How to Bet the NBA Xmas Games

Lakers cheerleaders perform during the Lakers vs. Heat Christmas Day matchup at Staples Center. AFP Photo/Frederic J. Brown

Betting NBA games is fun, no matter what time of the year, but there is something special when we see five nationally televised games, one right after the other.

It’s a great comfort to know that once the presents are unwrapped and the merry has been made, NBA games are waiting to be devoured from noontime until late into the evening.

Below we will discuss some of the subtleties of betting on Christmas Day games and what to look for as well as what to avoid. Let’s get down to it!

Fade the Public

Even the casual bettor will perk up on Christmas and get down on all the NBA hoops action. One thing we know is that the average bettor likes nothing more than to bet the household names, and even more so if those familiar teams are laying points. Nothing like a big favorite to get Joe Q. Public’s attention.

But here’s the thing. The oddsmakers don’t set on NBA odds based on who they believe will win the game and by how much. No, they set their lines by anticipating a point spread that will give them an equal amount of money being wagered on both sides. All they really want is to make the vig (the bookie’s commission, usually 10 percent, on losses) so they don’t want an enormous amount of lopsided action.

However, on days like Christmas when the NBA is virtually the only game in town, and nearly everyone is home looking for something to do, this is when the masses come out in droves and they have a single mindset – betting favorites and the over. The oddsmakers know this all too well so what they do is inflate the numbers a bit on those household names because the public will bet them regardless. Now they can’t go overboard because the sharps will bite back with huge bets on the other side so they have to be relatively cautious.

LEARN MORE: What Does it Take for NBA Bettors to Thrive in a Long Season?

But either way, we will be getting value on the opposite side of the public so that’s the way to go. Fade the public and don’t overthink it. Underdogs on Christmas Day can be a good thing but be careful because every now and again you might have the masses on a well-known underdog like the Lakers, for example. In that case, bet the favorite because you will likely be getting value in that direction as well.

Everything we have just discussed also applies to the public betting over the posted total because, again, Joe Q. Public loves rooting for points and those totals will be higher than usual so take advantage, go under, and make the bookies pay for skewing the lines!

Choose the Right Sportsbook

It’s one thing to sweat the game but you should never sweat the payout. But that is exactly what happens after winning wagers are cast and bettors decide to withdraw their funds from the sportsbook of their choice only to find that depositing the funds was so much easier than receiving them.

If you think all online sportsbooks are created equally, think again. If you’ve never tried to collect from an online book then don’t take it for granted. There are hundreds of nefarious online sportsbooks just waiting for newbies to dump their money and lose it. But in the case that the newbie does win, and worse yet, wants to collect (gasp!), well then, the chase is on.

Make sure to avoid this unnecessary frustration by visiting one of the many premier U.S. licensed sportsbooks shown right here at OddsTrader. These are the best of the best and there will never be an occasion to sweat the payout with these stalwarts of the sports betting industry. You will find that although they do differ in terms of dashboard aesthetics, wagering limits, betting options, and a few other subtleties, one thing they all have in common is that when a customer wants a withdrawal, they pay!

Lastly, always make sure to fund accounts at two or more U.S. licensed online sportsbooks because that way you can compare the odds and the point spreads to make sure you are getting the best bang for your gambling buck!

Why lay the Warriors -5 when you can get them at -4 somewhere else? Take advantage of your options by creating them! And remember to check back for more betting strategies at the OddsTrader blog. Happy betting! is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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