Celtics vs. Lakers NBA Preview and Best Bet

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LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

Is LeBron James playing for the Los Angeles Lakers this Tuesday? If so, the Boston Celtics belong in your NBA picks! Let’s take a look at the top betting sites and find out which one is offering the best odds for this game.

Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Tuesday, December 07, 2021 – 10:00 PM EST at Staples Center

It’s time to play everyone’s favorite guessing game: Is LeBron Playing? It’s the game where we figure out whether LeBron James will suit up for the Los Angeles Lakers, and there are prizes to be won.

As usual, we’ll be putting the Lakers (12-12 SU, 8-16 ATS) in our NBA picks if James doesn’t play, and we’ll definitely be putting the Boston Celtics (13-11 SU, 14-10 ATS) in our picks if James does indeed take the floor. Which it looks like he will. James doesn’t appear on the injury list for Los Angeles at press time, but you just never know with this guy anymore – which is part of the reason why we now always recommend you wait until the morning shoot-around before opening up those wallets and/or purses.

The important thing is the Lakers are now 7-5 SU and 2-10 ATS with James in uniform, as he was on Friday when they lost 119-115 to the L.A. Clippers as 2.5-point “home” faves.

The Future Is Brown

Once again, the sportsbooks are taking their sweet time posting their NBA odds for this matchup. The Lakers have opened as 2.5-point favorites overseas, though, which reflects confidence that James will play. Less certain is whether Jaylen Brown will dress for Boston; this is the first of two back-to-back games for the Celtics, and Brown only recently returned from a hamstring injury, so it would be logical for him to sit this one out – or miss Wednesday’s game against the Clippers.

Brown’s status is definitely worth keeping an eye on as well. He and Jayson Tatum have both struggled somewhat on the wings, each posting a plus-0.9 BPM at Basketball-Reference. This year’s team seems to be funneling things more into the middle towards Al Horford (plus-4.8 BPM) and Robert Williams (plus-2.7 BPM). If Brown doesn’t play, maybe the Celtics will be available at better than +2.5, and we should note that the C’s are 7-4 SU and 9-2 ATS this year without Brown in the mix.

Kings Of Nothing

Let’s get back to those Lakers for a second. We got bamboozled here at the ranch last Tuesday when James didn’t end up playing against the Sacramento Kings; he was a late scratch after testing positive for COVID-19. The Kings were our “official” NBA pick, but we certainly hope you waited until closer to tip-off and bet the other side instead based on the LeBron news. Final score: Lakers 117, Kings (–1 at home) 92.

James was able to produce two negative test results quickly enough to be activated for the Clippers game, so fading the Lakers was absolutely the right call in the Battle of Los Angeles. And it’s just the right thing to do Tuesday night – provided there aren’t any more shenanigans regarding LeBron and his availability.

Be patient, strike when the iron is hot, and may the sphere be with you.

NBA Pick: Celtics +120 at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Celtics (+120)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.