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NBA Computer Picks for Christmas Day: Mavericks Aim to Outshine the Suns

Tim Hardaway Jr Dallas Mavericks v San Antonio Spurs
Tim Hardaway Jr. #10 of the Dallas Mavericks walks on the court against the San Antonio Spurs. Sam Hodde/Getty Images/AFP

Merry Christmas! Here are three bets that our computers love heading into Monday’s Christmas slate. Let’s have a day!

Picks Summary

  • Celtics -3 (-110)
  • 76ers -1 (-110)
  • Mavericks (+170)

*All odds from Caesars Sportsbook (check our Caesars Sportsbook Review)


Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Monday, December 25, 2023 – 05:00 PM EDT at crypto.com Arena


Our AI Model believes the Celtics will escape Los Angeles with a 117-111 win on the road. As three-point favorites, the Celtics at -3 makes the most sense in this game.

The Boston Celtics have one of the best offenses in the NBA. It’s unclear if Kristaps Porzingis will play in this game. However, the Celtics should have Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown leading the way.

Without Porzingis on Saturday, the Celtics earned a 145-108 win over the Clippers. They’ve added at least 144 points in their last two games, which were both on the road in the West.

The Celtics have shot a 57.6% effective field goal percentage, which should be maintained against the Lakers. However, Los Angeles has been really good at limiting foul shots. That’s something Boston won’t get a lot of in this matchup.

Los Angeles’ Weakness

On the other hand, the Lakers are very weak on the offensive glass. Los Angeles has added only 23.6% of offensive rebounds per game this season. Boston has held opponents to 26.2% of offensive rebounds. Therefore, the Lakers won’t earn many second chances.

It’ll also be hard for Los Angeles to get to the foul line, with the Celtics holding the best free throw rate in the NBA on defense.

Boston ranks in the top five in points per 100 possessions and effective field goal percentage defensively. Meanwhile, the Lakers are much more inconsistent on the offensive end.

Let’s take the Celtics at -110 betting odds. I’m with the AI Model.

NBA Pick: Celtics -3 (-110) at at Caesars Sportsbook


Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat

Monday, December 25, 2023 – 08:00 PM EDT at Kaseya Center


The AI Model suggests the 76ers will earn a road win against the Heat, 117-113. With the 76ers only sitting at -1, the value is on Philadelphia as the slight favorite.

Philadelphia has averaged the most points per 100 possessions this season. The 76ers have added 122.2 points per 100 possessions and likely will get plenty of high-quality looks against the Heat.

Miami has given up a 56.8% effective field goal percentage, which is 25th in the NBA. That’s not going to cut it against the 76ers.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia has been good at limiting second chances, giving up only 25.8% of offensive rebounds. The Heat are also good at limiting fouls. However, Philadelphia is the best team in the NBA at getting to the foul line. The 76ers always find a way.

Offensive Challenges for the Heat

Miami is also weak on the offensive glass, earning only 25.5% of offensive rebounds. Philadelphia should be better at earning second chances than the Heat. However, it’s likely that the Heat stick around in the game via the foul shot.

It’s just that the 76ers have held teams to a 52.7% effective field goal percentage. Miami won’t shoot at a higher percentage and also won’t get a lot of offensive rebounds. Foul shots will only get a team so far.

Let’s take the 76ers at -1.

NBA Pick: 76ers -1 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook


Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns

Monday, December 25, 2023 – 10:30 PM EDT at Delta Center


Our AI Model likes the Dallas Mavericks to earn an outright road win over the Phoenix Suns. Dallas is a +170 underdog and sitting at +5.5. Taking the Mavericks is a smart move for this matchup, per the AI Model.

The Phoenix Suns are only 14-14 on the season. They’re in jeopardy of falling to below .500 this season. It’s very likely.

Ball Control Advantage

The Mavericks have turned the ball over just 12.1% of the time this season. Meanwhile, the Suns have earned only 12.8% of turnovers. Dallas won’t give up the ball, which means they’ll take more shot attempts. The more shot attempts, the more chance of scoring the basketball. 

Dallas isn’t effective on the offensive glass but still shoots a 56.1% effective field goal percentage. As long as the turnovers stay down, that’s a good enough percentage to keep the Mavericks ahead of the Suns.

On the other hand, the Suns have dominated the offensive glass and typically get to the foul line at a high rate. However, the Mavericks have limited opponents to an 18.4 free throw rate.

Plus, the Suns turn the ball over 15.1% of the time. They’re going to lose the turnover battle while only shooting a 54% effective field goal percentage.

Expect a Close Game

This game should be closer than the oddsmakers are letting on. I’ll ride the Mavericks at +170 to get the win. That’s some really good value.

NBA Pick: Mavericks (+170) at Caesars Sportsbook

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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