1-4 ATS in their last five games against Eastern Conference opponents.
  • In their last six games against Atlantic Division opponents, the Lakers are 0-6 against the spread.
  • The Celtics are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall.
  • Boston is 7-2 ATS in its last nine February games.
  • In their last eight Thursday night games, the Celtics are 6-2 against the spread.

Given these trends, going with the Celtics to cover is the best option.

Prediction: Boston Celtics (-14.5)


The projected over/under total for this matchup opened at 244 points. The line has recently dipped to 239 points. Here is why going with the “over” is the smart choice.

  • The total has gone OVER in each of the Lakers’ last seven games.
  • The OVER total has prevailed in each of LA’s last six road contests.
  • In the Lakers’ last five road games against Boston, the OVER total prevailed four times.
  • The total has gone OVER five times in the Celtics’ last six matchups against Los Angeles.
  • The OVER total cashed in five times in Boston’s last seven Wednesday night games.

Prediction: OVER 239 points

Player Prop Bets

Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis will sit out this tilt against the Celtics. Having said that, we will focus on just one player prop bet for this contest.

The key player to watch for the home team is Jayson Tatum. He currently has -130 odds of scoring more than 27.5 points and +100 odds of finishing with less than 27.5 points.

Here is a glance to see how his numbers compare to the projected points total for this matchup.

  • In 24 career games against the Pacers, Tatum is averaging 24.3 PPG.
  • On the season, Tatum is averaging 26.9 points per outing.
  • In 23 home contests, he is averaging 27.1 PPG.
  • Tatum has played against Western Conference opponents 16 times this season. In those contests, he is averaging 26.9 points per outing.
  • Tatum has played four times on a Thursday this season. He is averaging 22.8 points per game.
  • In four matchups against Pacific Division opponents, Tatum is averaging 22.8 points per outing.
  • During January – a sample size of 15 games — he averaged 26.9 PPG, exceeding the points total for this matchup seven times during that stretch.

Taking into consideration that most of his season averages are close to the projected points total, along with his recent body of work, going with the “over” for Tatum is the smart choice here.

Prediction: Jayson Tatum OVER 27.5 points

James’s Lakers vs.  Celtics Picks

Spread: Celtics (-14.5)

Over/Under: OVER 239 points

Player Prop Bet: Jayson Tatum Over 27.5 points

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