With the holiday just days away, the NBA is ensuring its diehard fans and online gambling community is satisfied with Adam Silver doubling down on continuing the season despite a resurgence of positive cases. We examine the current state of the Christmas Day slate and stack a five-leg parlay so we can profit out all this madness.
NBA: “Should we cancel the Christmas games?”
Adam Silver: pic.twitter.com/671TYTPow1
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) December 17, 2021
Atlanta Hawks (14-15) at New York Knicks (14-17)
- Point Spread: Atlanta +1, New York -1
- Moneyline: N/A
- Total: Over 218½ (-110), Under 218½ (-110)
There is nothing quite like starting the holiday with the NBA equivalent of drinking an entire gallon of eggnog. In what’s going to be a sloppy game played with no defense, the Hawks and Knicks may just stick it to the trend of NBA games going under.
It’s true that we proposed betting the under in a more in-depth breakdown of this game. But with the line going the other way, playing the over is the right bet moving forward. Even with reserve units playing, the scoring can get padded here as players chuck buckets with no regard for the game’s outcome.
Pick: Over 218½ (-110)
Boston Celtics (15-16) at Milwaukee Bucks (19-13)
- Point Spread: Boston +3, Milwaukee -3
- Moneyline: Boston +130, Milwaukee -150
- Total: Over 219 1/2 (-110), Under 219 1/2 (-110)
With a total like that is almost begging for more under bets online, we won’t touch this line with Giannis Antetokounmpo-sized pole. But we’re going with Boston at +230 to pull off the upset here. Wait, what?
Since the 1993-94 season, home teams have won 60% of their Christmas Day games (57-38) and favorites have won 69.4%. So why Boston? Simple: COVID. Expect the NBA betting lines to shift if Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis can’t suit up for Milwaukee. Boston, at least, has Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown playing. Give us over 2-1 on a healthier Celtics team.
Pick: Boston Celtics +130
Golden State Warriors (25-6) at Phoenix Suns (25-5)
- Point Spread: Golden State +5½, Phoenix -5½
- Moneyline: Golden State +170, Phoenix -200
- Total: Over 217½ (-110), Under 217½ (-110)
If you’re to care about one game this holiday, it’s this one by a country mile. The Warriors and Suns meet for the third time with their series split one game apiece. The NBA’s two best teams have not only been dominant on both ends but relatively healthy with only Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, from Golden State, in quarantine.
This is also the game we won’t go against the trend as the Suns should defend homecourt and edge the Warriors. Even if Phoenix is only 9-7 against the spread at home, four points shouldn’t be too difficult to cover with the team averaging an 18.2 net rating in its last seven games. Whew.
Pick: Phoenix -3½ (-110)
Brooklyn Nets (21-9) at Los Angeles Lakers (16-16)
- Point Spread: Brooklyn +1, Lakers -1
- Moneyline: N/A
- Total: Over 234 (-110), Under 234 (-110)
If you’re out of the loop, the entire Brooklyn Nets team is in quarantine (except Blake Griffin, ironically). But there is a solid chance that Kevin Durant, James Harden, and others may return just in time to make the NBA some money this Saturday. The Lakers are also banged up and are without Anthony Davis (knee).
Even if “KD” and Harden play, we’re leaning on the Lakers here. Yes, they stink but the Nets are only 6-6 against teams with a .500 record or better and Brooklyn will have most of its rotation on the sidelines. So stuff the Lakers’ records (8-14 during Christmas) and pick them.
Pick: Lakers -1 (-110)
Dallas Mavericks (15-15) at Utah Jazz (21-9)
- Point Spread: Dallas +12, Utah -12
- Moneyline: Dallas +475, Utah -650
- Total: Over 214 (-110), Under 214 (-110)
We’ve built a hipster parlay so far but we’re not going overboard to take Dallas to upset Utah. The Mavericks are without Luka Doncic (ankle) on top of a handful of others so it’s hard to see how this team beats a mostly-healthy Jazz team in Utah. This could be Christmas Day’s biggest blowout.
Dallas is allowing the fourth-fewest points as a visitor but the Jazz have the best offense at home. They are putting up over 117 points in their last three home games against the Mavericks, which would be more after Dallas submits and rolls out the scrubs.