NBA Christmas Day games are some of the most-hyped of the regular season each year. That applies from perspectives of both bettors’ and fans’ interests.

The Philadelphia 76ers are among the 10 teams that will be in action on Wednesday, December 25. Their game has the smallest spread of the five at some New Jersey legal sportsbooks.

We compare the action of the most popular games at four New Jersey sports betting apps:

Breaking down NBA Christmas Day odds

Many of the legal mobile sportsbooks in New Jersey have action available on Philadelphia’s home game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Christmas Day. Those include:

SportsbookSpreadMoneylinePoint total
DraftKingsMIL +0.5 -110
PHI -0.5 -110
MIL -109
PHI -109
O 222.5 -109
U 222.5 -109
FanDuelMIL -2.5 -120
PHI +2.5 +100
MIL -148
PHI +126
O 220.5 -105
U 220.5 -115
Fox BetMIL +4.5 -250
PHI -4.5 +205
MIL -150
PHI +125
O 219.5 -118
U 219.5 -105
SugarhouseMIL -3 -112
PHI +3 -109
MIL -137
PHI +116
O 220.5 -108
U 220.5 -113

Some of the books have an equally narrow spread on the battle of Los Angeles, slated for later on Wednesday. Clippers-Lakers lines look this:

SportsbookSpreadMoneylinePoint total
DraftKingsLAC -1.5 -110
LAL +1.5 -110
LAC -125
LAL +106
O 223.5 -112
U 223.5 -109
FanDuelLAC +2.5 -120
LAL -2.5 +100
LAC +110
LAL +128
O 222.5 -120
U 222.5 +100
Fox BetLAC +1.5 -105
LAL -1.5 -118
LAC +105
LAL -125
O 222.5 -118
U 222.5 -111
SugarhouseLAC +2 -109
LAL -2 -112
LAC +104
LAL -124
O 223.5 -108
U 223.5 -113

The day’s first game, featuring the defending champion Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics, also has a tight spread. Those odds right now are:

SportsbookSpreadMoneylinePoint total
DraftKingsBOS -2.5 -112
TOR +2.5 -109
BOS -113
TOR +117
O 213.5 -113
U 213.5 -108
FanDuelBOS -3.5 +100
TOR +3.5 -120
BOS -150
TOR +128
O 213.5 -105
U 213.5 -115
Fox BetBOS -3.5 -105
TOR +3.5 -118
BOS -154
TOR +135
O 212.5 -118
U 212.5 -111
SugarhouseBOS -3 -112
TOR +3 -109
BOS -148
TOR +125
O 213 -112
U 213 -108

A game that fails to live up to the hype it received preseason because of the injury to New Orleans rookie Zion Williamson is next in the largest spread. The breakdown of this contest goes:

SportsbookSpreadMoneylinePoint total
DraftKingsNOP +9.5 -110
DEN -9.5 -110
NOP +390
DEN -500
O 219.5 -113
U 219.5 -108
FanDuelNOP +9.5 -110
DEN -9.5 -110
NOP +360
DEN -460
O 218.5 -110
U 218.5 -110
Fox BetNOP +9.5 -110
DEN -9.5 -110
NOP +380
DEN -550
O 218.5 -111
U 218.5 -111
SugarhouseNOP +9.5 -110
DEN -9.5 -110
NOP +390
DEN -500
O 218.5 -113
U 218.5 -108

In terms of another game that looked better on paper when the schedule came out, this contest bears an appropriate spread for how one-sided it could be. This 2018-19 Western Conference Finals rematch shakes out this way:

SportsbookSpreadMoneylinePoint total
DraftKingsHOU -10 -110
GSW +10 -110
HOU -560
GSW +430
O 228.5 -113
U 228.5 -108
FanDuelHOU -11 -110
GSW +11 -110
HOU -700
GSW +520
O 226.5 -110
U 226.5 -110
Fox BetHOU -11.5 +100
GSW +11.5 -120
HOU -900
GSW +600
O 226.5 -118
U 226.5 -111
SugarhouseHOU -11 -110
GSW +11 -110
HOU -770
GSW +575
O 226.5 -113
U 226.5 -108

The books have had their say on all of these contests. Do their opinions line up with the background information? In some ways, yes, not so much in others.

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How to bet the 76ers’ and other games

It’s hard to bet against a Milwaukee team that has won 27 of its 31 games and features a Giannis Antetokuonmpo that has added a 3-point shot to his game.

It’s similarly difficult to bet against a 76ers team that has been tough as nails to conquer on their home court. Defensively and on the boards in Philadelphia, the 76ers are especially efficient.

That’s why there’s essentially no spread on this contest and the moneylines aren’t attractive either. The smart money is on the non-traditional bets.

DraftKings has a line of +275 on a moneyline/total parlay, taking the 76ers and either the over or the under of 222.5. Sugarhouse mirrors that with +290 on the 76ers and the under on the same point total.

FoxBet offers +425 on Philadelphia winning by 1-5 points. FanDuel will pay out +470 if 76ers center Joel Embiid scores the game’s first point.

In the first game of the day, the line is a little surprising. Toronto will be without Marc Gasol, Norman Powell, and Pascal Siakam while Gordon Hayward is eligible to return for Boston.

Unless Kyle Lowry can have the game of the season to this point, it’s difficult to see where the Raptors will find the offense to compete with the Celtics, complete with not only Hayward possibly but Enes Kanter as well.

Several books have alternate spreads with Boston winning by a more comfortable margin. Those lines look attractive.

The same could be said for the mid-day game, Houston at Golden State. Given the Warriors’ defensive struggles, alternate spreads on a bigger Rockets win are similarly enticing.

In the first evening game, the status of Lakers forward LeBron James is still uncertain. It’s inadvisable to make any bets that his play could influence until that becomes more certain.

If James can contribute, however, it’s easy to make a case for his team prevailing in this one. The Lakers have already dropped one game to the Clippers this season and losing to them again could create a mental advantage for the Clippers going into the postseason.

For the nightcap, copy and paste the sentiment on the Rockets-Warriors game here. New Orleans has been horrible defensively and the Nuggets could see season-highs on offense in this game.

NBA Christmas Day 2019 offers some opportunities for New Jersey sports betting customers to make their holidays merrier. The onus is on the players and teams to cooperate with those hopes.

Derek Helling

About

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. In addition to gaming news, he covers esports, sports business, and sports law. When he isn’t working, he spends his time serving his two Munchkin cat overlords.