NBA Picks & Parlay of the Weekend | December 23

Bryan Zarpentine pic
By:
Bryan Zarpentine
12/23/2023
NBA
NBA Picks and Parlay of the Weekend

With the entire league off on Sunday, the NBA is bringing it on Saturday with 13 games on the schedule. We looked at the schedule and came up with three picks that we think will hit. In fact, we’ve decided to go big or go home for the holidays by using those three picks to put together a parlay on BetMGM. Here are the three games we like.

Milwaukee Bucks vs New York Knicks Best Bet:

Knicks ML | +115 at BetMGM

Before these teams meet on Christmas Day, they are set to meet in a matinee on Saturday. While the Bucks are better on paper, they’ve been a little ordinary on the road, going just 5-5. They also have a losing record against the spread. That makes them a little vulnerable in this game, even on a six-game winning streak.

On the other side, the Knicks are brimming with confidence at the moment after beating the Lakers and Nets in consecutive games to close out their recent road trip. They’ve also gone 7-3 at home, so they will be eager to win at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks will also be the fresher team, having last played Wednesday in Brooklyn, whereas the Bucks had to travel after playing at home on Thursday night. It’s also possible the Bucks will want to save their best for Christmas Day on national TV, allowing the Knicks to pull off the surprise win on Saturday.

Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Clippers Best Bet:

Clippers ML | +100 at BetMGM

The Celtics are arguably the best team in the NBA, but the Clippers might be the hottest. Prior to Thursday’s loss in Oklahoma City, the Clippers had won nine straight games. Six of those nine wins came at home, where the Clippers are 11-3 overall and 8-6 against the spread. Now that James Harden has been fully integrated into the rest of the team, the Clippers we’ve seen over the last 10 games might be the real Clippers, making the early part of the season pointless. Even with Kawhi Leonard listed as a game-time decision, the Clippers have a chance to take down the Celtics at home.

Of course, the Celtics have won six of their last seven games, so they’re also among the hottest teams in the league. However, most of those wins came at home. Boston is just 1-4 in the team’s last five road games. The Celtics also need to worry about Jayson Tatum and Al Horford battling injuries and missing Wednesday’s game against the Kings. That will make the Celtics even more vulnerable to losing on the road against the red-hot Clippers.

Orlando Magic vs Indiana Pacers Best Bet:

Under 243.5 | -110 at BetMGM

Stop the presses because we’re taking the under in a game involving the Pacers. Yes, Indiana is 21-7 O/U on the season, combining a high-scoring team with a porous defense. However, the Pacers showed signs of fatigue in a 116-103 loss on Thursday and will be playing their sixth game in nine days on Saturday. Look for Indiana to have another subpar offensive showing and another relatively low-scoring game.

Keep in mind that the Magic will be more than willing to play at a slower pace. Four of Orlando’s last six games have stayed under the point total and none of those games have reached 240 total points, much less topped 243.5 points. In fact, Orlando’s last eight games would all fail to go over the point total for Saturday’s game, which is a trend worth following, even against the Pacers.

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