NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Christmas Day Bets for Mavericks vs. Lakers (Friday, Dec. 25)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers.
- With five Christmas day NBA games to choose from, our crew was able to find two bets they truly love on Friday's slate.
- See how they are finding value on Mavericks vs. Lakers below:
We’ve given you five bets on all five of Friday’s NBA Christmas day games and one prop for every matchup, so consider this installment of Best Bets as your stocking stuffer.
Our crew has pinpointed two bets — one first half spread and one full game total — that they just couldn’t pass up. You can find their analysis on those games below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Warriors vs. Bucks
Brandon Anderson: Remember the Warriors?
I do. I remember Kevin Durant draining pull-up Js, Klay Thompson scorching the nets with a barrage of 3s, Shaun Livingston hitting approximately 103% of his mid-range shots, and Andre Iguodala limiting LeBron James to an inefficient triple-double in a Finals MVP effort.
I remember Draymond Green changing the way defense is played, switching all five positions. I remember the “Death Lineup.” Heck, I even remember Harrison Barnes.
I remember them because they’re all gone now, and the dynasty that had us awestruck is dead and gone. (Okay, maybe not all gone — Green and Thompson are still around — but neither of them will suit up for Christmas.) Instead we’ll get Stephen Curry and a bunch of Christmas castoffs, a team that got absolutely crushed in the NBA’s season opener on Tuesday night.
Andrew Wiggins was as miserable as this Minnesota Timberwolves fan vividly remembers him being. James Wiseman got some easy buckets, but looked lost and out of place at both ends.
Curry did his best, but it was nowhere near enough, and the game was already on ice halfway through the second quarter.
Now, do you remember the Bucks?
No, not the bubble Bucks. We already know this team has its playoff bugaboos, and Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered an injury on top of that.
I’m talking about the Bucks from the past two regular seasons that played at a 60-plus win pace with the best defense in the league. The team that piles up easy regular season wins without even breaking a sweat against bad NBA teams.
Sorry, but this has blowout written all over it, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in sweating out my double-digit cover on Christmas. I expect the Bucks to dominate for as long as the game is in question, so I’ll grab the Bucks at the most profitable first half line available, get in, get out, and get my money.
Jrue Holiday will make Curry’s life miserable, and Antetokounmpo will be waiting in the rare moments Curry gets free. By the way, who is defending the reigning MVP on this team? Wiggins? Kelly Oubre? Eric Paschall? Please. Those dudes can’t guard Khris Middleton, let alone the Greek Freak.
I jumped on this game line at -7.5 a few days ago, but now that it has risen, I’ll just play the first half and get out. That should be more than enough of a sample for The Cream to rise to the top, even if Curry has a Christmas treat for a few minutes.
The Bucks are far better and should take care of business quickly.
Mavericks vs. Lakers
Joe Dellera: The Lakers and Mavericks are each seeking to secure their first win of the season on Christmas day. However, the total is where I see value in this marquee matchup.
Christmas Day unders generally hit at a high rate, 41-24-1 (63.1%) since 2005 according to Bet Labs. And when the total decreases, it’s even more profitable going 18-5-1 (78.3%). Neither of these teams plays particularly fast, with an average Pace between them of 100.5 last season.
The highest total these two teams saw last season was 243 points with an average total points scored in their four contests of 222.25. The under was 2-2 in their matchups with a 0.25 margin to the over (meaning there was an average of 0.25 points scored more than expected based on the average total of 222).
Here, the total opened at 230 and has since been bet down to 227.5.
In the early season (within both team’s first five games), when the total decreases the under is 267-215-8 (55.4%), which is an A- Graded system per Bet Labs. I’ll back the under with confidence here.