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NBA betting roundtable for Christmas Day

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Christmas Day is the unofficial second start of the NBA season and our betting experts have their holiday best bets.

Philadelphia 76ers (-2, 217.5) at Recent York Knicks
12 p.m ET, Madison Square Garden, Recent York

The Knicks recently won eight straight games and covered in all of them! How much do you factor that in when this game, and which team do you wish to cover?

Eric Moody: That trend is significant. The Knicks are a balanced team rating in the highest 10 in offensive and defensive rating. This team has greatly benefited from Jalen Brunson‘s offseason addition, and that is visible on the court and in Recent York’s record. Many criticized the signing, but it surely has turned out to be the most effective of the offseason. It could be a vacation gift that legitimizes the Knicks amongst NBA fans in the event that they beat the 76ers. The Knicks will profit from Philadelphia’s poor rebounding. Recent York will play well enough to maintain this game close or win outright. At home, the 76ers are 12-5-1 against the spread, unlike on the road, where they’re 5-7. My advice is to back the Knicks.

Erin Dolan: Trends are essential, but I’m more concerned in regards to the Sixers’ road woes on this matchup. Philadelphia is 5-7 straight up on the road in comparison with 14-5 at home. Their offensive rating doesn’t take an enormous hit, but their defensive rating goes from 106 at home compare to 112 on the road. The Knicks beat the Sixers in Philly 106-104 earlier this season. James Harden and Joel Embiid were sidelined while Tyrese Maxey dropped 31 points. I’m not factoring within the last matchup, but as an alternative the Sixers’ road woes. I’d take the points with the Knicks.

Los Angeles Lakers at Dallas Mavericks (-8.5, 229.5)
2:30 p.m ET, American Airlines Center, Dallas

The Lakers and Mavericks are two of the worst teams within the league at covering. Lakers 12-19 ATS and Mavericks 11-19 ATS entering Friday. Does the Lakers’ lack of Anthony Davis swing things toward the home-team Mavs covering on this one for you?

Moody: Taking a have a look at these rosters, it is clear that the Mavericks have the advantage over the Lakers, but I doubt Dallas will win by greater than eight points. Davis’ loss can’t be overstated. Per game, he leads the team in points, rebounds, blocks and steals. The Lakers haven’t been a powerful team offensively this season. Los Angeles ranks twenty first in points scored per 100 possessions. LeBron James and Luka Doncic should make this a high-scoring affair. The over is 6-1-1 within the Mavericks’ past eight appearances on Christmas Day. On Christmas Day, James averages 26.4 points in 16 games, and in 2021 he scored 39 against the Nets. On the national stage, especially with Davis out, James will likely be tasked with the majority of the offensive burden. He can handle it. The Lakers are 10-10 against the spread over their last 20 games. My advice is to back Los Angeles. The Lakers should keep this game close.

Dolan: It isn’t my favorite play on the slate but Dallas laying eight points seem too high on this matchup. The Mavs are the second-worst cover team within the league behind the Miami Heat. Dallas is 4-5-1 ATS in its past 10 games at home. Dallas also ranks twenty ninth in pace at home, while the Lakers rank 1st in pace on the road. Davis is a large hit to this Lakers team, but I’d must take the points with the Lakers.

Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics (-4.5, 224.5)
5 p.m ET, TD Garden, Boston

Do you expect any player(s) on this matchup of Eastern Conference powers to exceed their season averages? In search of a few of your favorite props here.

Moody: Giannis Antetokounmpo over 4.5 assists. With time, Antetokounmpo has developed into a superb facilitator and passer. While defenses sell out to contain Antetokounmpo, I enjoy watching him make the proper read and find an open teammate when he drives to the rim. Despite a slow start, the Celtics currently rank sixth in points allowed per 100 possessions. It can take a team effort for the Bucks to defeat the Celtics. Antetokounmpo has averaged 5.6 assists per game within the regular season and playoffs against the Celtics since 2018-2019.

Memphis Grizzlies (-4.5, 229) at Golden State Warriors
8 p.m ET, Chase Center, San Francisco

Given the Warriors’ defensive troubles of late — they allowed Brooklyn to attain franchise-high 91 points in the primary half on Wednesday — do you think that the over is a powerful play on this one? It’s value noting, too, that the Warriors lead the league in hitting the over (62.5% of time) but do not have Stephen Curry available on this one.

Moody: I do imagine the over is a powerful play on this game. The Grizzlies rank tenth in points scored per 100 possessions without having their starting five available this season. Its offense can be bolstered by Desmond Bane‘s return. On this game with a national audience watching after being defeated by Golden State in last yr’s postseason, the Grizzlies will need to run up the rating against a shorthanded Warriors team. At home, Golden State averages 120.2 points per game while allowing 117.9. A high-scoring game is probably going.

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