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NBA Christmas Predictions & Best Bets 2024

Last Updated: Dec 20, 2023

The NBA is loading up on gifts for the holiday season. On Christmas Day, five top-tier matchups will be played from noon through midnight, providing a full day’s worth of premier action.

We’ve put together our top five bets to prepare you for the upcoming Christmas Day slate, beginning with Bucks vs Knicks at noon and closing at 10:30 with a matchup between the Mavericks and Suns.

All NBA odds are current as of Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 2 p.m. ET and are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Best NBA Christmas Odds

Some of the biggest brands in basketball will play on Christmas, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.

See the full 2023 NBA Christmas Odds here.

Bucks vs Knicks Christmas Best Bets

Bucks -3 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Milwaukee has returned with a vengeance after being eliminated in the first round of the 2022-23 playoffs. Giannis Antetokounmpo is having an MVP-caliber season after averaging a career-high 31.1 points per game this past year, and the presence of Damian Lillard has made this an unstoppable offensive unit.

On the other hand, New York is riding high behind Jalen Brunson, who established himself as one of the league’s premier rising stars. The 27-year-old is pouring in a career-high 25.6 points per game and stroking an efficient 46% from three-point range.

I’m expecting a relatively close contest, but the Bucks won all three meetings last season and are 2-0 against the Knicks in 2023-24. Expect a big game from Lillard and lock in the Bucks to cover the spread with your NBA bet of the day.

Warriors vs Nuggets Christmas Best Bets

Nuggets (-205)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

The Warriors haven’t lived up to expectations this season, but that’s not to say that they haven’t kept things close. Golden State has seen 17 of its first 27 games decided by six points or less, and the Dubs come into this one as 5-point underdogs.

Denver has been phenomenal at home this season, going 11-2 outright, but the reigning champions haven’t been as dominant overall as some would expect. Despite sitting near the top of the Western Conference standings, the Nuggets have been overshadowed by the Thunder and Timberwolves, among others.

This is a chance for Denver to prove that it’s still the team to beat, but Golden State’s tendency to play in close games makes it difficult to suggest betting on the spread. It’s not a terrific value, but the Nuggets at (-205) is a solid bet.

Celtics vs Lakers Christmas Best Bets

Celtics -1.5 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

It only makes sense that the NBA’s most storied rivalry will add another chapter on Christmas Day. The Celtics and Lakers are two of the most recognizable sporting brands in the world, and the league is delivering a marquee matchup between the two NBA Finals contenders at 5 p.m. ET.

This has all the makings of a terrific matchup. Both meetings between the two went to overtime in 2022-23 (Boston won each by exactly four points), and there’s star power galore between LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown.

There’s not much value in taking the Celtics to cover the 1.5-point spread at (-110), so my recommended bet is the Boston moneyline at (-125).

76ers vs Heat Christmas Best Bets

76ers (+105)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Before the season began, this looked like an obvious spot to back the Heat. Miami was widely expected to land Damian Lillard via trade, and the outlook in Philadelphia was bleak, with James Harden reportedly on his way out.

Instead, Lillard went to Milwaukee, and the 76ers have arguably been better than they ever were with Harden, thanks to rising star Tyrese Maxey, who has filled the scoring and playmaking void wonderfully while serving as a perfect complement to reigning MVP Joel Embiid.

The Heat have never lost a Christmas Day game under Erik Spoelstra, but this high-powered Philly offense will likely be too much for Miami to overcome. I love backing the Sixers as road underdogs.

Mavericks vs Suns Christmas Best Bets

Suns -4 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

The star potential in this game had a chance to be off the charts, but with Kyrie Irving (heel) out for the Mavericks and Bradley Beal (ankle) sidelined for the Suns, it’s lost some appeal.

With that said, Mavericks-Suns has become one of the top rivalries in the league in recent years, and this next chapter only figures to spice it up even more. This contest will still feature Luka Dončić, Devin Booker, and Kevin Durant.

Ultimately, I like Phoenix to come out on top. Booker and Durant form a potent offensive duo, and without Irving, it’ll be difficult for Dončić and the Mavericks to keep up.

Author

Garrett Chorpenning

Garrett Chorpenning is the Lead NBA Editor for The Game Day. His previous work includes covering the LA Clippers for Sports Illustrated and FanSided. He graduated from Ball State University in 2021.

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