2016 NBA Christmas Day Preview

One of the NBA’s highly anticipated and annual traditions is Christmas Day basketball. Customarily, there are five games throughout the holiday, providing viewers with daylong coverage. That is the best Christmas present any basketball bettor can ask for other than, of course, one of this year’s Christmas Day jerseys.

Less than 48 hours before Christmas, BetOnline became the first sportsbook to post odds for the day’s slate of games. Below are the early odds at BetOnline.

Boston Celtics at New York Knicks (-1)
Golden State Warriors (-3) at Cleveland Cavaliers
Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs (-8)
Minnesota Timberwolves at Oklahoma City Thunder (-3.5)
Los Angeles Clippers (-5) at Los Angeles Lakers

By far the most exciting game of the day is Golden State at Cleveland, which is a rematch of the 2016 NBA Finals. The Warriors look to avenge their crushing defeat after they squandered a 3-1 series lead.

BetOnline gave the edge to Golden State, who opened as 3-point favorites. If Cleveland closes as an underdog, this would mark only the third time this season that the Cavs have closed as a ‘dog (both times they failed to cover the spread). However, bettors should note that LeBron James rested in those games. Keep in mind that BetOnline is a somewhat square book, so it’s important to look at a sharper books’ opening odds as well.

On Sunday afternoon, CRIS opened their Christmas Day lines:

Boston Celtics (-1.5) at New York Knicks
Golden State Warriors (-1.5) at Cleveland Cavaliers
Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs (-8.5)
Minnesota Timberwolves at Oklahoma City Thunder (-4.5)
Los Angeles Clippers (-6) at Los Angeles Lakers

CRIS was a bit higher on Boston, Cleveland, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and the Los Angeles Clippers. Right now the very early majority of tickets is on the road side in each game except Oklahoma City, and we’d expect support to continue on Boston and Golden State in the early games. Defending title champs have struggled ATS in these Christmas Day games and there are some other notable trends, especially on the total, that our friends at Bet Labs point out.

Bettors can track the latest odds, public betting trends, injuries and even futures by visiting our free NBA odds page.

Lastly, here are some prop bets listed at BetOnline for the Christmas Day matchups:

Westbrook triple-double: -115
Will LeBron get to 300 career Christmas Day points? (Needs 30) +175
Will Dwyane Wade get to 300 career Christmas Day points? (Needs 23) +200

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Andrew Fine

Andrew is a Sports Betting Specialist for Sports Insights. He can be reached at andrew@sportsinsights.com.

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