Christmas Day NBA Betting Odds, Notes, & Predictions

Santa is bringing sports bettors plenty of action on Christmas Day, including five NBA games featuring some of the league’s biggest stars and best teams.

Of course, we hope there are a few wins delivered throughout the day, but even if not, there are plenty of holly jolly promos to take advantage of at online sportsbooks. Before we take a peek at the odds and Christmas Day betting notes, here are two promos you don’t want to miss.

Merry Christmas, indeed!

Christmas Day NBA Betting Odds

New Orleans Pelicans at Miami Heat

  • Time: 12 PM ET
  • How To Watch: ESPN

Christmas Day tips off with Zion Williamson versus Jimmy Butler. Not a bad way to begin, right?

The Pelicans started the 2020-21 season as 4-point underdogs but came away with an impressive 14-point win over the Raptors on the same night that the Heat would lose by six to the Magic. Williamson played 30 minutes and was fifth on his team with 15 points. In front of him were Lonzo Ball (16), J.J. Redick (23), Brandon Ingram (24), and Eric Bledsoe (18), as the Pelicans shot a combined 45.2% (19-of-42) from the arc and 52% (42-of-80) from the field. One area where the Pelicans weren’t so great was on the free-throw line, making only 10-of-20 attempts. In that game, the Pelicans were 4-point underdogs.

The line against the Heat will be similar. Using our “NBA odds”: comparison tool on Christmas Eve, you can see the Heat are 4.5-point favorites at few sportsbooks but only -3.5 at BetMGM and PointsBet. Obviously, bet at the sportsbooks with the best line for whatever side you prefer.

As of Thursday night, 57% of money is behind the Pelicans, and 69% is on the Over.

Personally, I lean towards the Heat in this one. Bam Adebayo will be a physical force down low, capable of slowing down Zion. Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler will matchup with Brandon Ingram. I don’t expect the Pelicans to shoot another absurd eFG% of 64.4%. Hopefully their loss to the Magic was just an opening night hiccup and not part of an NBA Finals hangover — remember, it wasn’t that long ago that the Heat were battling with the Lakers inside the NBA bubble.

Prediction: Heat -3.5 (BetMGM)

Golden State Warriors at Milwaukee Bucks

  • Time: 2:30 PM ET
  • How To Watch: ABC

Next up, the Steph versus Giannis. The line opened Bucks -7.5 but bettors are staying far away from the Warriors after an embarrassing loss to start the season. The Bucks didn’t win, either, but they would have had a chance to beat the Celtics in overtime if Giannis had made his second of two free throws in the final seconds of the game. Now today’s line is double-digits, with 89% of money on the Bucks.

I can’t trust a team with Andrew Wiggins shooting the second-most shots on their roster. As we learned on opening night, that’s a recipe for disaster. However, this spread has moved too much for my liking.

The Warriors obviously appear to have offensive problems, and the Bucks played at one of the slowest paces on Tuesday night, which is why I like betting Under the highest point total of the day.

Prediction: Under 232 Points

Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics

  • Time: 5 PM ET
  • How To Watch: ABC

Both of these teams exceeded expectations to begin the season. The Nets blew out the Warriors and the Celtics upset the Bucks. One interesting note is how deep Brooklyn went into their rotation, as 15 different Nets players touched the court against Golden State.

In their first game together, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant scored 26 and 22 points, respectively. Going against Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown will be a totally different test than they saw against Golden State, but the Irving-Durant duo might be the best offensive one-two punch in the league so long as Durant is fully healthy.

After seeing how the Nets played in their first game under Nash and Mike D’Antoni, plus the fact that the Celtics scored 122 points against Milwaukee, my lean is Over 226.5 points.

Prediction: Over 226.5 Points

Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers

  • Time: 8 PM ET
  • How To Watch: ABC

Los Angeles Clippers at Denver Nuggets

  • Time: 10:30 PM ET
  • How To Watch: ESPN

Image Credit: Imagn

About the Author

  • Matt Schmitto (schmitto)

  • Matt Schmitto is the sports betting editor for RotoGrinders. He grew up in Texas, graduating from Texas Tech University. After a short stint in law school, Schmitto joined RotoGrinders as a staff writer in 2019 and is a contributor to Sports Handle and other US Bets network of sites.


  • samthomas86rg

    Come on, guys. People pay for this stuff, the least you can do is a little bit of editing. The Nets did not blow out the Nets and the Celtics did not beat the defending Eastern Conference champions.

  • kevoshea810

    People don’t pay for this article… if you don’t like it don’t read it. Merry Christmas you filthy animal…

  • schmitto

    • 312

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    This is a free article, but you’re right, a few obvious typos/mishaps there. I blame the egg nog. Merry Christmas!

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