Christmas Day is the NBA’s time to shine. With football commanding the nation’s attention for most of the fall and winter, Christmas Day is the NBA’s first opportunity to put on marquee matchups for the casual NBA fan to consume.
The sportsbooks will put out the betting odds for these games when the schedule is released. Then they come off the board during the season but they are back up now. Christmas Day is a fun opportunity to make wagers and bettors know that on the national stage in stand-alone games, they will be getting the players’ best efforts.
Christmas Day Matchups
The first game of the day will be the Philadelphia 76ers versus the New York Knicks. The 76ers and the Knicks are 5th and 6th teams in the Eastern Conference, respectively. This game gives each team an opportunity to improve in the standings as well as showcase their team on a national stage.
The Philadelphia 76ers are favored by 1.5 points. This game will be played in New York. This game has a low total of 218. The low total shows that these teams both play at a slow pace as well as play strong defense.
Our next game will be the Los Angeles Lakers versus the Dallas Mavericks. The Lakers were starting to find some form before an injury to Anthony Davis set them back. The Mavericks feature one of the most exciting players in the league, Luka Doncic.
This game will feature one of the greatest players of all time, LeBron James, going against a player who has the potential to also be in the greatest players category. Even though the Lakers are struggling in the standings this year, this will still be a star-studded affair featuring two superstars.
Dallas will be the home team in this matchup and they are favored by eight points. This game has a total set at 227 points. This is the biggest spread of all the games on Christmas Day.
The Milwaukee Bucks will be in Boston to take on the Celtics. Currently, Milwaukee is in first and Boston is in 2nd in the Eastern Conference. As of right now, these are the two best teams in the East. These are the last two winners of the Eastern Conference facing off.
This game will mean a lot to both teams as it is a potential Eastern Conference Finals preview. Since the Celtics are at home they are favored by 4.5 points. The total for this game is 226.
The Memphis Grizzlies face the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors. These teams faced each other in the playoffs last season, with Golden State getting the better of Memphis.
Golden State is struggling this year with superstar Steph Curry out of the lineup. This is Memphis’ chance to make a statement and get some revenge.
Memphis is favored by five points on the road in this game. The total is 228.
Finally, the Phoenix Suns take on the Denver Nuggets in the evening matchup. The Phoenix Suns had the best record in the NBA last season and the Denver Nuggets feature two-time MVP Nikola Jokic.
The Denver Nuggets are currently in first place in the Western Conference. This game will be an opportunity for Denver to prove that they do belong in the top spot in the West.
Denver is a 4-point favorite in this game. This game also features the highest total of the night, 231.
Favorite Matchup: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
All these games should be fun and they all have interesting storylines, but our favorite matchup that really stands out is the Milwaukee Bucks against the Boston Celtics. These 2 teams have been playing the best basketball in the NBA so far and it will be exciting to see them play head-to-head.
We know the Milwaukee Bucks will be eager to make a statement after Boston eliminated them from the playoffs last year. In that series, Milwaukee was missing small forward Khris Middleton. Middleton has not played much for the Bucks this year, but he is expected to play in this game.
With Middleton back in the lineup, the Bucks want to make a statement that they are better than the Celtics.
The Boston Celtics went through a tumultuous offseason after making the NBA Finals. They lost coach Ime Udoka to a scandal and have a new coach, Joe Mazzulla. The Celtics will also be eager to prove that they are still the top team in the Eastern Conference.
When making an NBA pick for this game, we have to go with the Milwaukee Bucks. The Milwaukee Bucks will have the best player on the floor in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and with Khris Middleton back, they should have the defensive acumen to stop Boston’s strong forward combo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
Our Betting Pick
Both teams should be up for this game but with the Bucks at full strength, they will prove that they are the best team in the East. Our favorite betting pick for this exciting Christmas slate is the Milwaukee Bucks +4.5.
NBA Pick: Bucks +4.5 (-109) at SugarHouse