NBA Christmas Predictions & Best Bets 2023

Last Updated: Sep 15, 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 Thursday, Sept. 14, at noon 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 -2 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Milwaukee is coming back with a vengeance after being eliminated in the first round of the 2022-23 playoffs. Giannis Antetokounmpo looks poised for another strong season after averaging a career-high 31.1 points per game this past year, and he has a strong supporting cast around him.

New York, on the other hand, is riding high after logging 47 wins last season, marking a high for the franchise since 2012-13. Jalen Brunson burst onto the scene in his first year with the Knicks, posting career-high marks in points (24.0) and assists (6.2) per game.

I’m expecting a relatively close contest, but the Bucks won all three meetings last season, and the pressure is on them to deliver this year. Look for a big game from Antetokounmpo and lock in the Bucks to cover the spread with your NBA bet of the day.

Warriors vs Nuggets Christmas Best Bets

Warriors +4.5 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

The Nuggets may be the defending champions, but this year’s Warriors team has a chance to do something special. A lack of focus seemed to be a major issue for Golden State last season — the group went just 11-30 on the road — but with Chris Paul in the mix, I believe that will resolve itself.

Paul’s competitive edge and determination to win his first NBA title will be a driving factor for the Warriors this season, and in a statement game during one of the most-viewed slates of the year, the Dubs will give it their all.

The Warriors may not win, but I’m comfortable taking the points here. This will be a tight game that goes down to the wire regardless of the final result.

Celtics vs Lakers Christmas Best Bets

Celtics (-118)

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 one-point spread at (-110), so my recommended bet is the Boston moneyline at (-118).

76ers vs Heat Christmas Best Bets

Heat -2 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

This would’ve been a phenomenal matchup last season — and perhaps it still will be — but considering the summers these two teams have had, this is shaping up to potentially be the most lopsided game of the day.

Philadelphia is on the decline with James Harden forcing his way out of the organization. The 76ers have yet to deal the star guard, but considering the damage that’s been done, it’s unlikely that they’ll have their asking price met by any team attempting to trade for him.

On the other hand, Miami is reportedly in hot pursuit of Damian Lillard, who requested a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers this offseason. Again, a deal has yet to go through, but the expectation is that he ends up in South Beach.

If you only make one bet for Christmas Day, choose this one. The 76ers and Heat are headed in drastically different directions, and Miami should cover this meager spread with ease.

Mavericks vs Suns Christmas Best Bets

Suns -5.5 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Perhaps the most exciting game on the NBA Christmas slate is the final one of the night. Kyrie Irving and Luka Dončić will travel to Phoenix to take on the new-look Suns, featuring Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Bradley Beal.

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. Their games tend to be great for fans, too, as both teams boast terrific offenses.

With that said, Beal provides Phoenix with an element that Dallas may not be able to compete with. The Suns’ bench also filled out quite nicely this summer, and with their favorable home-court advantage to top it off, I’m backing their side against the spread.


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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