Los Angeles Lakers forwards Carmelo Anthony
Los Angeles Lakers forwards Carmelo Anthony (7) and Anthony Davis (3) walk off the court after the team's 121-118 win over the Memphis Grizzlies during an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)


Patrick Werkmeister

Now that every team is about 15 games in so far, each conference has slightly taken shape as the season moves into full swing. For this historic interconference rivalry, Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics host Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers. Last game out, the Lakers were swiftly defeated by the Bucks whereas the Celtics also took an L against the Atlanta Hawks. If the season were to end today, these two would abnormally be out of the playoff picture. However, just because they’re inconsistent to start the year doesn’t mean they won’t make the playoffs. With this in mind, here are the best bets for this NBA Friday contest.

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Celtics (-2)
The opening line for this match originally favored the Celtics by just one point, but they are now two-point home favorites. One of the primary reasons for this slim margin is due to the uncertainty regarding Lebron James’s health and his status regarding this contest. LA has been a dreadful 6-13 ATS in their last 19 games overall and are also 0-5 ATS in their previous 5 vs the Celtics. However, Boston is an impressive 6-2 ATS in their last eight games played. With the Lakers struggling mightily to start the season, without LeBron the Celtics could be more than the Lakers could handle right now. Although their offense has been alternating between good and bad performances, the Celtics should get a boost from their home crowd, where they’ve cracked triple digits in each of their last four games at home. However, Jayson Tatum will have to battle without his sidekick Jaylen Brown. Nonetheless, Los Angeles is playing its fourth game in six days, where All-NBA forward Anthony Davis is banged up coming into this one. Although they haven’t played in an ideal sample size of games, I believe this super team is already a failure where LeBron’s career is seemingly near the end with all the injuries he’s accumulated. Take Jay and the Celts to handle this weakened Lakers team.

Jayson Tatum Over 7.5 Rebounds
With Jayson Tatum being a very active player on the glass, he is able to grab plenty of rebounds with his size advantage. While it’s common to think of Tatum as a pure scorer, he also has the innate ability to be a tenacious rebounder. Additionally, effective rebounder Jaylen Brown will be out for tonight’s contest due to a hamstring injury, which opens the door for Jayson to pick up the rebounding slack. With Brown most likely out, the Celtics have really been lacking in the big man department which will force Tatum to step up even more. They don’t exactly have a dominant rebounder at the moment, but Tatum does a great job of tracking down the ball when it goes up. Take him to get enough boards to hit this prop.

Russell Westbrook Over 7.5 Assists
After dropping 15 dimes against the defending champions, Russell Westbrook seems to be building his chemistry with the team and is improving in his role with this stacked Lakers roster. Russ is averaging nearly nine assists per game and has been slowly figuring out the system LA runs. Russ has been the sole point man ever since LeBron went down and that has allowed him to have more assist opportunities. With Westbrook as the only actual healthy point guard on the roster, it will be difficult to imagine any player on his team out passing him. This prop has amazing value given his ridiculous numbers last time out. While he had just 3 assists last week vs Minnesota, I’m going to ride the normally hot hand and take him to once again produce at an efficient rate. Take Russell Westbrook to have more than his total assists prop with ease.

Same Game Parlay
Tatum Over 27.5 Pts, Tatum Over 7.5 Rebounds, Marcus Smart Over 5.5 Assists, Talen Horton-Tucker Over 5.5 Rebounds, Marcus Smart Over 3.5 Rebounds, Westbrook Over 6.5 Assists, Marcus Smart Over 1.5 Made Threes, Anthony Davis Over 0.5 Made Threes and Celtics to win by 1-10 Pts.

SGP Odds +37326

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