Christmas Day NBA Odds: Bettors On Lakers, Vs. Nets

Los Angeles Lakers stars Russell Westbrook, left, and LeBron James during an October 2021 game.
Image Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Christmas Day NBA odds are as much a tradition as Santa Claus and egg nog. Per usual, there are five stocking stuffers on the Saturday NBA betting board.

The best matchup: Golden State Warriors vs Phoenix Suns. The ratings matchup: Brooklyn Nets vs Los Angeles Lakers. But COVID is putting a damper on that, with no Kevin Durant for the Nets, among others.

TwinSpires Sportsbook provided insights on opening/current lines and action for a few all five matchups in the Christmas Day NBA odds market. Check back throughout the day for action updates.

NBA Christmas Day Odds And Betting Action

Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Lakers

Dec 16, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) drives to the basket asPhiladelphia 76ers forward Danny Green (14) defends during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Image Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE 5:30 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Since Friday morning, Los Angeles has gone from a 1-point favorite to a 1-point underdog and is now -2 at WynnBet. Ticket count and money are running 2/1-plus on the Lakers. The total rose from 224 to 226 Friday morning, but is down to 223.5 about 2.5 hours before tipoff. The Under is landing 71% of tickets/75% of money. And a reminder: Nets star Kevin Durant is out due to COVID protocols.

Previous Nets vs Lakers Odds Updates

UPDATE 2 A.M. ET SATURDAY: The news here isn’t who’s playing, but who’s not, due to Brooklyn’s COVID situation. NBA leading scorer Kevin Durant (29.7 ppg) is out, as is Kyrie Irving, who might’ve made his season debut if not for entering COVID protocols. LaMarcus Aldridge will also sit, along with a few others for the shorthanded Nets. On the plus side, James Harden cleared protocols Friday.

Brooklyn (21-9 SU, 13-17 ATS) has the best record in the Eastern Conference, but its last three games were postponed. On Dec. 18, the Nets lost to lowly Orlando 100-93 as 5-point home favorites.

Los Angeles lost some luster for this 8 p.m. ET tipoff, too. Anthony Davis suffered a knee injury Dec. 17 and could miss a month. The Lakers dropped their last four games (1-3 ATS) to fall below .500 at 16-17 SU, and they’re an NBA-worst 12-21 ATS. Thursday night, L.A. was a 1.5-point home favorite against San Antonio and got boat-raced 138-110.

TwinSpires opened this matchup at Nets -1, then flipped to Lakers -1.5 on Friday’s Durant news. The Nets are taking 53% of tickets and the Lakers 52% of money.

“Liability is right down the middle. No real need as of right now,” Lucas said.

The total toggled between 226 and 225.5 a couple of times and is currently at 225.5. The Under is drawing 59% of tickets and 58% of dollars.

Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz

Dec 23, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels (3) and forward Jake Layman (10) in the third quarter at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Image Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE 5:45 P.M. ET SATURDAY: A few hours before tipoff, Utah is up to -13 at WynnBet, after posting at -11.5 Friday morning. The Jazz are collecting 72% of spread bets and 79% of spread cash. The total dipped from 215.5 to 214, with 62% of bets on the Over/67% of money on the Under.

Previous Mavericks vs Jazz Odds Updates

UPDATE 2 A.M. ET SATURDAY: Utah (22-9 SU, 16-15 ATS) is on a 10-2 SU stretch, cashing in six of the first eight games, but failing to cover in the last four. Thursday night, the Jazz were hefty 15.5-point home faves against Minnesota and won 128-116.

Dallas (15-16 SU, 14-17 ATS) lost three of its last four outings (2-2 ATS). On Thursday, the Mavs lost 102-95 as 3.5-point home pups to Milwaukee, which didn’t have Giannis Antetokounmpo. But Dallas didn’t have Luka Doncic, and in fact, it appears Doncic won’t play tonight for the Mavs, either.

Utah opened and is currently -12.5 for the 10:30 p.m. ET nightcap in TwinSpires’ Christmas Day NBA odds market. The Jazz are collecting 70% of spread tickets and 56% of spread dollars.

“Not a lot of attention on this one yet, but I expect to see handle ramp up once we get through the early games,” Lucas said.

The total was steady at 214, with 62% of tickets on the Over/55% of money on the Under.

Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul dribbles the ball up court against the Atlanta Hawks
Image Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE 2 A.M. ET SATURDAY: These two teams aren’t only at the top of the Western Conference, but the top of the entire NBA. Phoenix, which lost to Milwaukee in the NBA Finals last season, 26-5 SU (17-14 ATS). The Suns enter this 5 p.m. ET clash on a 5-0 SU/4-1 ATS surge. Thursday night, Phoenix topped Oklahoma City 113-101, but fell short of cashing as a 15-point home chalk.

At 26-6 SU, Golden State is literally right behind Phoenix, but the Warriors have a more stout ATS mark, at 20-10-2. Steph Curry and Co. are 5-1 SU in their last six (3-2-1 ATS), including Thursday’s 113-104 home win over Oklahoma City laying 5.5 points.

Phoenix opened -6 and nudged to -6.5 late Friday night at TwinSpires. However, ticket count and money are in the 2/1 range on Golden State.

“The Warriors are a very trendy ‘dog. We’ll need the Suns for a sizable amount,” TwinSpires trading analyst Zachary Lucas said.

The total is unchanged at 215.5, with 60% of tickets on the Over/56% of money on the Under.

Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks

Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks stands on the court during the first quarter of a NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on October 30, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Image Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

UPDATE 11:45 A.M. SATURDAY: Months ago, when the Christmas Day matchups were first revealed, PointsBet USA made New York a 1.5-point favorite. When the line reposted early Friday, New York was -3.5, and the Knicks stretched to -7 before dialing back to -6 this morning. Atlanta star Trae Young being out due to COVID protocols certainly influenced the latter numbers.

Atlanta is taking 55% of spread tickets, and New York is drawing 74% of spread money. The total reopened Friday at 215.5 and plunged to 206.5, with 55% of bets on the Over/62% of money on the Under.

Previous Hawks vs Knicks Odds Updates

UPDATE 2 A.M. ET SATURDAY: It’s a battle of sub-.500 teams to start the day in the NBA, in a noon ET tipoff.

Atlanta (15-16 SU, 13-18 ATS) knocked off Philadelphia 98-96 catching 11 points on the road Thursday. That halted a 1-4 SU and ATS skid. New York (14-18 SU, 13-19 ATS) lost to Washington 124-117 as a 3-point home fave Thursday. The Knicks are 2-6 SU and ATS in their last eight outings.

New York nudged from -6.5 to -7 Friday on TwinSpires’ Christmas Day NBA odds board. The Knicks are attracting 72% of spread tickets/76% of spread cash.

“The public is all over the Knicks. They’re the biggest liability of the day, by a wide margin,” Lucas said.

The total moved from 210 to 209.5 and back to 210, with 57% of tickets/54% of money on the Under.

Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks forward #34 Giannis Antetonkoumpo brings the ball up the court in a 2020 home game.
Image Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE 12:30 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Back in August, when DraftKings first posted the Christmas Day NBA odds, Milwaukee -6 and quickly went to -6.5. When the game reopened late Thursday night, the Bucks were -3 and with Giannis Antetokounmpo in COVID protocols. On Friday, the Greek Freak was cleared, and the line shot to -7, where it sits now. Milwaukee is taking a modest majority 57% of tickets, but 74% of cash on the spread.

With both teams impacted by COVID, the total reopened at 219.5, well off the hefty 232.5 back in August. The new total got to 222 Friday and is now 220.5, with 60% of bets/64% of money on the Under.

Previous Celtics vs Bucks Odds Updates

UPDATE 2 A.M. ET SATURDAY: Defending NBA champion Milwaukee (21-13 SU, 15-19 ATS) put a 1-3 SU and ATS hiccup behind it by winning its last two games. On Thursday at Dallas, the Bucks notched a 102-95 victory giving 3.5 points.

Middling Boston (16-16 SU, 17-14-1 ATS) enters this 2:30 p.m. ET start off a 111-101 win at Cleveland as a 6.5-point chalk. The Celtics have several players in COVID protocols, and Marcus Smart (hip) is questionable.

Milwaukee opened -4 at TwinSpires and is up to -7. That move is due in no small part due to Giannis Antetokounmpo clearing COVID protocols Friday, along with the Celtics’ COVID issues. Boston is taking 55% of spread tickets, while Milwaukee is seeing 59% of spread money.

“Good two-way action. We saw some sharp money come in on the Bucks,” Lucas said.

The total moved from 220 to 221 late Friday night. Updated splits weren’t available.