The NBA owns Christmas Day. And, thankfully, the COVID-ravaged games of previous seasons can remain in the past. At long last, we have a full, healthy slate of NBA Christmas Day games.
Since we're cloaked in the spirit of giving, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of picks, stats, trends and key info surrounding how these teams and their players perform on Christmas Day.
Feel free to also check out some our other NBA pages, including our ever-popular first-quarter/first-half betting trends. There's also our frequently updates NBA Championship odds page and our NBA MVP odds article that will set you up for some lucrative futures bets.
NBA Christmas Day Games
There are five matchups on deck this Sunday. Click any of the links for a full look at each matchup, including odds and picks.
NBA Christmas Day Betting Breakdown
|Philadelphia 76ers vs New York Knicks||TBD||76ers -1.5||218.5|
|Los Angeles Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks||TBD||Mavericks -8.0||226.5|
|Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics||TBD||Celtics -4.0||224.0|
|Memphis Grizzlies vs Golden State Warriors||TBD||Grizzlies -4.0||228.5|
|Phoenix Suns vs Denver Nuggets||TBD||Nuggets -4.0||231.0|
Odds as of December 23 at Sportsbook
Above is a breakdown of the five matchups and where they stand on Christmas Eve in terms of spreads, moneylines and totals. The Mavericks are the heaviest favorites on the slate, while the nightcap Suns/Nuggets game is expected to be the highest-scoring.
Christmas Day NBA Betting Trends
Here is how our 10 teams are doing heading into Christmas Day.
NBA Teams' Recent Records
|Team||SU Record||SU Last 10||ATS Record||ATS Last 10||O/U Record||O/U Last 10|
With these trends, we're looking to spot numbers that clash or co-align in each respective matchup. For example, the Bucks have been very solid lately (7-3 SU) compared to their opponent, the Celtics, who've dropped six of their last 10 contests. Perhaps a wager on the Bucks is due.
On a different note, we have the Mavs and Lakers playing on Christmas. Those two squads boast positive OVER records, which, combined with the modest 226.5 total, suggests that we could see yet another high-scoring contest.
NBA Christmas Day Historical Betting Trends
Let's look at how our 10 teams have fared on Christmas Day in years past.
|Team||All-time Christmas Day Record (Win%)|
|Phoenix Suns||12-7 (.632)|
|Milwaukee Bucks||5-3 (.625)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||18-14 (.563)|
|Los Angeles Lakers||24-24 (.500)|
|Golden State Warriors||14-17 (.452)|
|Boston Celtics||15-20 (.429)|
|New York Knicks||23-31 (.426)|
|Dallas Mavericks||2-3 (.400)|
|Denver Nuggets||1-6 (.143)|
Well, well, the Suns have the highest winning percentage (.632) on Christmas Day, which makes them an excellent bet this year against the Nuggets, who've won just one of seven games on December 25.
The Knicks play quite often on Christmas but rarely find success. New York is 23-31 all-time, leaving them in a vulnerable spot Sunday vs the 76ers, the third-winningest Christmas Day team on our list.
Also of note, the Grizzlies have never played a game on X-Mas. It's hard to say if that gives them an advantage, although they are facing a Warriors squad without Steph Curry that has lost seven of its last 10.
Christmas Day NBA Betting Picks
Let's dive into a pick for each of the Christmas Day games. All NBA odds come courtesy of Sportsbook.
Philadelphia 76ers vs New York Knicks
|Philadelphia 76ers (Away)||-1.5 (-110)||TBD||O 218.5 (-110)|
|New York Knicks (Home)||+1.5 (-110)||TBD||U 218.5 (-110)|
Pick: 76ers -1.5 (-110)
As we explored before, the Knicks aren't such a solid Christmas Day squad. The 76ers are much better on X-Mas Day, albeit in a smaller 32-game sample size, and are 7-3 SU in their last 10 vs the Knicks.
Philly lost its lone game vs the Knicks earlier this year 106-104 (and failed to cover -3.5), but is on a six-game winning streak, during which the 76ers are 5-1 ATS.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks
|Los Angeles Lakers (Away)||+8.0 (-110)||TBD||O 226.5 (-110)|
|Dallas Mavericks (Home)||-8.0 (-110)||TBD||U 226.5 (-110)|
Pick: Lakers +8.0 (-110)
Neither team is inspiring much confidence at the moment, but the Mavs have been especially dicey ATS this season. As favorites this year, Dallas is just 8-16-1 ATS and is 1-5 ATS when laying eight points or more.
The Lakers are 1-2 ATS in their last three road games, yet somehow I have more faith in them covering, even without star Anthony Davis.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics
|Milwaukee Bucks (Away)||+4.5 (-110)||TBD||O 224.5 (-110)|
|Boston Celtics (Home)||-4.5 (-110)||TBD||U 224.5 (-110)|
Pick: Bucks +4.5 (-110)
The Celtics have been sliding lately (4-6 SU in last 10) at the same time the Bucks are surging (7-3 SU in last 10).
A deeper dive into the numbers doesn't give us a steady trend either way, unfortunately. The Bucks are 2-2 ATS in their last four road games during the Celtics. Milwaukee was a four-point or 4.5-point underdog in each of those contests, too, mirroring the spread for Sunday.
There's a certain element of gut instinct in this wager, so stay away if you think it's too risky. That said, I'll be tossing a unit on the Bucks to cover.
Memphis Grizzlies vs Golden State Warriors
|Memphis Grizzlies (Away)||-4.0 (-115)||TBD||O 228.5 (-110)|
|Golden State Warriors (Home)||+4.0 (-110)||TBD||U 228.5 (-110)|
Pick: OVER 228.5 Points (-110)
The Warriors are on a crazy OVER heater. The total has gone OVER seven straight Warriors games, and we're counting on a repeat Sunday. 228.5 will be the highest total the Dubs have faced in four games, but, during that span, there have been an average of 235.5 points scored in Golden State's games.
Phoenix Suns vs Denver Nuggets
|Phoenix Suns (Away)||+4.0 (-110)||TBD||O 230.5 (-110)|
|Denver Nuggets (Home)||-4.0 (-110)||TBD||U 230.5 (-110)|
Pick: Suns +4.0 (-110)
As we know from our trends, Phoenix has had more success on the 25th than any other team playing on Christmas this year.
The Suns haven't been underdogs too often this season, but sport a 3-2 ATS record when getting points. Denver, on the other hand, hasn't been as solid on home court lately, repping a 2-3 ATS record over its last five at Ball Arena.
Which NBA teams are playing on Christmas this year?
There are five NBA matchups on tap Christmas Day:
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.