Yes, it is Christmas Day and the kids are giddy about their gifts under the tree. But for you, it’s not the presents, the tree, the turkey as much as it is NBA games on TV.
A vast majority of televisions in the United States will be tuning in to professional basketball. A new group of viewers are preparing for this brilliant marketing strategy and are considering making a wager or two to add to their fun on the holiday.
However, handicapping the NBA on Christmas is slightly different than a regular game on a regular day. You might be a bit miffed right now asking how that can be as they play with the same rules as any other day. Pay attention as there are a few very hard to find differences that you, as a smart NBA bettor can use to make yourself a winner.
NBA Christmas Day Betting Odds for 2019
- Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers -3.5 220
- Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors +4 212
- Los Angeles Clippers Vs. Los Angeles Lakers -2 223
- New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets -9 217.5
- Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors +10.5 227
Christmas Day NBA Betting Picks & Predictions for 2019
This Christmas day we will all have the gift of watching star-studded matchups that range from Giannis & Embiid in the East, to the battle for LA, round two with LeBron and Kawhi. It’s going to be nice watching some NBA action while we sit on the couch, eat a dozen cookies, and pretend to engage with family members that we just saw during Thanksgiving.
We don’t want anyone to have that ruined by losing their money on the Christmas Day lines. So we’ve got you covered.
CELTICS @ RAPTORS / 12:00pm EST on ESPN
Here we have one of my personal favorite matchups on this day. The Celtics are quietly surprising the NBA world this year, one game at a time. Some key wins have come against teams like the Mavs, Nuggets, and the Heat in the last few weeks as they storm into Toronto.
Meanwhile the Raptors have yet to get comfortable this season, dealing with injuring in their backcourt that started with Kyle Lowry and now Fred VanVleet. Even with these injuries, the Raptors have continued to compete with good teams, while beating teams they should.
Early in the season, in a community effort by the Celtics, Boston beat Toronto by a score of 112-106. Looking ahead to Christmas day, I see something of a similar action happening again. When you look at the matchups across the board, the Celtics backcourt just dominates the Raptors. I think that this will be a slow game, that will strike the under (est. 213 o/u) with the Celtics winning by eight points.
BUCKS @ 76ers / 2:30pm EST on ABC
The matchup that I can’t wait to see on the day is the “Greek Freak” (Giannis Antetokounmpo) going up against Joel Embiid and the 76ers. Both of these players seem to never disappoint when they get the chance to appear on national TV.
The Bucks have been on an absolute tear this season, dominating their opponents, while Giannis looks to have somehow improved from his 18’-19’ MVP season. Then we have the 76ers who are trying to get over that hump this season and get their first NBA Finals appearance since 2001.
This is the first matchup for these two teams this season and it should be a good one. It’s expected that Milwaukee will be favored in this game and rightfully so. I look for the Bucks to win this game by nine, in a high scoring game that will hit the over (est. 228 o/u).
ROCKETS @ WARRIORS / 5:00pm EST on ABC
Looking at the start of the year, these two teams were sure to compete for the West and maybe even the Finals. Then we fast-forward to December 25th and we have one team in the Warriors who have been plagued by injuries at every position, and will be fighting for the #1 overall pick. On the other side, we have a semi-healthy Rockets team that just looks confused.
The Russell Westbrook trade from OKC to Houston this offseason was the buzz of the NBA. But it’s clear that almost halfway through the season, this team is lacking an identity. Yes, it’s still early and there is plenty of time but what better gift can you have on Christmas day than to be matched up with a team that’s best player this season is a rookie in Eric Paschall.
This is a perfect time for the Rockets to turn it around and get a huge win on the road, against a terrible team. In a high-scoring game, we like the Rockets winning by more than 15 points. Take the Rockets spread as well as the over.
CLIPPERS @ LAKERS / 8:00pm EST on ABC
What a game we have here. I mean honestly, isn’t this what we wanted to see all offseason? LeBron and AD going against a healthy Kawhi and Paul George in the “Battle for LA?”
Both of these teams have been impressive when healthy, and let’s hope that that’s what we get. Doc Rivers has implemented the “resting system” while LeBron hasn’t skipped a beat in his 17th season.
Neither of these teams are going to give the other team the chance at pulling away in this one. In a game that goes down to the wire, I think that the Lakers will get their revenge on the Clippers. Lakers by three points in a low scoring game.
PELICANS @ NUGGETS / 10:30pm EST on ESPN
We round out the night with a matchup that I think could surprise some people. The Pelicans have a disappointing record this year due to players going in and out of the lineups due to injuries. But barring injuries in the next few days, they look to have their healthiest lineup in just over a month.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets are neither exceeding expectations nor underperforming. They’re just about who we thought they were. A solid 4 seed who will be a tough matchup in the second round.
The Pelicans always seem to hang around with the good teams. A good shooting night for them will keep them in this game until the end. Since Denver is expected to be favored by a half dozen points or so, I see the Pelicans covering in a close one. Denver will still get the win in a low scoring game, but they’re going to have to work for it.
Plenty of action on the day should make this an entertaining day for all of my fellow NBA fans. Especially the ones out there that gamble. There’s some great matchups for us on Christmas day to win some money to pay off the expensive gifts we bought our loved ones.
Christmas Day Betting Tips & Strategy
Media and Public Attention at an All-Time High
The public is paying attention and the media is all over every aspect on this day due to the captive audience. They will fill your set with the big stars of the league and now we have the players out of their routine to make time for the media. This is different than during the week. This is Christmas and they want family time.
Think about the teams playing and make a determination as which are media darling and in all likelihood going to get the glut of the public betting. This cause the lines to be skewered more than usual. If one team is likely to draw a large percentage of the bets on a game then the oddsmakers are going to compensate for that so that the books aren’t more exposed to one team than they need to be. Just be aware of what is happening and particularly focused on making sure you have value before you pull place the wager.
Players are Fired Up on Christmas Day
This game is where the players get really fired up. Usually, it is later in the season but not today. Today they have millions of people watching the game. There will be attention to detail but the players, coaches, and officials. In fact, you might even see NBA players playing defense in this game! Be alert for the over/under lines and try to see how they are different from other games and then take advantage of it.
Christmas Day is Exclusive to the NBA
Today is different for another reason. There are no other games being played. No football in the NFL or college and no hockey or college games on the docket. Just these few games. The handicappers will be sharp and you, as the bettor, have to be under control and be choosy on the game and line that you feel will bring you a winner.
Be willing to pass and look for a better opportunity for your wager. Be confident you can set it out if necessary. Not having a team to cheer on on Christmas day might not be much fun, but it will feel better than making a bad sports bet and losing it.
Desperation Sets in on Xmas Day
Lastly, if the game gets out of hand early, the team behind doesn’t appear to fight very hard for a comeback. They begin to get upset and foul more, create turnovers and wish they were with their families on Christmas. They have made sacrifices and that is stingy if they are losing by a large margin.
Be smart in your betting on Christmas Day. Do your research of the teams and watch for handicapped lines that appear out of sorts. Get your sportsbook accounts funded a day early and good luck!