Ah, August. The time to enjoy the tail-end of the summer, watch some baseball, prepare for the NFL season and, most importantly, dissect odds for Christmas Day NBA games.
Perhaps that’s not the MOST important thing, but we’re going to do it anyways. The DraftKings Sportsbook has the opening lines for each matchup, let’s get in the holiday spirit:
NBA Christmas Day Lineup Moneylines and Spreads– Celtics: +123, +3 Point Spread
– Raptors: -143
– Rockets: -105, +1 Point Spread
– Warriors: -113
– Lakers: -105, +1 Point Spread
– Clippers: -113
– Bucks: +123, +3 Point Spread
– 76ers: -143
– Pelicans: +300, +8.5 Point Spread
– Nuggets: -375
Note: All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
Before we get into the matchups, let’s point out the obvious. Christmas Day will be spent without a New York team. The Nets haven’t made the cut since 2013, but the Knicks are typically a staple on Dec. 25. New York has played 53 times on Christmas Day, which is the most of any team. Brooklyn will likely be added back into the fold next season when Kevin Durant comes back from injury.
Of the five games on the agenda, three are Western Conference matchups. The Warriors (without Durant) and the Rockets (without Chris Paul) will take the stage, giving us a rematch of the Western Conference semifinal with some new faces. For the first time since 2016, the Clippers and Lakers will square off in the battle for L.A. The Clippers lost that meeting, and since then, the Lakers have racked up the most Christmas Day wins of any team with 23. And finally, Zion Williamson and the Pelicans will be facing an uphill battle against the Nuggets, at least as it stands right now. This will mark the third Christmas Day appearance for New Orleans, and the sixth for Denver, with only one win between the two.
Speaking of teams lacking in Christmas Day experience, let’s look at the Eastern Conference matchups. The Raptors have earned their second-ever appearance, aiming to bounce back from a 2001 loss to the Knicks. Okay, maybe winning the NBA Finals is better than a regular-season game, but who wants to be a loser on Christmas? Toronto will be going up against Boston, and both teams will be without their respective superstars from last season (Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving). And last, but definitely not least, we have the Bucks vs. 76ers. The Bucks are the favorites to top the Eastern Conference, but the Sixers have a fully loaded lineup that can compete against anyone. Don’t be surprised if these two teams put their emotions on display.
The NBA on Christmas Day is always filled with exciting games, and this season should be even more so, considering all of the superstar roster changes. These games are basically right around the corner, don’t let the calendar tell you any differently.
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