Lakers vs. Celtics NBA expert prediction and odds for Thursday, Feb. 1 (Trust Boston at home)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Boston Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers matchup in the NBA on Thursday night.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics will face off for the second and final time in the 2023-24 regular season on Thursday night at TD Garden. 

Boston took the first meeting on Christmas Day, winning by 11 points in Los Angeles. 

Now, the Celtics find themselves as 11-point favorites on Thursday against a Lakers team that is struggling mightily on the road this season. 

Los Angeles dropped road games against Houston and Atlanta to open this week, moving the team to just 7-17 away from Arena this season. Boston, on the other hand, is a league-best 22-2 at home. 

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Can LeBron James and company keep this game close enough to cover the spread? Oddsmakers think this has blowout potential, but let’s break down the odds, trends and craft a best bet for this matchup: 

Lakers vs. Celtics odds, spread and total

Lakers vs. Celtics how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, Feb. 1
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: TD Garden
  • How to watch (TV): TNT
  • Lakers record: 24-25
  • Celtics record: 37-11

Lakers vs. Celtics injury reports

Lakers injury report

  • LeBron James – questionable
  • Anthony Davis – questionable
  • Cam Reddish – out
  • Gabe Vincent – out

Celtics injury report

  • JD Davison – out
  • Luke Kornet – questionable
  • Jordan Walsh – out
  • Drew Peterson – out

Lakers vs. Celtics key players to watch

Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James: The Celtics held James to just 16 points on Christmas, but he did put up nine rebounds and eight assists in that game. The 39-year-old is playing at a high level this season, averaging 24.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game while shooting 39.7 percent from 3 – his highest percentage since his Miami days. James has put up 20 or more points in eight consecutive games. 

Boston Celtics

Kristaps Porzingis: Boston welcomed Porzingis back into the lineup after a two-game absence due to an ankle injury, and he responded with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Porzingis had 28 points and 11 boards against the Lakers on Christmas, and he’ll need to compete with Anthony Davis tonight.   

Lakers vs. Celtics prediction and pick

This game is setting up well for the Celtics against a Lakers team that is floundering ahead of the NBA’s trade deadline. 

Boston is just 13-11 ATS as a home favorite, but the team is winning those games by an average margin of 12.8 points per game.

The Lakers lost back-to-back games by 16 points to Houston and Atlanta – far worse teams than Boston – and they gave up over 130 points in both contests. 

Over their last 10 games, the Lakers rank 23rd in the NBA in defensive rating, a massive concern when they’re taking on a Boston team that is No. 2 in the league in offensive rating this season. 

Boston is a worse team on the road against the spread than at home, yet it beat the Lakers by 11 earlier this season. Los Angeles simply has been awful away from Arena, and the team lacks the defensive acumen to beat the Celtics when they’re at their best. 

I’ll lay the points with a healthy Boston team tonight. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.