NBA Christmas Day Betting Trends and Expert Picks

NBA Christmas Day Betting Trends and Expert Picks


Some NBA analysts and insiders would say the season doesn’t truly start until Christmas and what better way to ignore your family and make back some of the money you spent shopping than the annual tradition of Christmas Day NBA games.

This year’s slate has a plethora of betting angles, grudge matches and potential playoff previews. The main event for December 25 isn’t your children fighting over the box of chocolates but the Los Angeles Lakers vs the Los Angeles Clippers. Both teams are expected to go deep in the playoffs and are the first two betting options to win the NBA championship.

Kicking off the holiday will be the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors, followed by the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, then the Houston Rockets facing the star-less Golden State Warriors, then the Lakers-Clippers, and finally the nightcap of the New Orleans Pelicans vs the Denver Nuggets.

As we are in the spirit of giving here at Odds Shark, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of stats, trends and key info surrounding how these teams and their players perform on Christmas Day. As we get closer to December 25, I’ll also post my best bets for each game below in Betting Outlook.

Betting Outlook

Much like the home teams on Christmas Day, I’ll be in the comfort of my home, waking up in my bed and immediately furious that Santa Claus didn’t bring me a new iPad. OK, that last part is clearly exaggerated but there’s something to be said for being able to have your regular routine locked in and betting trends show that being the home team has a clear advantage.

Since Christmas Day games were introduced back in the 1993-94 season, home teams have come through for bettors at 52-33 SU (61.2 percent) with an ATS record of 47-38 (55.3 percent). While the road teams have started to catch up with that trend recently, what hasn’t changed is the penchant for low-scoring games.

Since the 1993-94 season, the O/U record in 85 games is 31-47-7 with the UNDER hitting 60.3 percent of the time. Isolating that just to the last three seasons, the O/U record is 5-8-2 in 15 games.

Check back on Monday, December 23, for my best bets for all five Christmas Day games.

Historical Betting Data For Christmas Day

Here is each team’s SU, ATS and O/U record on Christmas Day (dating back to the 1993-94 season):

NBA Christmas Day Records
TeamSU RecordATS RecordO/U Record
76ers1-2 (33.3%)1-2 (33.3%)1-2 (33.3%)
Celtics4-5 (44.4%)5-4 (55.6%)5-4 (55.6%)
Lakers8-13 (38.1%)12-9 (57.1%)6-13-2 (31.6%)
Warriors4-4 (50.0%)2-6 (25.0%)2-6 (25.0%)
Raptors0-1 (0.0%)0-1 (0.0%)1-0 (100.0%)
Nuggets1-3 (25.0%)1-3 (25.0%)3-1 (75.0%)
Pelicans0-2 (0.0%)0-2 (0.0%)0-2 (0.0%)
Rockets5-4 (55.6%)7-2 (77.8%)2-4-3 (33.3%)
Bucks1-0 (100.0%)1-0 (100.0%)0-1 (0.0%)
Clippers4-3 (57.1%)4-3 (57.1%)3-4 (42.9%)

Key Player Stats

LeBron James is the elder statesman when it comes to suiting up on Christmas Day as the King has taken the court 13 times on December 25 in his 16-year career. LeBron has career averages of 26 points, 6.7 assists and 7.6 rebounds per game in Christmas Day contests and his teams are 9-4 SU and 8-5 ATS.

Russell Westbrook is next on the list at nine games on December 25 and has balled out when on the national stage. Westbrook is averaging 23.4 points, 8.6 assists and 7.4 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder, his former team, were 6-3 SU and 7-2 ATS on Christmas Day.

Westbrook’s new Houston Rockets teammate James Harden has also been featured plenty during the holidays with seven Christmas Day games. He’s averaging 26.3 points per game to go with 6.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds and his teams are 6-1 SU and ATS in seven appearances.

Want to know how other key players fare during the holiday? See below:

NBA Christmas Day Player Stats
LeBron JamesAveraging 26 PTS, 6.7 AST, 7.6 REB in 13 Christmas Day games.
Jayson TatumAveraging 21.5 PTS, 0.5 AST, 6.5 REB in 2 Christmas Day games.
Anthony DavisAveraging 29 PTS, 4 AST, 15 rebounds in 1 Christmas Day game.
Jrue HolidayAveraging 9 PTS, 2 AST, 3 rebounds in 1 Christmas Day game.
Draymond GreenAveraging 10.7 PTS, 5.2 AST, 7.7 REB in 6 Christmas Day games.
Ben SimmonsAveraging 9.5 PTS, 5.5 AST, 11 REB in 2 Christmas Day games.
Joel EmbiidAveraging 29.5 PTS, 2.5 AST,16 REB in 2 Christmas Day games.
Al HorfordAveraging 10.3 PTS, 5.3 AST, 7.7 REB in 3 Christmas Day games.
Russell WestbrookAveraging 23.4 PTS, 8.6 AST, 7.4 REB in 9 Christmas Day games.
James HardenAveraging 26.3 PTS, 6.7 AST, 5.4 REB in 7 Christmas Day games.
Giannis AntetokounmpoAveraging 30 PTS, 3 AST,14 rebounds in 1 Christmas Day game.
Paul GeorgeAveraging 26.0 PTS, 3 AST, 9.5 REB in 2 Christmas Day games.
Nikola JokicN/A Hasn’t played on Christmas Day

Merry Christmas, everyone. Enjoy the hoops and good luck with your Bets!

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