Los Angeles Lakers (57-25) +4, 191 at Boston Celtics (66-16), 9 pm Eastern Tuesday, ABC
by Zman of Predictem.com
The Boston Celtics, +160 underdogs to win this series before it started, can close out the Los Angeles Lakers and win their first NBA championship in over 20 years when the two teams meet for game 6 of this best-of-7 affair Tuesday night back in Beantown.
LA, now down three games to two, staved off elimination with a 103-98 win in game 5 Sunday night at Staples Center. Three night after blowing a 24-point lead in a game 4 loss, the Lakers nearly coughed up a 19-point advantage in game 5. And in the end, the Lakers couldn’t cover the spread as six-point home chalk, and are now 0-5 against the number in this series.
Basketball bookies are listing the Celtics as four-point home favorites for Tuesday’s game, with a total of 191. Boston is also posted at right around 220 on various Vegas moneylines, with the Lakers getting +180 as road dogs.
Because the Celtics took seven games to knock both Atlanta and Cleveland out of these playoffs, and six to take care of Detroit in the Eastern Conference finals, Boston will set a new NBA record by playing their 26th post-season game of this year Tuesday night.
Los Angeles went 27-14 on the road during the regular season, and is 4-5 straight up and 4-4-1 against the spread on the road this playoff season.
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Boston went 35-6 at home during the regular season, and is 12-1 SU and 8-5 ATS at TD Banknorth Garden this playoff season.
LA is 14-6 straight up in these playoffs, and 10-9-1 against the spread. Meanwhile, Boston is 15-10 SU this playoff season, 13-12 ATS.
The totals have gone 2-3 in this series, as the games have averaged 191 total points.
Through the first five games of this series, the Lakers are outshooting the Celtics from the field 44% to 43%, while Boston holds a 41-39 per-game advantage on the boards.
Boston won the first two games of this series at home by scores of 98-88 and 108-102.
The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com ranks Boston #1 at 98.95, LA #2 at 98.14. Sagarin’s current home-court advantage figure is 4.03. And Sagarin’s PREDICTOR formula is a perfect 5-0 against the spread in this championship series.
On the injury front, Boston C Kendrick Perkins is listed as doubtful for Tuesday’s game 5 after missing game 4 with a sore shoulder.
The totals went 40-41 in Lakers games during the regular season, which averaged 210 points, while the O/Us went 36-45 in Celtics games, which averaged 191 total points.
The totals are now 7-13 in Lakers games during this playoff season, which have averaged 200 points, while the O/Us are now 11-14 in Celtics games this playoff season, which have averaged 181 total points.
Zman’s Pick: I like the Lakers to at least cover if not win tonight in Boston.