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Kristaps Porzingis #8 of the Boston Celtics looks on as we make our Lakers vs. Celtics player props picks and predictions for Thursday's NBA matchup.
Kristaps Porzingis #8 of the Boston Celtics in the game against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on January 08, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images via AFP.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics meet Thursday, and our Lakers vs. Celtics NBA player props are based on the best NBA odds expect a big game from the available stars at TD Garden.

The Boston Celtics have won eight of their last 10 games to boast the best record (37-11) in the Eastern Conference and the favorite status in the latest NBA Finals odds. They'll look to stay hot against the Los Angeles Lakers (24-25), who sit one game below .500 and will be without their two best players on Thursday.

Los Angeles holds the ninth spot in the Western Conference after dropping two straight and five of its last 10 games. This team also lost to the Celtics when they met on Christmas, and they hit the road against a Boston squad with a stellar 22-2 record at home.

To accompany our Cavaliers vs. Grizzlies NBA player props and 76ers vs. Jazz NBA player props, here are our best Lakers vs. Celtics NBA player props and NBA picks (odds via our best NBA betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Editor's note: these picks were made before the news that LeBron James and Anthony Davis were ruled out for Thursday's game.

Lakers vs. Celtics NBA player props: Thursday

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Lakers vs. Celtics props

Jayson Tatum Over 29.5 points (+140 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Tatum has had his way with the Lakers over the last five years. In that span, he’s faced the purple and gold nine times and averaged 31.3 points in those matchups, reaching the 30-point plateau six times. Tatum has 18 games with at least 30 points on the season, and his scoring average is slightly better at home than on the road.

Los Angeles is an exploitable matchup defensively. On the season, the Lakers allow the 11th most points per game (117.4), but over the last three, the team has surrendered a whopping 139 points, which is the most in the Association.

Tatum is a capable scoring threat from beyond the arc, but he should be able to do some damage in the paint, as Los Angeles has surrendered the second most points in the paint over their last three (63.3). Tatum’s scoring prop is set at 27.5 across our featured books, but we can get it for plus-money odds by selling just one more bucket. That’s what we’ll do at bet365 as we bet on Tatum keeping his hot streak against a vulnerable Lakers defense.

Kristaps Porzingis Over 7.5 rebounds (-111 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐

Editor's note: this pick was made before the news that Anthony Davis would be ruled out for Thursday's game. The current line is -105 via FanDuel.

The Lakers allow the 12th fewest rebounds to opponents on the season (51.1), but they’ve given up the most (60.3) over their last three games. Anthony Davis missed one of those, and he’s been banged up in that span. Davis is questionable again on Thursday, but he won’t be operating at 100% even if he plays. 

In his first season with Boston, Porzingis is averaging 6.9 rebounds per game (second lowest of his career). Still, he went for a double-double in Tuesday’s matchup with the Indiana Pacers and posted one when the Celtics beat the Lakers on Christmas. Porzingis has grabbed at least eight rebounds 14 times in 34 appearances on the season.

We’ll take the Over at FanDuel in this favorable matchup and bank on KP crashing the glass with authority as he did in his last matchup with this team.

LeBron James triple-double (+900 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

Editor's note: this pick was made before the news that James would be ruled out for Thursday's game.

It may seem like we’re going out on a limb here with such long odds, but the limb isn’t without support. James has played well against Boston over the last five seasons, averaging 25 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 7.5 assists in his previous four trips to TD Garden. In five of his eight matchups against the Celtics in that span, he’s come within three rebounds or assists of a triple-double five times. In his last three against Boston (home and away), he’s averaged nine rebounds and 8.3 assists. 

James has been on a roll over his last four games, averaging 26 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 10.5 assists, posting a double-double three times. He holds the record for most consecutive games with at least 10 points (1,195 and counting), so we won’t worry about him reaching double digits in the scoring column. We need him to focus on assists and rebounds.

The Celtics have allowed the second most rebounds to opponents (57.7) over their last three, and James should be able to exploit this matchup as a rebounder. He’s been hot as a facilitator, so we’ll bet he’s productive in all three categories and rewards us with a big cash on his fourth triple-double of the season and second over the last week.

Use our DraftKings promo code to get the best value on this play.

Lakers-Celtics NBA player props made Thursday at 10:55 a.m. ET.

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