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NBA Christmas Day Betting Primer

NBA action on Christmas Day has been a great tradition for decades, and the 2017 edition features a litany of explosive players, grudge matches and betting angles.

Without question, the most highly anticipated contest of the day is an NBA Finals rematch between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. Elsewhere, the Philadelphia 76ers open the slate against the New York Knicks, the Washington Wizards do battle with the Boston Celtics, the Houston Rockets face the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Minnesota Timberwolves take on the Lakers.

Because we’re in the spirit of giving, we at OddsShark have compiled a comprehensive list of stats, trends and information surrounding how these teams and their players have performed on Christmas Day. If you were nice this year, you can read on. If you were naughty, well, we won’t tell anyone.

Some teams have been great on the big stage, while others have been downright brutal. Take a look for yourself:

NBA Christmas Day Records
TeamSU RecordATS RecordOVER/UNDER Record
Philadelphia 76ers0-10-10-1
New York Knicks3-72-86-3-1
Cleveland Cavaliers4-34-31-6
Golden State Warriors3-31-52-4
Washington Wizards1-12-00-1-1
Boston Celtics3-44-33-4
Houston Rockets4-36-12-3-2
Oklahoma City Thunder5-45-43-5-1
Minnesota Timberwolves0-10-10-0-1
Los Angeles Lakers7-1211-85-12-2

Key player stats

When it comes to playing with the eyes of the nation squared solely upon them, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant reign supreme. Melo is averaging 33.2 points, 2.8 assists and 6.8 rebounds on December 25, while Durant is at 32 points, 4.7 assists and eight boards.

This year’s holiday affair will have a different look due to Anthony making his first Christmas appearance in a Thunder uniform. Anthony and the suddenly star-studded Thunder have taken some time to get accustomed to each other but are starting to turn the corner right now, as the former New York Knick is averaging 17.3 points and 6.4 boards as of December 22.

NBA Christmas Day Player Stats
LeBron JamesAveraging 26.7 points, 7.0 assists and 7.8 rebounds in 10 Christmas Day games.
Dwyane WadeAveraging 25.4 points, 6.1 assists and 5.7 rebounds in 10 Christmas Day games.
Kevin LoveAveraging 14.7 points, 3.3 assists and 9.7 rebounds in three Christmas Day games.
Klay ThompsonAveraging 17.4 points, 2 assists and 3.8 rebounds in five Christmas Day games.
Kevin DurantAveraging 32 points, 4.7 assists and 8 rebounds in seven Christmas Day games.
John WallAveraging 24 points, 11 assists and 6 rebounds in one Christmas Day game.
Kyrie IrvingAveraging 21 points, five assists and 4.3 rebounds in three Christmas Day games.
James HardenAveraging 22.8 points, 5.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds in five Christmas Day games.
Chris PaulAveraging 19.5 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds in six Christmas Day games.
Russell WestbrookAveraging 22.7 points, 8.1 assists and 7.4 rebounds in seven Christmas Day games.
Carmelo AnthonyAveraging 33.2 points, 2.8 assists and 6.8 rebounds in five Christmas Day games.
Jimmy ButlerAveraging 16.8 points, 3.2 assists and 5 rebounds in five Christmas Day games.

Betting Outlook

Who wouldn’t want to be home on Christmas Day? Since the inception of the December 25 games in the 1993-94 campaign, home sides have been producing at a high rate (47-28 SU). It’s more even at the betting window, however, as home teams are 36-39 ATS during that span.

Many of us (myself included) tend to overindulge over the holidays, and it appears that overeating and too much eggnog have translated into low-scoring Christmas games. The OVER/UNDER has gone 28-41-6 in Christmas Day contests.

Last year, two games went OVER, two went UNDER and there was one push. In 2016, all five went below the closing totals.

What’s a good holiday tradition without some sports wagering? Head on over to Bovada for all your betting needs.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Enjoy the hoops.