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NBA Christmas Games Odds, Free Picks & Betting Predictions

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

Mark Strotman  | 6 mins

NBA Christmas Games Odds, Free Picks & Betting Predictions

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One word to describe this NBA betting season? How about parity? Just a couple games separate the top seed from the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, and all but the Hornets and Pistons have realistic shots at a postseason berth (at least as far as the Play-in Tournament is concerned) in the East.

That, of course, has made handicapping and making NBA picks each night a tougher battle. But Christmas Day offers five matchups and 10 teams that are sure to delight as NBA fans across the world celebrate with their loved ones. Here’s a preview of the action along with our favorite plays in those matchups.

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2022 NBA Christmas Games Odds

GameTime (ET)Spread
76ers vs Knicks12 p.m.Sixers -2
Lakers vs Mavericks2:30 p.m.Mavs -7.5
Bucks vs Celtics5 p.m.Celtics -4
Grizzlies vs Warriors8 p.m.Grizzlies -4
Suns vs Nuggets10:30 p.m.Nuggets -2.5

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Philadelphia 76ers vs New York Knicks Prediction

The hottest team in the NBA heading into Christmas Day is…the New York Knicks? It’s true. Tom Thibodeau’s group reeled off eight straight victories earlier this month—including wins over Cleveland, Chicago (twice), and Golden State—to vault into the top-6 in the East. The Sixers are there, too, putting together a great stretch of their own in December with a now-healthy James Harden and Joel Embiid.

This is the early game but it’s featuring two red-hot teams that played a close one in Philadelphia back in November (a 106-104 Knicks win). Still, we like the stars to come out on Christmas Day, meaning an Embiid/Harden takeover in the Garden feels likely. We’ll roll with the Sixers and the points on the road.

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LA Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks Prediction

We’re not sure it gets much better than LeBron vs. Luka on Christmas Day. Both teams are going through it right now after hot stretches in early December, with the Lakers losing five of eight (and Anthony Davis in the process) and the Mavs dropping five of seven. What’s more, the Mavs are one of the worst teams ATS at home, and the Lakers are just as bad ATS on the road.

So something’s got to give. We think it’s a passing of the torch. LeBron holds the NBA record for most points scored on Christmas Day (422), a record that could one day be surpassed by Doncic (who had 27 points in his lone Christmas Day game in 2021, a loss to the Lakers). Los Angeles just isn’t the same without Davis, and the Mavs will pounce on a defense licking its wounds.

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Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics Prediction

Eastern Conference Finals preview, anyone? The top two teams in the East will clash in the marquee Christmas Day game, highlighted by a matchup between Jayson Tatum and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Not only are these two teams leading the East—they’re also the two title favorites on the NBA futures odds board. Oh, and they’re both atop the NBA in terms of record against the spread. While the C’s got the best of a Middleton-less Bucks team in last year’s postseason, both rosters should be a full go in this one.

We’ll give the slight advantage to the Celtics here thanks to home cooking—they have a healthy 11-4 ATS record as a home favorite on sports betting apps. Milwaukee remembers last year’s postseason, but so far they’ve been a middle-of-the-pack squad away from Fiserv Forum. This will be the closest matchup of the day, but a couple late buckets from the MVP frontrunner Tatum puts it away.

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Memphis Grizzlies vs Golden State Warriors Prediction

This was supposed to be a matchup of two Western juggernauts and a rematch of the boxing match that took place in last year’s postseason. Instead, the Grizzlies are flirting with the top spot in the West while the Steph-less Warriors are fighting just to get back to .500. Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson are doing all they can, but this is simply a different animal without Curry in the lineup.

The Grizzlies, meanwhile, got Jaren Jackson Jr. back and have—not coincidentally—vaulted toward the top of most major defensive categories. With Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks carrying the scoring load (and picking up the slack in Desmond Bane’s absence), this is as well balanced a team as you’ll find in the NBA. Going into Chase Center is no joke, but the Grizzlies should flatten a Warriors team not showing much life without the world’s best shooter.

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Denver Nuggets vs Phoenix Suns Prediction

Good luck trying to figure out the Phoenix Suns. Injuries haven’t helped to be sure, but they’ve already had winning streaks of five and six games to go along with a five-game losing streak. They’ve struggled away from Phoenix with a measly 5-9 ATS record, and Christmas will mark their first road game in nearly two weeks.

Waiting in Denver for them? The two-time reigning MVP who is making a strong argument for a third. Nikola Jokic has dominated over the last month, bringing the Nuggets right to the top of the Western Conference standings. We think Jokic keeps the good times rolling to cap off Christmas with another big win that pushes his MVP candidacy forward.

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About the Author

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com
Mark Strotman
Mark is a veteran sports betting journalist who has covered the Bulls and the NBA since 2012. His work has appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune and Yahoo Sports. He regularly provides NBA betting picks, as well as in-depth sportsbook reviews and the latest promo codes for all the major sports gambling operators, including Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and more.
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