Bet on NBA Christmas Day Games Online

Point spreads, moneylines & totals for NBA Xmas Day

Christmas Day games in the National Basketball Association (NBA) have been an annual tradition since the league’s second season in 1947-48.

There are five NBA games played on Christmas Day. Unlike the NFL approach on Thanksgiving, with home team anchor hosts (i.e. Detroit and Dallas), the NBA sets the Christmas day matchups prior to the start of each season and strives to feature the teams and players that draw the most interest.

The 2020 schedule is no exception, with the who’s who of the NBA here and now—Zion, LeBron, Giannis, Steph, AD, KD, Kyrie, Kawhi, PG13 and Luka—all getting seats at the table.

Of most relevance to PA bettors, of course, is the Philadelphia Sixers, but they will sadly sit out this season’s Xmas day lineup. Still, if you can get over that small disappointment, the fact we’re even getting Xmas day games at all is a small Christmas miracle.

Here’s how to bet on NBA Christmas Day games in PA plus some expert advice on what to look for.

2020 NBA Christmas Day schedule

  • 12 pm ET: Pelicans at Heat
  • 2 pm ET: Warriors at Bucks
  • 5 pm ET: Nets at Celtics
  • 8 pm ET: Mavs at Lakers
  • 10:30 pm ET: Clippers at Nuggets

While the Warriors/Bucks match-up has lost a little star power with the devastating achilles injury to Klay Thompson, a look at how the re-tooled Warriors look after a long layoff is intriguing.

Now that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant will suit up together for Brooklyn, on paper they’re an Eastern Conference contender; we’ll see if it holds up versus one of last year’s finalists, the Celtics.

Luka vs. LeBron could be a preview of this year’s Western Conference finals, but so could the Clippers-Nuggets nightcap. Few teams made the leap like the Nuggets did last year and another year of seasoning for Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic could put them over the top.

Fingers are crossed, though, that everyone on every roster is healthy and on the court for what is sure to be another unprecedented season for the NBA.

NBA Christmas Day lines & odds

Game #1: Pelicans-Heat

The current best up-to-the-minute game lines set by PA online sportsbooks are listed below. Click on any odds to jump right to the sportsbook, claim your bonus and lock in your bet at the listed odds.

Pelicans-Heat Spread, Moneyline, Totals

Time: 12 p.m.
Arena: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

Christmas Day records: Miami 10-2; New Orleans 1-2
Last appearance on Christmas Day: Pelicans (2019, W vs Denver) Heat (2015, W vs Pelicans)

News and notes

  • The last time the Heat played on Christmas was in 2015, the year after LeBron left for Cleveland
  • The Heat also played the Pelicans that year in the Noon slot and won the game 94-88, led by Chris Bosh’s 30 points. The Pelicans were led by Anthony Davis with 29 points.
  • The Heat were the Eastern Conference representatives in the NBA Finals last year.

Game #2: Warriors-Bucks

Current up-to-the-minute game lines set by PA online sportsbooks are listed below. Click on any odds to jump right to the sportsbook, claim your bonus and lock in your bet at the listed odds.

Warriors-Bucks Spread, Moneyline, Totals

Time: 2:30 p.m.
Arena: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee

Christmas Day records: Milwaukee 3-3 Warriors 13-16
Last appearance on Christmas Day: Milwaukee (2019, L at Philadelphia) Warriors (2019, W vs. Houston)

News and notes

  • This will be the eighth consecutive year that the Warriors will play on Christmas.
  • The Warriors shocked the favored Rockets last year 116-104 with a lineup led by D’Angelo Russell, Damion Lee and Glenn Robinson III
  • The Bucks were routed by the 76ers last year with Giannis held to just 18 points on 8-of-27 shooting.

Game #3: Nets-Celtics

The current best up-to-the-minute game lines set by PA online sportsbooks are listed below. Click on any odds to jump right to the sportsbook, claim your bonus and lock in your bet at the listed odds.

Nets-Celtics Spread, Moneyline, Totals

Time: 5 p.m.
Arena: TD Garden, Boston

Christmas Day Records: Nets 4-5; Celtics 15-18
Last Appearance on Christmas Day: Nets (2013, L vs Chicago) Celtics (2019, W vs Raptors)

News and notes

  • This will be the fifth consecutive year that the Celtics play on Christmas.
  • Jaylen Brown scorched the Raptors for 30 points last year and became the youngest Celtic ever to score 30 on Christmas Day
  • Durant and Kyrie played against each other in the Warriors-Cavs 2016 Christmas day game. The Cavs won 109-108. Kyrie had 25 points and the game winner with 3.4 seconds left on the clock. Durant had 36.

Game #4: Mavericks-Lakers

The current best up-to-the-minute game lines set by PA online sportsbooks are listed below. Click on any odds to jump right to the sportsbook, claim your bonus and lock in your bet at the listed odds.

Mavericks-Lakers Spread, Moneyline, Totals

Time: 8 p.m.
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles

Christmas Day Records: Mavericks 2-1; Lakers 23-23
Last Appearance on Christmas Day: Mavericks (2011, L vs Miami) Lakers (2019, L vs. Clippers)

News and notes

  • This will be the 14th consecutive Christmas that LeBron James plays on, and the 15th in his career. He’s averaged 25 points per game on Christmas Day.
  • This will be the first time the Mavs play on Christmas since 2011, when they lost 105-94 to LeBron and the Heat
  • This is Luka Doncic’s first-ever appearance on Christmas Day

Game #5: Clippers-Nuggets

The current best up-to-the-minute game lines set by PA online sportsbooks are listed below. Click on any odds to jump right to the sportsbook, claim your bonus and lock in your bet at the listed odds.

Clippers-Nuggets Spread, Moneyline, Totals

Time: 10:30 p.m.
Arena: Ball Arena, Denver

Christmas Day records: Clippers 7-8; Nuggets 1-5
Last appearance on Christmas Day: Clippers (2019, W vs. Lakers) Nuggets (2019, L vs. Pelicans)

News and notes

  • This will be the Nuggets’ second consecutive Christmas Day game, although a loss last year to the Pelicans stretched their Christmas Day record out to 1-5.
  • The Nuggets came into last year’s matchup with the Pelicans on a 7-game win streak but were humbled by a 112-100 home loss to the Zion-less Pels. Jamal Murray, breakout star of the NBA playoffs last year, had just 8 points.
  • The Clippers drew first blood in the high-stakes battle of Los Angeles last year with a Christmas Day win vs. the Lakers, but the Lakers go the last laugh by winning the 2019-20 NBA Championship.

Best apps to bet NBA Christmas Day games

When it comes to betting NBA games, here are three sports betting apps to consider for your Christmas Day hardwood action:

draftkings sportsbook app1. DraftKings Sportsbook offers alternate spreads, alternate totals, and in-game wagers on NBA games. There are also game parlays (spread or moneyline with totals) team props (total points by home team, over/under total points by home team), and player props (over/under points, assists, 3-pointers, etc).

What makes DraftKings unique for the NBA is the vast number of futures wagers to consider from team futures (win totals, “yes/no” to make playoffs, win conference/championship) and player futures (MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of Year, and Most Improved Player).

2. FanDuel Sportsbook has a wide array of player, team and NBA game props as well as in game live betting. What makes FD unique is their “same game parlay” that allows you to combine point spreads, moneylines, half, and quarter winners with selected player props and totals into a single wager.

FanDuel also has several futures for consideration including division, conference and Championship winners as well as player futures for NBA MVP, 6th Man, and Defensive Player of the Year.

3. FOX Bet has alternate totals, spreads, and in game live betting. What makes FOX Bet unique is their “#CustomBet” feature that offers a series of player and team props that are unique to each specific NBA game.

Fox Bet also offers futures bets for conference finals and NBA finals. Note that you must opt-in to claim your risk-free bet!

3 NBA Christmas betting tips

1. Trust the home teams on Christmas Day

Over the last four seasons, home teams have the edge both straight-up and against the spread:

Home teams straight-up:12-8
Home Teams ATS: 12-8

2. The under has dominated

In the last four seasons, the game total has gone under in 13 of the 20 games.

3. Consider each team’s travel schedule leading to their Christmas Day games

So much of handicapping NBA games is to understand each team’s travel schedules. Christmas Day is no exception. While it’s clearly a short travel year with teams just starting their season, take into account who had to travel the furthest.

How to stream NBA Christmas Day games

Thankfully for NBA fans, all five Christmas Day games will have national coverage and there’s no overlap in the game schedule (all times are in Eastern Time):

12:00 p.m.: Pelicans at Heat (ESPN)
2:00 p.m.: Warriors at Bucks (ABC)
5 p.m.: Nets at Celtics (ABC)
8:00 p.m.: Mavs at Lakers (ABC, ESPN)
10:30 p.m.: Clippers at Nuggets (ESPN)

All these games will be available for streaming via the ESPN app and of course, will be shown at all nearby sportsbooks.

Brief history of NBA Christmas Day games

The NBA has played games on Christmas Day since 1947. Christmas Day is truly the NBA’s day to shine as they enjoy an exclusive position with no other NFL or NHL games scheduled, and, in 2019, there are no college football bowls games scheduled.

No wonder that, in recent years, the NBA has heavily marketed the Christmas games as the “unofficial” start of the NBA season:

The NBA has used Christmas also to market the individual team brands. From 2012-16, NBA and Adidas produced special uniforms for the Christmas games. All these uniforms feature a theme, such as monochromatic designs (“Big Color”) and chrome-treated logos

Since Nike took over the uniforms in 2017, there has been less emphasis on Christmas themes. Instead, NBA teams playing on that day wore either “City” or “Statement” alternate uniforms.

During the 2018–19 season, a few teams wore a fifth alternate known as “Earned” uniforms; these were given as a reward for making the 2018 NBA playoffs.

Here’s an NBA promo spot that promotes the games as well as the gear:

Several players have both played and coached on Christmas Day, most notably current Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who played with the Knicks, and Phil Jackson also a Knicks player and legendary Bulls/Lakers coach

Christmas Day memorable moments

Some great historical Christmas Day moments include Bernard King scoring 60 points for the New York Knicks in 1984 and Patrick Ewing leading the Knicks back from a 25-point deficit to defeat the Celtics in 1985.

As a result of a lockout in 2011, Christmas Day was also the NBA season opener. To celebrate the return of the games NBA and TNT produced this incredible promo spot, which is still worthwhile viewing almost eight years later.

NBA Christmas FAQ

How many games are played on the NBA Christmas Day schedule?

There are now 5 games on the schedule every year.

Who has the most points ever in a Christmas Day game?

The Knicks Bernard King scored 60 points in 1984.

Which NBA team has played the most Christmas Day games?

The Knicks have played 53 games (22-31) on Christmas Day.

Which NBA team has the most Christmas Day wins?

The Lakers have 23 Christmas day wins.

Which player has played in the most Christmas Day Games?

Kobe Bryant, 16

When did the NBA Christmas Day tradition start?

The first-ever NBA Christmas Day game was played back in 1947. The Providence Steamrollers played in New York agains the Knicks. The first nationally broadcast NBA Christmas Day game was in 1967 when ABC broadcast a Lakers-San Diego Rockets game.

Which NBA teams have never played on Christmas?

Every team has played at least once on Christmas Day. Teams with the fewest appearances:

  • Toronto: 0-2
  • Minnesota: 1-1
  • New Orleans: 1-2
  • Dallas 2-1

How does the NBA determine Christmas Day schedule?

The NBA sets the Christmas Day schedule before the start of the season and tries to focus on the best teams, matchups and feature as many of the league’s best players as possible. The size of the broadcast market is also relevant, obviously, as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are typically featured Christmas Day teams.

How can I get an NBA Christmas Day jersey?

The NBA store at NBA.com will carry all of the Christmas Day wearables every year.

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