The NBA’s greatest rivalry gets a new chapter on Christmas Day with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers hosting Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics come into this game with the best record in the NBA (22-6), but the Lakers won the NBA’s first-ever In-Season Tournament this season.
With both squads playing well – although the Lakers have been slumping until their win over Oklahoma City – this should be a fun matchup on Christmas.
Oddsmakers seem to think this will be close, as Boston is a three-point favorite on the road. Can the C’s cover the number, or will James and the Lakers take this matchup?
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Celtics vs. Lakers odds, spread and total
Celtics vs. Lakers how to watch
- Date: Sunday, Dec. 25
- Game Time: 5:00 p.m. EST
- Venue: Crypto.com Arena
- How to Watch (TV): ESPN
- Celtics Record: 22-6
- Lakers Record: 16-14
Celtics vs. Lakers injury reports
Boston Celtics injury report
- Luke Kornet – probable
- Svi Mykhailiuk – questionable
- Lamar Stevens – questionable
- Kristaps Porzingis – questionable
Los Angeles Lakers injury report
- Anthony Davis – questionable
- Rui Hachimura – probable
- LeBron James – questionable
- Cam Reddish – questionable
- Jarred Vanderbilt – probable
- Gabe Vincent – out
Celtics vs. Lakers key players to watch
Jayson Tatum: Despite dealing with an ankle injury, Tatum played on Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers, scoring 30 points in 30 minutes. Tatum should be leaned on heavily for Boston in this matchup.
Derrick White: White is one of the most underrated players in the NBA. This month, White is averaging 20.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game to go with 1.4 steals and 1.9 blocks per game. He should be a major factor on Monday.
Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James: In his career on Christmas, the four-time champion is averaging 27.1 points per game to go with 7.6 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.5 steals while shooting 49.5 percent from the floor and 28.6 percent from beyond the arc. In those 17 games, James’ teams have a 10-7 record.
Celtics vs. Lakers prediction and pick
This is an interesting matchup given Boston’s struggles as a road favorite this season.
The Celtics are just 3-8-2 against the spread as road favorites, but they do have a winning record (7-6) in those games. Still, the team is much different than it has been at home (where it hasn’t lost) this season.
As for the Lakers, the team is an impressive 10-3 straight up at home, but 0-1 ATS as a home dog.
If Boston is healthy (Kristaps Porzingis did not play on Saturday against the Clippers), the team has a much better top six than the Lakers.
While I do like the Lakers’ depth, the team has not exactly found its footing yet this season, struggling since winning the In-Season Tournament.
I have a hard time laying the points with Boston given its ATS record, but 3.5 points should be doable for this team. With Tatum looking good after the win over the Clips, I’ll back the Celtics in this matchup.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.