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Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

By Mark Strotman | | 5 mins

NBA Games On Christmas Day: Complete Betting Trends & Tips

NBA Games On Christmas Day: Complete Betting Trends & Tips

It’s the most wonderful time of the NBA betting season, with a full slate of games on Christmas. As usual, we’ve got five different games that include the league’s best and brightest teams and individuals. From the noon ET tilt between the Hawks and Knicks to the nightcap in Utah between the Mavericks and Jazz, we’ve got you covered with the most important trends to help you with your NBA Christmas Day bets.

NBA Games On Christmas Day: Complete Betting Trends & Tips 1

Let’s break this down:

The first statistic that should stand out to you is the Unders. For whatever reason, NBA teams go low on Christmas. Whether they’re thinking about what’s under the tree or just can’t wait to get back home to their families, points are at a premium in NBA Christmas games, something to bear in mind when looking at NBA odds.

And it’s not just one particular season that’s skewing the data: Dating back to 2007, the Under has cashed on Christmas in 13 of 14 seasons. NBA scoring is down to its lowest points per game since 2018, and Unders have been profitable all year, so we expect this trend to once again continue.

Favorites are always a good bet, and NBA Christmas games are no different. Over the last 10 Christmas days, they’re 29-21, good for a 58% win rate. Considering the best teams often play on Christmas, we’re also not surprised — the best teams win and cover. While it can be difficult to find trends, favorites are pretty fail-proof NBA picks on Christmas. Bet them with confidence, especially this year when four of five home teams will be favored.

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NBA Games On Christmas Day Player Props

If you’ve been following along with us this NBA season, you know we’ve been giving out NBA player props each day of the NBA season. We’re hitting at a 60% clip since early November, and we’ll be giving you some special Christmas props this year. While you’re waiting for those, consider these numbers from some of the game’s best on Christmas:

NBA Games On Christmas Day: Complete Betting Trends & Tips 2

In addition to those point, rebound and assist averages, here are a few trends that you’ll want to keep in mind when considering player props on Christmas Day:

  • Steph Curry has appeared in eight Christmas games and has not topped 20 points in any of them. The greatest shooter in NBA history has also never made more than two triples in any Christmas game. He’ll face a Suns defense that ranks in the top-13 in triple attempts allowed and 3-point field-goal percentage defense.
  • Curry has been consistently bad on Christmas, while his old teammate Kevin Durant has been consistently great. KD has tallied 29 or more points in 7 of his 10 Christmas games. That includes 28.8 points in four Christmas games against LeBron James, which he’ll get again when the Nets take on the Lakers. The LA defense has been awful allowing points this season, so KD could be in line for another big one.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points in his Christmas debut, but he’s been quiet since then on the scoring front with just 18 and 15 points the last two seasons. The good news is Giannis has been consistent on the glass, corralling 14, 14 and 13 misses in three Christmas games. This year he’ll get a Celtics team that he’s averaged 11.3 rebounds against over his last 15 outings.

No matter what you wind up betting on Christmas, make sure you’re doing so with Bookies’ trends in mind. Also, remember that sportsbooks have sign-up bonuses, odds boosts and promo codes to amplify your sports betting experience. For example, the BetMGM promo code delivers new bettors a $1,000 risk-free bet. Not a bad Christmas gift!

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NBA Christmas Games: Defending Champions Struggle

It’s a foregone conclusion that the reigning NBA champions gets a spot on Christmas. But they’re not exactly a great bet. Looking back at the data from 2008, the defending champion is just 6-7 SU and 4-9 ATS.

  • 2008: Celtics (+2) vs. Lakers; 9-point loss
  • 2009: Lakers (-6) vs. Cavaliers; 15-point loss
  • 2010: Lakers (-3.5) vs. Heat; 16-point loss
  • 2011: Mavericks (+4.5) vs. Heat; 11-point loss
  • 2012: Heat (-2.5) vs. Thunder; 6-point win
  • 2013: Heat (-9.5) vs. Lakers; 6-point win
  • 2014: Spurs (-6.5) vs. Thunder; 8-point loss
  • 2015: Warriors (-6.5) vs. Cavaliers; 6-point win
  • 2016: Cavaliers (+3) vs. Warriors; 1-point win
  • 2017: Warriors (-5) vs. Cavaliers; 7-point win
  • 2018: Warriors (-9) vs. Lakers; 26-point loss
  • 2019: Raptors (+3.5) vs. Celtics; 16-point loss
  • 2020: Lakers (-6.5) vs. Mavericks; 23-point win

That’s not the biggest sample size we’ve ever analyzed, but it’s enough to bring up here. This season it’ll be Milwaukee looking to buck that trend, and the Bucks have been good on Christmas of late — 2-1 SU and 2-1 ATS the last three years — but just remember the odds really won’t be in their favor.

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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.