NBA on TNT Thursday Night - Lakers at Celtics Preview

Lakers at Celtics (-8.5)

ProMathetics play: slight lean in favor of LAL

We are back in Boston in primetime for another chapter of the Kyrie vs. Lebron saga.  This most recent edition comes at an interesting time...exactly 5 hours after the NBA trade deadline has passed.  We held off on making a decision on this one until past that point considering both teams were involved in rumors ranging from ho-hum (trading of Zubac), to "holy shit" like the collective reaction would have been if LA traded their entire roster + picks for Anthony Davis.

Despite all of the wild possibilities, both of these teams are pretty much intact.  That is, of course, if you don't count the bruised egos and frustration from all of the players involved in trade talks.  The reality of the situation is that this is the modern NBA and the crazy trade deals aren't going to stop as long as the current CBA remains in place.  Trade talk aside, let's take a look at the game being played on the hardwood tonight.

Our models see this as an 8-point game in favor of the Celtics.  The current consensus line in Vegas is -8.5 in favor of the Cs.  That does not present a whole lot of value from a quantitative analysis, but we will go out on a limb and say that we lean in favor of the visiting Lakers.  Our models have a lot of data baked in that were games where LeBron was not healthy and/or motivated.  That will not be the case tonight.  We think the Lakers in primetime going against Kyrie and Co. will give maximum effort and outperform their season-long data set.  A lot of players on each side are pretty pissed off, so this should be a hard played game and we think the team with the greatest player on the planet can keep it within 9.

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