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NBA Betting: Christmas Day Games

The NBA wanted to start its season just before Christmas. That’s so the league has five games on TV, making as much money as possible from those contracts. The NBA is putting in place a slightly shortened 72-game schedule. A July NBA Finals ends just before the start of the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. NBA players will try to participate in those games. The quick restart of the season – not in a bubble – will factor into one of the Christmas Day games we’ll look at below. Let’s take a look at three key online betting matchups.

Golden State Warriors vs Milwaukee Bucks

NBA Odds: Bucks -8

The Golden State Warriors missed Draymond Green, who has an injured foot, in their Dec. 22 opener against the Brooklyn Nets. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and the rest of the Nets ran circles around the Warriors, beating them 125-99 in a game which was actually not even that close. The Nets were up by 34 points before cruising to the finish line with a 26-point win. Even if Draymond Green is able to play in this game versus the Bucks, the fact that he wasn’t healthy enough to play versus the Nets suggests that he won’t be at 100-percent strength. That is a killer for a Warrior team already lacking the presence of Klay Thompson, out for the season with an injury. The Warriors, without Draymond and Klay, won’t beat very many good teams.

Kevin Durant of the Nets dunks as Kelly Oubre Jr. and Eric Paschall of the Golden State Warriors defend during the first half

The Bucks, though a clear disappointment in the playoffs the past two seasons, are an extremely good regular-season team. They are not the favorite to win the NBA title, but they are the favorite to get the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Bucks look like a very solid choice here.

Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics

Sportsbook Odds: Nets -1

The Nets’ 26-point win over the Golden State Warriors certainly rates as an impressive first step under new head coach Steve Nash. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving both looked very good against Golden State. Now, though, comes a much tougher test against a Boston Celtics team which has made three of the last four Eastern Conference Finals. It has failed to win any of those three series. Boston is trying to take that one final step to the Finals. There, they might get to play the Los Angeles Lakers in a classic matchup with both teams looking for their 18th ring. The Celtics should defend the Nets and test them a lot more than the Lakers did. The Celtics have a lot to prove this season, not just the Nets. Boston looks like a good choice here.

Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Lakers

Odds: Lakers -6

The Lakers played a very sluggish first half in their opener against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, and no one should be surprised. The Lakers, having played and won the NBA Finals in early October, had just two months off before the start of the new season. An offseason is usually four months, so the Lakers figure to be very tired and sluggish for the first few months of this new season. The Dallas Mavericks, led by Luka Doncic, figure to have a lot more energy and are great value here, getting six points in a road game… but a game with no fans in Los Angeles.

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