NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | December 25

Bryan Zarpentine pic
Bryan Zarpentine
NBA Best Bets 2023-2024

The NBA knows how to give fans a Christmas present. The league’s Christmas tradition continues on Monday with five back-to-back games on the schedule, including some huge matchups. With everyone at home watching, Christmas has become one of the biggest basketball betting days of the year. In honor of that, we picked out our three favorite bets from the NBA’s Christmas Day schedule.

Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers Best Bet:

Celtics -3 | -110 at FanDuel

With the Lakers reeling since winning the in-season tournament, it’s wise to back the Celtics as a slight road favorite. To be fair, the Lakers managed to knock off the Thunder on Saturday to end their losing streak. But they’ve still lost five of their last seven games and now have to face one of the best teams in the league on a big stage. While LeBron and company will be up for the game, that doesn’t guarantee success.

As for the Celtics, they’ve won their last two games during their current West Coast road trip. More importantly, they’ve defeated the Kings and Clippers in those games by wide margins, scoring over 140 points in each game. Going even further back, they’ve won 10 of their last 12 games and are 8-4 against the spread during that stretch. In other words, everything is trending in Boston’s favor while going against the Lakers heading into this game.

FanDuel Sportsbook
Celtics -3 | -110 at FanDuel

Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat Best Bet:

76ers -1.5 | -110 at BetMGM

This is another game with a small spread for a road favorite to cover. While Miami is a solid team, that works against them in this case because the betting line is so tight. The Heat is deservedly an underdog in this game and 0-3 against the spread as a home underdog this season. There is also no guarantee that Jimmy Butler will be available after missing the last two games. To be fair, Miami has won both games without him, but only a Heat team at full strength will have a chance to win this game.

This is because the 76ers have been close to unstoppable lately. They’ve won eight of their last nine games and are 7-2 against the spread in those games. Philly has actually covered four double-digit spreads in the past two weeks, so the spread for Monday’s game is nothing. Joel Embiid is playing better right now than when he won MVP last year. Even Bam Adebayo might not provide an answer for Miami, leading to another Philly victory.

BetMGM Sportsbook
76ers -1.5 | -110 at BetMGM

Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns Best Bet:

Mavericks +5 | -110 at BetRivers

For Phoenix, this is a bad time to be hosting a game on national TV. The Suns have lost four of their last five games with Bradley Beal once again on the sidelines. Recent struggles aside, Phoenix has the third-worst record against the spread in the NBA this season. That includes a 4-8 record against the spread as a home favorite. Given the current state of the team and a disappointing track record all season, it’s impossible to trust the Suns as a favorite on Christmas.

To be fair, the Mavs head to the desert on Christmas Day losing four of their last six games. They haven’t exactly been crushing it lately with several key players on the sidelines, including Kyrie Irving, who is a game-time decision on Monday. However, the Mavericks still have Luka Doncic, who is fresh off a triple-double and knows that it’ll be up to him to carry his team. With so many questions about the Suns, Doncic should be enough to at least keep the Mavericks close and beat the spread in this game.

Mavericks +5 | -110 at BetRivers

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