The NBA betting odds favor the Lakers and the matchups in the series also favor Los Angeles.
Basketball playoffs betting odds list the Lakers as almost 2-1 favorites to win the series. Los Angeles is a 5.5 point favorite in Game 1. Even though the Celtics beat the Lakers two years ago in the finals, the teams are different this time around. The matchups simply favor Los Angeles.
Kobe Bryant is a major matchup problem for Boston. They really don’t have anyone to cover him. Ray Allen is too slow to do the job and Paul Pierce is not the same player he was a couple of years ago. Kobe will dominate whoever is guarding him. When the game is on the line there is no better closer in the league. If the Celtics double team him then Kobe will pass off to Pau Gasol for an easy layup. Kobe will be a huge difference maker in this series.
In the past the Celtics would go to Paul Pierce when they needed to hit a big shot. He is going to have a lot more difficult time this year than he did two years ago as Ron Artest will be in his face. There are not many players in the league who are better defenders than Artest. Pierce could be a non-factor in this NBA betting series with Artest guarding him.
The matchup on the inside definitely favors Pau Gasol against Kevin Garnett. This is not the same Garnett of a couple of years ago. He is simply older and slower. Gasol should be able to win this battle and even if it is even the Lakers still have the edge because they can use Lamar Odom as well. The matchup between Kendrick Perkins and Andrew Bynum is a toss-up as neither player is on the floor enough to make a huge difference.
The one edge the Celtics have in basketball playoffs betting is at the point with Rajon Rondo against Derek Fisher. Rondo is quicker and he should have his way throughout the series against Fisher. The problem for the Celtics is that Fisher can score and he rarely makes a bad play. He can’t defend anymore but he makes up for it in other ways. Unless Rondo completely takes over every game in this series the Celtics are going to lose vs. the basketball playoffs betting odds and the series may not be close.