NBA Odds for Christmas Day: Spreads, Totals for All 5 Sunday Games
Omar Rawlings/Getty Images. Pictured: “NBA on Christmas Day” message on display at TD Garden in 2020.
The NBA Christmas Day slate will tip-off in roughly 24 hours with wall-to-wall basketball from Noon ET until Midnight. For NBA bettors, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
The slate opens with a battle between the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden and ends with a potentially high-scoring matchup between the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena.
Check out the NBA odds for Christmas Day, with spreads and totals for all five Sunday games.
NBA Odds for Christmas Day
76ers vs. Knicks Odds
|Moneyline||-122 / +104|
|Time||Sunday, 12 p.m. ET|
The New York Knicks are short home underdogs against the Philadelphia 76ers on Christmas Day at Madison Square Garden. Both of these teams enter this matchup with momentum as they are two of the hottest teams in the NBA.
At the time of writing on Dec. 23 before their matchup with the Clippers, the 76ers have won six straight games as Joel Embiid has recorded a double-double in five of these six wins. Embiid leads the NBA in scoring average (32.5 points per game) and is the anchor of the NBA’s third-best defense (with a 109.1 Defensive Rating, per Cleaning The Glass).
While the 76ers offense ranks 16th this season with a 112.8 Offensive Rating, they are seventh in Offensive Rating over the last two weeks (117.4) with Embiid, James Harden, Tobias Harris and De’Anthony Melton leading the way while Tyrese Maxey has been injured.
The Knicks have surged recently after inserting Quentin Grimes, who had been playing sparingly, into the starting lineup just over a month ago and has become one of the team’s most impactful players. Grimes has been a lockdown perimeter whom coach Tom Thibodeau has put on the opposing team’s best perimeter player. He is scoring just under 13 points per game while shooting nearly 45% on 3s this month.
The Knicks, led by free agent acquisition Jalen Brunson and a more efficient Julius Randle, rank among the top 11 most efficient offenses and defenses in the NBA. They recently had their eight-game win streak snapped on Wednesday but are looking for a statement win against MVP candidate Embiid and the 76ers.
Lakers vs. Mavericks Odds
|Moneyline||+245 / -300|
|Time||Sunday, 2:30 p.m. ET|
The Mavericks reached the Western Conference Finals last season after upsetting the Suns in the second round, but after losing Jalen Brunson as a free agent, they have taken a step back despite Luka Doncic playing like an MVP.
The Mavericks are eighth in Offensive Rating (115.6) and 14th in Defensive Rating (113.1) so far this season as they have been slightly better on offense and slightly worse on defense compared to last year. They enter Friday’s NBA action at .500 with a 16-16 record in ninth place in the Western Conference.
The Lakers have been one of the biggest disappointments of the season as they have the third-worst record in the West. LeBron James is doing his best, but the soon-to-be 38-year-old is putting up the fewest Points per 100 Shots (114.3) since his 2008 season. The Lakers rank outside the top 20 in the league in both Offensive and Defensive Efficiency as it’s hard to pinpoint any strengths on the roster outside of James and Anthony Davis.
Speaking of Davis, he was on a heater to begin the month before suffering a foot injury that will sideline him indefinitely. Russell Westbrook is having the least efficient scoring season of his career and is part of the lack of shooting surrounding James and Davis. The Lakers take the second-fewest 3s in the NBA (30.4% of shots) and are shooting them at the fifth-lowest percentage in the league (33.4%).
Bucks vs. Celtics Odds
|Moneyline||+154 / -184|
|Time||Sunday, 5 p.m. ET|
The Boston Celtics are home favorites on Christmas day against the Milwaukee Bucks in a matchup between the two teams with the best records in the NBA. These teams are mostly healthy, but it will be worth monitoring the statuses of Khris Middleton for the Bucks and Robert Williams III for the Celtics.
The Celtics offense has been Jekyll and Hyde so far this season. Up until two weeks ago, they had an historically efficient offense as they led the league with a 121.7 Offensive Rating and had a 21-5 record. Since then, they have the worst Offensive Rating in the NBA (103.0) and have gone 1-5 over this span entering play on Friday, including two consecutive home losses to the Orlando Magic.
The Bucks had a top-seven offense each of the last four seasons, but their offense has started this season slowly as they rank 15th in Offensive Efficiency (113.0). Their defense, anchored by MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and Defensive Player of the Year favorite Brook Lopez, ranks second in Defensive Efficiency (108.8) and has allowed the lowest Effective Field Goal percentage in the league.
|Moneyline||-194 / +162|
|Time||Sunday, 8 p.m. ET|
This is the first matchup between these two teams since the Warriors eliminated the Grizzlies in the second round of last season’s playoffs in six games. While Ja Morant wasn’t available for the last few games of that series due to injury, it is Stephen Curry who will miss this matchup with a shoulder injury.
The Grizzlies have been rock solid with Morant, Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. leading the way for a team that ranks among the top 10 in both Offensive (115.1 – 10th) and Defensive Efficiency (109.4 – fifth). The Grizzlies entered play on Friday tied for the best record in the Western Conference at 19-11.
The Warriors have ranked among the 10 most efficient defenses for eight of the last nine seasons, but they currently sit at 21st in Defensive Rating (114.4) as they have struggled to get stops, and consequently, have struggled to win on the road.
In addition to Curry, Andrew Wiggins has been dealing with a groin injury, and his status is worth monitoring for this matchup. The Warriors are surprisingly 15-18 on the season as they sit in 11th place in the Western Conference.
Suns vs. Nuggets Odds
|Moneyline||+148 / -176|
|Time||Sunday, 10:30 p.m. ET|
The Denver Nuggets are short home favorites on Christmas evening against the Phoenix Suns. Both the Nuggets and Suns have started the season strong despite having some of their best players miss time with injuries as they each sit within striking distance of the top overall record in the Western Conference.
Two-time defending MVP Nikola Jokic has been incredible once again this season for the Nuggets as he currently has the fourth-shortest odds to win MVP again.
As a result, the Nuggets rank second in the NBA in Offensive Rating (117.3) entering play on Dec. 23 as they are on track to finish in the top 10 in Offensive Rating for the seventh straight season. However, their defense has struggled as they are 25th in Defensive Rating (115.5).
The Suns have remained steady despite the way they were embarrassed to end the playoffs at home and distractions off the court with ownership. Nonetheless, Devin Booker has led this team near the top of the West as they have the third-most efficient offense in the NBA (117.1).
While the Suns aren’t a top-five defense like they were last season, they rank a respectable 13th in Defensive Rating at 113.1 with Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton leading them on that end.