It’s one of the best weeks of the season in the NBA because the league’s signature day is Christmas, always the most-watched and most-wagered NBA day of the year. Some believe the league should push back the start of its regular season to Christmas. Here’s a look at two interesting matchups around the league. Check back for NBA betting odds.
Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – December 24th Edition
Steph Curry’s Sunday night: 42 pts, 6 reb and the game-winner 🔥 pic.twitter.com/zDdvwStRNp— ESPN (@espn) 24 de diciembre de 2018
LA Lakers at Golden State Warriors
- When: Tuesday, 8 PM ET (ABC/ESPN)
The NBA tries to feature its best matchups and most compelling storylines on Christmas. When Shaquille O’Neal left Los Angeles for Miami, for example, the Lakers played the Heat on Christmas. When LeBron James left Miami for Cleveland, the Cavaliers played the Heat on Dec. 25.
It’s the first time LeBron will face the Warriors as a member of the Lakers – of course, James’ Cleveland Cavaliers faced the Warriors in the past four NBA Finals, with Golden State winning three of them. LeBron’s Cavs also played Golden State the previous three Christmases, with the Dubs taking two of three. James has played every Dec. 25 since 2007.
The Lakers have been on Christmas every year since 1999, but usually at home. Only three of those games were on the road: 2005 and 2006 in Miami and 2014 in Chicago. In the last five years, the Lakers have won once on Christmas — against the Clippers in 2016.
Golden State has won the past seven games against the Lakers and 11 in a row at home, but, again, those Lakers teams didn’t have LeBron. Lakers Coach Luke Walton was an assistant coach for the Warriors for two seasons (2014-15 a1nd 2015-16) and helped guide the Warriors to a 39-4 record in Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr’s absence.
Last year, Draymond Green became the first Warriors player to record a triple-double on Christmas Day with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in a win vs. Cleveland (also had two steals and one block). He joined Russell Westbrook (2013), LeBron (2010), Billy Cunningham (1970), John Havlicek (1967) and Oscar Robertson (four times in the 1960’s) as the only players in NBA history to record a triple-double on Christmas Day.
Will the Lakers have big name Tyson Chandler and JaVale McGee for this one? Chandler missed Sunday’s game vs. Memphis with a back injury and McGee did with an illness. McGee spent three days in the hospital because of pneumonia before being discharged on Saturday and will not play against the Grizzlies on Sunday. McGee originally got sick on Dec. 13. He is eyeing a return on Christmas against the Warriors in Oakland, where he will be presented with his championship ring from last season.
Latest NBA Betting Trends
- LA Lakers is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
- LA Lakers is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 13 of LA Lakers’s last 18 games
- Golden State is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games at home
- Golden State is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Golden State’s last 12 games when playing LA Lakers
Boston Celtics at Houston Rockets
- When: Thursday, 8 PM ET (TNT)
This nearly was an NBA Finals matchup last year – Boston lost in seven games in the East Finals to Cleveland and Houston lost in seven games in the West Finals to Golden State.Houston is short-handed right now as star point guard Chris Paul injured his hamstring last Thursday. The team announced it was a Grade 2 strain and Paul will be re-evaluated in two weeks. He could miss a little more time, hamstrings are slow to heal and tricky because players think they are 100 percent and want back out but the muscle is not yet ready for explosive movements. The Rockets are 15-8 when James Harden and Paul play together this season and 2-7 when they don’t (1-2 without Harden; 1-5 without Paul).
Houston is 16-8 when Clint Capela, Harden and Paul play together this season after going 42-3 in 2017-18 (all 3 losses coming by six or fewer points). The Rockets outscored opponents by an average of 11.5 ppg in the 45 games Capela, Paul and Harden played together in 2017-18.
To help with depth, Houston is signing guard Austin Rivers. He was recently dealt from Washington to Phoenix before being waived by the Suns. He will help fill some of the minutes Paul’s injury has made available. Rivers will take minutes away from both Brandon Knight and Michael-Carter-Williams, as well.
Boston got some good news Sunday with the return from injury of both Al Horford and Marcus Morris and then ended a three-game skid by beating Charlotte 119-103. The team is also in the midst of a challenging stretch, with five straight games coming against teams with .500 or better records to end 2018.
Kyrie Irving is currently averaging 22.9 points and 6.4 assists on the season and is one of nine players across the NBA this season to record at least 22 points and six assists per game.<
Latest NBA Betting Trends
- Houston is 5-1-1 ATS in its last 7 games
- Houston is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Houston’s last 10 games
- Boston is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games
- Boston is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Boston’s last 6 games