The NBA owns Christmas Day. And despite COVID-19 ravaging rosters around the league and forcing long-retired players like Joe Johnson, Lance Stephenson and Isaiah Thomas back into action, there was no way Adam Silver and company were going let the pandemic rain on their Christmas Day parade.
The product might be watered down, but at least we can still bet on it! To help with that, there's no better way to ignore your family and make back some of the money you spent shopping than with Odds Shark’s annual NBA Christmas Day betting trends and picks.
Kicking off the holiday will be the Atlanta Hawks taking on the New York Knicks, followed by the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks and then the two biggest games of the day. The Golden State Warriors take on the Phoenix Suns in a key Western Conference battle before the Brooklyn Nets take on the Los Angeles Lakers. The night will be capped by another big Western Conference matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz.
As we are in the spirit of giving here at Odds Shark, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of picks, stats, trends and key info surrounding how these teams and their players perform on Christmas Day.
Christmas Day NBA Games
Click the links for in-depth analysis, stats, trends and a preview of each matchup.
NBA Christmas Day Betting Breakdown
|Hawks vs Knicks||Hawks +215, Knicks -260||-6.5||209.5|
|Celtics vs Bucks||Celtics +130, Bucks -150||-3||220|
|Warriors vs Suns||Warriors +180, Suns -220||-5||217.5|
|Nets vs Lakers||Nets -105, Lakers -115||-1||223.5|
|Mavericks vs Jazz||Mavs +475, Jazz -700||-12||214|
Odds as of December 24 at Bovada
Above is breakdown of the five matchups and where they stand on Christmas Eve in terms of spreads, moneylines and totals. The Jazz are the heaviest favorites on the slate by a mile while the Lakers/Nets game is expected to be the highest scoring.
Christmas Day NBA Betting Trends
Here are some Christmas Day NBA betting trends to consider when placing your bets.
|Team||SU Record||ATS Record||O/U Record|
|Hawks||0-1 (0%)||0-1 (0%)||0-1 (0%)|
|Knicks||1-7 (12.5%)||1-7 (12.5%)||3-4-1 (42.9%)|
|Celtics||4-6 (40.0%)||4-6 (40.0%)||6-4 (60.0%)|
|Bucks||3-4 (42.9%)||3-4 (42.9%)||4-3 (57.1%)|
|Warriors||5-4 (55.6%)||3-6 (33.3%)||3-6 (33.3%)|
|Suns||3-6 (33.3%)||3-6 (33.3%)||5-4 (55.6%)|
|Lakers||7-12 (36.8%)||10-9 (52.6%)||5-12-2 (29.4%)|
|Nets||5-3 (62.5%)||5-3 (62.5%)||3-5 (37.5%)|
|Mavericks||3-4 (42.9%)||3-4 (42.9%)||5-1-1 (83.3%)|
|Jazz||3-0 (100%)||2-1 (66.7%)||2-1 (66.7%)|
A trend that stands out right away is the Mavs' tendency to play high-scoring games on Christmas Day. That includes last season, where Dallas put up a big total but still lost 138-115 to the Lakers.
Knowing that trend, the OVER is an intriguing bet in the Dallas/Utah game if we get some good news about Dallas' injury/covid situation.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Lakers' trends of hitting UNDERs on Christmas Day is also interesting. The Lake Show have hit the OVER in just 29.4% of their Xmas Day games and are now matched up against the Nets in the game with the highest projected total of the day even though both teams are dealing with significant injuries and covid-related problems.
|Top 5 SU||Top 5 ATS||Bottom 5 SU||Bottom 5 ATS|
|Utah - 3-0 (100%)||LA Clippers - 7-2 (77.8%)||Memphis - 0-3 (0%)||Memphis - 0-3 (0%)|
|Orlando - 8-2 (80%)||Houston - 9-3 (75.0%)||Atlanta - 0-1 (0%)||Atlanta - 0-1 (0%)|
|Miami - 7-3 (70%)||Washington - 5-2 (71.4%)||New York - 1-7 (12.5%)||New York - 1-7 (12.5%)|
|Chicago - 6-3 (66.7%)||Philadelphia - 5-2 (71.4%)||Detroit - 1-3 (25.0%)||Detroit - 1-3 (25.0%)|
|Brooklyn - 5-3 (62.5%)||Chicago - 6-3 (66.7%)||Phoenix - 3-6 (33.3%)||Phoenix - 3-6 (33.3%)|
For the teams participating in the Christmas Day fun this season, Utah's 3-0 record stands out. They are a heavy favorite to continue that trend this year as -12 favorites over the Mavericks.
The Knick's brutal record on Christmas Day is another standout. The Knicks have lost six times in a row on the big day. They are -5 favorites over the Hawks this year.
Christmas Day NBA Betting Player Trends
|Points per game||Rebounds per game||Assists per game|
|Tracy McGrady - 43.3||Wilt Chamberlain - 25.3||John Wall - 12.5|
|Jerry West - 32.2||Bill Russell - 22.0||Oscar Robertson - 12.1|
|Wilt Chamberlain - 31.7||Maurice Stokes - 20.5||Tiny Archibald - 10.8|
|George Gervin - 31.5||Jerry Lucas - 19.1||Guy Rodgers - 10.1|
|Oscar Robertson - 31.4||Wes Unseld - 18.1||Avery Johnson - 9.7|
|Kevin Durant - 31.1||Nate Thurmond - 17.0||Isiah Thomas - 9.7|
|Carmelo Anthony - 31.0||Greg Smith - 16.5||Norm Van Lier - 9.0|
|Rick Barry - 31.0||Moses Malone - 16.3||Magic Johnson - 9.0|
|Sean Elliott - 30.0||Willis Reed - 15.8||Steve Nash - 8.8|
|Hakeem Olajuwon - 28.5||Dwight Howard/Bob Petit - 15.0||Mark Jackson/Andrew Toney/Russell Westbrook - 8.5|
In terms of players taking part in this year's games, Kevin Durant will look to climb the list of points per game on Christmas Day leaders. He's currently sixth in points per game on Christmas.
Lakers guard Russell Westbrook ranks in the top ten in assists per game in NBA history on Xmas Day. He could move further up the list with a big performance against the Nets this year.
Christmas Day NBA Betting Picks
Atlanta Hawks vs New York Knicks (-6.5)
The Hawks are 6-0 ATS in their last six games on the road and are taking on a Knicks team that is 5-12 ATS at home this season. The Knicks' history on Christmas Day is also well documented as they've lost six in a row on that day.
Even though the Hawks will be without their best player Trae Young for this one, we're too tempted to take the points here given the recent history of both teams.
Pick: Hawks +6.5
Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks (-3)
The Celtics are the epitome of an average team, ranking 14th in the NBA in scoring (108.4 PPG) and are No. 15 in points allowed (107.1 PPG). But they at least have their two star wings for this matchup in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Meanwhile the Bucks have been one of the most injured teams in the league this year and could be without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis along with the already injured Brook Lopez for this one.
We like the Celts to cover, especially if Giannis misses.
Pick: Celtics ML +130
Golden State Warriors vs Phoenix Suns (-5)
Both teams are reltaively healthy here for what is easily the matchup of the day. The Warriors will, however, be without second, third and fifth leading scorers Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole and Damion Lee for this matchup. So we lean toward the healthier Suns team in this one.
However, the better bet might be the OVER for this game after hitting in both matchups earlier this season. The Warriors scored 143 points in the most recent matchup while the Suns scored 143 in the first.
Pick: OVER 217.5
Brooklyn Nets vs Los Angeles Lakers (-1)
The Nets are missing most of their team for this game, including Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Lamarcus Aldridge, Jordan Harris, James Johnson and many others. The Nets should have James Harden, Patty Mills, Paul Millsap and a couple others, but this roster has been decimated.
The Lakers have their fair share of injuries and players in the league's covid protocol, but they'll at least have LeBron and Russell Westbrook.
We like the Lakers to cover the small spread here.
Pick: Lakers -1
Dallas Mavericks vs Utah Jazz (-12)
The Jazz enter this game red hot and, more importantly, healthy. Meanwhile, the Mavs have eight players questionable for this game without including star guard Luka Doncic who has already been ruled out.
If Kristaps Porzingis and some of the other Dallas regulars play in this one, we like the Mavs to cover the massive 12-point spread. If they don't, we lean the other way.
Pick: Mavericks +12
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