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Celtics Ride Slide Into Monday Matchup With Lakers

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The Boston Celtics will be looking to halt a three-game straight-up losing streak in which they have covered just once on the NBA odds that has dumped them into fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings when they host the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.

Boston opened a three-game homestand on Saturday with a 123-119 loss to the Phoenix Suns that marked the club’s sixth SU loss in eight outings going into Monday night’s game at TD Garden.

The Celtics have been hit by the injury bug of late, and were without both Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown for Saturday’s loss to the Suns as 4-point chalk on the NBA lines. Boston’s leading scorer this season with 22.1 points per game, Walker has struggled to stay healthy in recent weeks. A knee injury kept him out of the lineup against Phoenix, while the flu forced him to miss three contests earlier this month.

Currently sitting third in scoring on the Celtics, with 20.0 points per game, Brown has missed the past two games with a thumb injury, and joins Walker on the questionable list for Monday night.

The Celtics offense has produced even without two of their top three scorers, piling up an average of 120.5 points per game over their past two outings, but the team has struggled to shut down opposing shooters. Boston has surrendered 113.75 points per game during its current 2-6 SU run, and 123 or more points on three occasions during that stretch.

While that has paid dividends to bettors taking the OVER on the totals, which has prevailed in each of the team’s past three and in five of their past seven, the Celtics have continued to be a disappointment on the NBA odds, going 5-8 against the spread in their past 13 contests, including a 2-6 ATS run on home hardwood.

Overall, Boston has been shaky at best at home since opening the campaign on a 10-0 SU run at TD Garden. The team has gone a middling 6-5 SU in 11 home dates since seeing that streak end, and fell to defeat by double-digit margins in three of those contests. The Celtics have also produced mixed results in recent years when the Lakers come to town, going 4-7 SU in 11 regular-season clashes since November 2007, capped by a narrow 129-28 loss as 9-point home chalk in February of last year.

 

Lakers Have Just One Loss in Their Past 11 Contests

While the Celtics struggle, the Lakers have continued to soar. Los Angeles opened its current five-game road trip with a decisive 124-115 win in Houston on Saturday, and now sports a  10-1 SU record over its past 11 contests. The Lakers now hold a comfortable lead over Denver and the Los Angeles Clippers atop the Western Conference standings, and have been dominant on the road, posting four wins during their current 11-game tear, and sport an NBA-leading 18-3 SU away record.

The Lakers have also emerged as a reliable wager since overcoming a recent four-game SU losing streak. The team has gone 7-3-1 ATS in their past 11 games, a run that includes a perfect 4-0 ATS record in dates away from Staples Center. With the Lakers carrying over their strong play into the New Year, they have maintained their perch atop the NBA championship odds as a short +275 bet. Conversely, the Celtics have seen their NBA futures slip to +1600.

However, the injury bug has not spared the Lakers. Anthony Davis has missed the past five games with a tailbone injury, and remains questionable for Monday, joining Rajon Rondo, whose status is also uncertain as he continue to recover from a finger injury.

LeBron James has continued to carry the offense in Davis’ absence, averaging 35.7 points per game over his past 16 outings, but has topped 30 points just once in his past six regular-season visits to TD Garden.

*Odds as of January 20, 2020

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