Injury news for the home team is the driving force behind which side to play in the April 15th Celtics at Lakers matchup. That’s aside from Lebron James and Anthony Davis who have both missed an extended period of time, but Los Angeles has four starters from Tuesday’s win on the injury report.
Most of those Los Angeles players are probable, which is why the line hasn’t moved from Boston -6. The Celtics have put a rough patch behind them, and are in a great spot to win their fifth straight contest. That includes victories in Denver and Portland as this quick 3-game West Coast stretch wraps up.
Boston Heating Up at Right Time
The Celtics were just 6-8 in March, but have looked better with a 6-1 mark so far in April. When Boston was once clinging onto the 8 seed, they have now moved all the way up to the 5 spot, just a game back from Atlanta.
The April 15th Celtics at Lakers matchup looks like it’s headed to be a low scoring affair, with a betting total of just 212.5. Boston’s defense is 12th in efficiency, but they’ve held the Hornets, Knicks, and Nuggets all under 100 points over the last six games. The Lakers meanwhile have limited the Raptors, Nets, and Charlotte to 101 or less over their last five.
One player who is going to be putting a low scoring contest at risk is Boston’s Jayson’s Tatum, who had 53 in an OT win over Minnesota last week. Tatum is averaging 34.5 ppg over his last four, also grabbing 9+ rebounds in each of those games.
How Healthy are Lakers?
Andre Drummond (toe), Kyle Kuzma (calf), Marcus Morris (ankle), Marc Gasol (hamstring), and Dennis Schroder (pelvis) will all likely play through injury on Thursday vs. the Celtics. Everybody but Morris is listed as probable, but Boston isn’t the type of team you want to play through pain against.
Drummond could be a huge factor vs. Boston, who has been a little vulnerable against opposing big men as of late. The C’s allowed 30 & 12 to Karl-Anthony Towns, 17/10/11 to Nikola Jokic, and 19 boards to the Jusuf Nurkic / Enes Kanter combo from Portland. Drummond only has 7 total points the last two games though, although he has grabbed double-digit rebounds in four straight.
Do the Lakers have the offensive capability to keep up with the types of Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker? If Los Angeles can keep this low scoring it does help their chances at covering the +6 points. Kyle Kuzma had 24 points last time out, and Dennis Schroder has gone for 19+ in three straight so there is some offensive upside here.
Free Celtics at Lakers Pick
On paper it seems like Los Angeles should be much bigger underdogs in this matchup. Boston has covered in five straight road games and the Lakers have failed to cover the number in four of their last five at home. The Celtics are wrapping up a quick 3-game road stretch though.
Lakers 101 – Celtics 105
Free Pick: Lakers +6