NBA on Christmas Day Betting Trends, Stats, Notes: Action Network Betting Primer
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: A man dressed as Santa Claus dunks during the game between the New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings in 2015.
The NBA is gifting its fans a loaded five-game slate on Christmas Day.
As always, there are trends for bettors to look for when betting Sunday's marquee matchups. We've got a number of Christmas Day trends along with matchup specific notes for Sunday.
Take a look at the top trends for the NBA on Christmas Day.
Christmas Day Unders
It's no secret (at least it shouldn't be) that unders are extremely profitable on Christmas. Since 2005, Christmas Day unders have +14.6% ROI.
Of course, you shouldn't blindly bet unders, and for good reason. Early games have been significantly more profitable to the under than later ones.
Full Game Unders by Tip-Off Time — Since 2005
Noon ET to 4 p.m. ET: 21-11 (65.6%, +$902, ROI 28.2%)
5 p.m. ET to 10:30 p.m. ET: 23-20-1 (53.5%, +204, ROI 4.6%)
The total in Sunday's Suns vs. Nuggets game is set at 230.5 as of Christmas Eve. If it closes at or above that number, it would be the second-highest over/under on Christmas Day in more than 45 years.
Highest Over/Under on Christmas — Since NBA-ABA Merger (1976)
233.5 — LAL/GSW (2018; 127-101)
230.5 — GSW/MIL (2020; 138-99)
229.5 — BKN/BOS (2020; 123-95)
229.5 — HOU/GSW (2019; 116-104)
Tired: Unders on Christmas. Wired: 2H Unders on Christmas.
Christmas Day second half unders are 49-25-2 (66.2%) since 2005-06. When fewer than 100 points combined are scored in the first half, the second half under is 21-6 (78%) in that span.
Looking for more of an edge? Games listed at 3 p.m. ET or later on Christmas are 34-13-2 to the second half under since 2005, too.
Here's one more stocking stuffer: First half overs are 12-3 in the past three seasons on Christmas Day.
Fade the Public on Christmas?
Public sides have generally struggled on Christmas: 31-42 ATS. Teams getting 70% of bets or more on Christmas are 4-5 ATS since 2005.
The biggest public side as of Christmas Eve? The Mavericks (-8) are getting 76% of betting tickets against the Lakers.
Biggest Public Sides on Christmas Day — Since 2005
77% — 2019 HOU -11.5 at GSW (Lost 116-104)
77% — 2019 DEN -9 vs. NO (Lost 112-100)
76% — 2011 LAC -4.5 at GSW (Won 105-86) »
74% — 2013 MIA -9.5 at LAL (Won 101-95)
74% — 2008 CLE -15.5 vs. WAS (Won 93-89)
73% — 2013 OKC -10.5 at NYK (Won 123-94) »
72% — 2016 OKC -4 vs. MIN (Won 112-100) »
70% — 2014 WAS -4.5 at NYK (Won 102-91) »
70% — 2009 DEN -2.5 at POR (Lost 107-96)
Note:You can find up to date NBA betting odds and percentages for every game on our Public Betting page.
Favorites, Underdogs and Streaks on Christmas
Favorites on Christmas Day since 2005 are exactly .500 — 38-38 ATS.
Biggest Favorites on Christmas since NBA-ABA Merger (1976)
-15.5: Cavaliers vs. WAS (2008; CLE 93-89)
-13.5: Jazz vs. DAL (2021; UTA 120-116)
-12.5: Clippers vs. LAL (2015; LAC 94-84)
Largest Underdogs to Win on Christmas — since 1990
2019: Warriors (+11.5) vs. HOU
2015: Bulls (+10) at OKC
2019: Pelicans (+9) at DEN
2018: Lakers (+9) at GSW
2013: Rockets (+8) at SAS
2003: Rockets (+8) at LAL
2015: Rockets (+7) vs. SAS
1992: Spurs (+7) at LAC
'Twas the Game Before Christmas
Teams coming off a loss entering Christmas Day are 30-25 ATS (54.5%, +$354, 6.4%). Favorites on Christmas Day coming off a loss? 16-9 ATS (64%, +$632, 25.5% ROI)
Philadelphia 76ers vs. New York Knicks
- Sixers are 18-12-1 ATS this season — 5-7 ATS on the road (sixth-worst in NBA)
- First game this season that starts before 6 p.m. ET — Sixers were 2-2 in early games last season (between Noon and 2 p.m. ET)
- Philly hasn't played on Christmas Day since 2019 — Since '05 the Sixers are 2-1 ATS on Christmas Day
- Knicks are 17-14-2 ATS this season — 6-9-2 ATS at home (fifth-worst in the NBA)
- Knicks are 0-2 in early games this season — both were blowout losses (10-point loss to OKC on Nov. 13 and 21-point loss to Dallas on Dec. 3)
- Knicks are 2-8 ATS on Christmas since 2005 — 2-7 ATS at MSG over that span
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks
- Lakers are 11-19-2 ATS this season — 5-11 ATS on the road (third-worst in the NBA)
- LeBron James teams on Christmas: 9-6 ATS since 2005 — Lakers: 2-2 ATS | Cavaliers: 4-3 ATS | Heat 3-1 ATS
- Mavericks are 12-20-1 ATS this season — 6-10-1 ATS at home (fourth-worst in the NBA)
- Mavericks are favored by 8 points on Christmas Day — 8-17-1 ATS as favorites this season and 4-15-1 when favored by more than 3 points
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
- Bucks are 17-14-1 ATS this season — 5-9-1 ATS on the road this season (tied for fourth-worst in NBA)
- Bucks are 2-6 ATS on the road, 0-3 ATS as underdogs vs. teams over .500
- Celtics are 18-14-1 ATS this season — 10-7 ATS at home, 4-6-1 ATS in December
- Since Jayson Tatum's rookie season, the Celtics are 14-3 ATS head-to-head vs. the Bucks in the regular season, their most-profitable matchup over that span
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors
- Grizzlies are 18-14-1 ATS this season, 4-11-1 ATS on the road (second-worst in the NBA)
- Grizzlies have never played on Christmas Day in their franchise's history
- Warriors are 14-19 ATS this season, 10-4 ATS this season at home
- In seven games without Stephen Curry this season, the Warriors are 3-4 ATS
Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets
- Suns are 17-16 ATS this season, 6-8 ATS on the road
- Suns lost by 25 points Friday to the Grizzlies; Suns are 3-1 SU, 0-4 ATS after a 20-point loss the past two seasons
- Nuggets are 14-17 ATS this season, 8-6 ATS at home
- The under is 10-4 in Nuggets home games this season