LeBron James and Jayson Tatum

NBA Christmas Day Betting Trends and Expert Picks

The NBA once again takes center stage (albeit shared with the NFL) on Christmas Day with a five-game lineup of hot matchups and plenty of star power. 

To put you in the best position possible to add some Christmas cheer to your festivities with big gains, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of picks, stats, trends and key info for your use. 

Here's everything you need to know ahead of this year's holiday slate. 

Key NBA Pages

NBA Christmas Day Games

There are five games scheduled for December 25, 2023:

NBA Christmas Day Betting Breakdown

Milwaukee Bucks-3.5 (-105)-148N/A
New York Knicks+3.5 (-115)+124N/A
Golden State Warriors+5.5 (-110)+185N/A
Denver Nuggets-5.5 (-110)-225N/A
Boston Celtics-2 (-110)-130N/A
Los Angeles Lakers+2 (-110)+110N/A
Philadelphia 76ers+1 (-110)-105N/A
Miami Heat-1 (-110)-115N/A
Dallas Mavericks+4.5 (-110)+154N/A
Phoenix Suns-4.5 (-110)-185N/A

Odds as of Dec. 22, 2023

NBA Christmas Day Trends

Let's look at how the 10 teams scheduled to compete on Christmas Day have performed in year's past. 

Miami Heat11-2 (.846)
Phoenix Suns 12-8 (.600)
Philadelphia 76ers19-14 (.576)
Milwaukee Bucks5-4 (.556)
Dallas Mavericks5-5 (.500)
Los Angeles Lakers24-25 (.490)
Golden State Warriors 15-17 (.469)
Boston Celtics16-20 (.444)
New York Knicks23-32 (.418)
Denver Nuggets2-6 (.250)

The Heat are historically efficient when competing on Christmas Day, which could explain why they're the slight favorites against the Sixers despite currently being 3.5 games back in the standings. 

The reigning NBA champion Nuggets are the least experienced when it comes to suiting up on this occasion, but that's not necessarily a detriment. They pulled out a narrow victory last year against Phoenix, 128-125, and the league usually stacks the schedule with powerhouse teams with mass appeal anyway, which Denver didn't necessarily qualify for until recent years.

Christmas Day NBA Betting Picks

Here are our picks for the 2023-24 NBA Christmas Day games.

Milwaukee Bucks vs New York knicks 

TeamSUSU Last 10ATSATS Last 10O/UO/U Last 10
Milwaukee Bucks21-78-212-165-519-98-2
New York Knicks 16-116-415-11-15-515-128-2

Odds as of Dec. 22, 2023

Pick: Bucks -3.5

The last time the Knicks actually defeated the Bucks in regular-season action was November 5, 2021. That in and of itself is enough of a reason to roll with Milwaukee, who've simply had New York's number for far too long. 

The Bucks just dropped 146 points on the Knicks on December 5, with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard combining for 63 points. Don't overthink this. 

Golden State Warriors vs denver nuggets

TeamSUSU Last 10ATSATS Last 10O/UO/U Last 10
Golden State Warriors13-145-512-156-416-117-3
Denver Nuggets 19-106-413-15-16-411-17-14-6

Odds as of Dec. 22, 2023

Pick: Nuggets -5.5

Like Milwaukee against the Knicks, the Nuggets have also found recent success against their Christmas opponents, having beaten the Warriors in each of the last four meetings. The last two were determined by three or fewer points, mind you.

Golden State has held down the fort respectably since Draymond Green's suspension, winning three of four without his services. They're riding a wave of momentum for the time being, although the Warriors do have a below .500 record on the road, while Denver is a stout 11-2 at the Ball Arena. 

Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers

TeamSUSU Last 10ATSATS Last 10O/U O/U Last 10
Boston Celtics21-68-213-12-26-414-137-3
Los Angeles Lakers16-145-513-175-514-165-5

Odds as of Dec. 22, 2023

Pick: Lakers +2

Everything since the In-Season Tournament win by the Lakers has been a muddled mess, losing five of their last six games including one to the now 4-23 San Antonio Spurs. 

The last two games between Boston and Los Angeles have gone down to the wire, with each needing overtime to reach a conclusion. The Celtics prevailed on both occasions, and they currently sit atop the Eastern Conference as head honchos. It wouldn't be a massive upset to see the Lakers prevail here, as a motivated LeBron James and home-court advantage with the eyes of the basketball world watching could make a world of difference here.

Philadelphia 76ers vs miami heat

TeamSUSU Last 10ATSATS Last 10O/UO/U Last 10
Philadelphia 76ers19-87-319-87-318-97-3
Miami Heat16-126-412-164-615-137-3

Odds as of Dec. 22, 2023

Pick: 76ers +1

The freight train that is Joel Embiid is about to steamroll his way through South Beach, as it will take a gargantuan effort to slow down a player who has scored fewer than 30 points just once since November 10.

If you enjoy betting patterns, then take notice of the fact that the Heat and Sixers have literally gone back and forth with wins their last six times facing each other. With Miami taking the last meeting at the end of last season, and should the pattern continue, Philly would then be in the driver's seat here. 

Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns

TeamSU SU Last 10ATSATS Last 10O/UO/U Last 10
Dallas Mavericks16-115-514-135-518-96-4
Phoenix Suns14-133-710-16-11-916-114-6

Odds as of Dec. 22, 2023

Pick: Suns -4.5

Kyrie Irving recently returned to the sidelines after sustaining a right heel injury back on December 8, but there's still no timetable for an actual return to action. Dallas has gone 3-3 in his absence, but two of those wins came against the feeble Grizzlies and Trail Blazers, while the third was by the narrowest of margins against a struggling Lakers.

The Suns aren't devoid of injuries themselves, and they too have had difficulty vaulting up the standings in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. Regardless, the one-two punch of Kevin Durant and Devin Booker shouldn't face much resistance against the Mavericks' 23rd-rank defense, which hasn't held an opponent under 110 points since December 6. 

Which NBA teams are playing on Christmas this year?

There are five NBA matchups on tap Christmas Day: 

  • 76ers vs. Knicks (12 ET, ABC/ESPN)
  • Lakers vs. Mavericks (2:30 ET, ABC/ESPN)
  • Bucks vs. Celtics (5 ET, ABC/ESPN)
  • Grizzlies vs. Warriors (8 ET, ABC/ESPN)
  • Suns vs. Nuggets (10:30 ET, ABC/ESPN)

Which NBA team has played the most Christmas Day games?

The New York Knicks have played 54 total games on Christmas, the most in NBA history. The Knicks have a 23-31 record, putting them one win away from tying the Los Angeles Lakers (24-24) for the most all-time wins on Christmas Day.

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