Coming off a 111-109 victory against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday as 2-point road favorites on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, the Boston Celtics now have tallied consecutive straight-up wins for the first time in eight outings. Boston also is undefeated on its current road trip heading into a matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.
With just 16 games remaining on their regular-season schedule, the Celtics’ turnaround could not have come at a better time. Boston now has won three of four games, ending a 2-6 SU run that all but eliminated them from contention for the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Celtics also have demonstrated resilience this season without Kyrie Irving in the lineup, winning seven straight overall, and going 10-2 SU. Irving (thigh) missed the team’s game against the Kings on Wednesday night but is expected to be in the lineup Saturday.
Boston’s ability to succeed with Irving on the sideline has been a contributing factor in its continued presence near the top of the NBA futures, with the team pegged as a +375 wager to claim this season’s Eastern Conference title.
Boston now enjoys a golden opportunity to extend its current win streak against a Lakers team that enters the weekend mired in a season-high four-game SU losing streak. Los Angeles is coming off a demoralizing 115-99 loss to the visiting Denver Nuggets as a 5-point underdog Wednesday night to fall to 5-14 SU in its past 19 contests.
The Lakers’ slide has left them buried alongside the Minnesota Timberwolves in 10th place in the Western Conference standings and effectively extinguished their chances of returning to the NBA playoffs for the first time in six years. Los Angeles also has emerged as a massive disappointment at the sportsbooks, posting ATS losses in seven straight outings while compiling a 3-10-1 ATS record in 14 home dates since New Year’s Day.
However, Boston has endured recent struggles of its own on the NBA odds, covering just twice in its past seven contests, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
The Celtics also have produced shaky results in recent dates with Los Angeles, falling to defeat in their past two meetings with the Lakers, capped by a 129-128 loss as 9-point favorites at TD Garden on Feb. 7. In addition, Boston has won and covered in just two of seven road dates with the Lakers dating back to January 2011.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports