The best rivalry in the NBA gets center stage as the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers meet in the NBA Finals. Game 1 is on Thursday night with the Lakers having home court advantage. This will be the 12th meeting between the two teams in the NBA Finals and the second time in three years. Two years ago it was the Celtics beating the Lakers for their 17th title. This time around the Lakers are the favorite as they look to win their 16th NBA title.
Los Angeles is a 5.5 point favorite with a total of 192 at SBG Global.
Boston owned the Lakers in the finals early in NBA history as they won the first eight meetings. The Lakers won the next two meetings while the Celtics won two years ago. The Lakers remember well that loss to Boston and this is definitely a revenge series for Los Angeles even though the Lakers won the NBA title last year against Orlando.
Many of the matchup advantages in this series go to the Lakers. The Lakers have the best player in the NBA in Kobe Bryant (sorry LeBron). They have the best coach in NBA history in Phil Jackson and they have the home court edge. The Lakers are unbeaten at Staples Center in the postseason and Boston will have trouble winning in L.A. The Celtics only advantage on paper appears to be with Rajon Rondo at the point but he is not fully healthy. If Rondo doesn’t dominate then the Celtics have no chance of winning this series. Two years ago the Celtics pushed the Lakers around but this is a much different Los Angeles team with Andrew Bynum who didn’t play in the series two years ago and Ron Artest. The Celtics will not be able to bully the Lakers this time. Boston is also two years older and their age is starting to show as Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are no longer the dominant forces they used to be.
Here are the betting stats for Thursday’s Game 1. The Celtics are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 NBA Championship games. The Celtics are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog. The Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Celtics are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Los Angeles.
The Lakers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 NBA Championship games.
The Under is 5-2 in the Celtics last 7 overall. The Over is 5-1 in the Lakers last 6 home games. The Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Los Angeles between the two teams.