If you are an independent bookmaker or just someone who has thought about opening your own bookmaking shop, you already know about the NBA showcase on Christmas Day. It’s the biggest day on pro basketball’s regular-season television calendar.
But with Christmas falling on a Friday this year – which is close enough to the weekend for the NFL to jump on board – we’re getting two professional sports on one big day. Add in a college bowl game and three college basketball games involving Top 25 teams, and it’s a sports betting Christmas Miracle.
From right after you open the presents under your tree to right before you go to bed, there are five of the best NBA matchups of the season to watch and wager.
- New Orleans Pelicans Miami at Heat (-5)
- Golden State Warriors at Milwaukee Bucks (-8)
- Brooklyn Nets (-1) at Boston Celtics
- Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers (-6)
- LA Clippers at Denver Nuggets (Pick)
The day starts with last season’s Eastern Conference champion, the Heat, hosting Lonzo Ball, Zion Williamson, and the New Orleans Pelicans. Next, the favorite to win the East this season, the Milwaukee Bucks, host a returning Stephen Curry and the Warriors.
Then, the Celtics, a conference finalist a season ago, host the Nets, who are led by a now-healthy Kevin Durant.
In the Western Conference, the defending NBA champion Lakers continue the defense of their title against the Mavericks. The two biggest challengers to the Lakers, the Clippers and Nuggets, finish off the night in Denver.
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
New Orleans sports fans have a full day, starting with the Pelicans and ending with the Saints and their effort to stay as the NFC’s second seed. The Saints are seven-point favorites over the sliding Minnesota Vikings, who see their Wild Card hopes on life support.
It’s the second game for Drew Brees since he came back from broken ribs, and it will be the second game since Michael Thomas was placed on injured reserve. The rushing title is Derrick Henry’s to lose, but the Vikings’ Dalvin Cook leads the NFL in total yards from scrimmage and is on pace to break 2,100 yards.
College Sports Schedule
Adding to the mix of great Christmas Day professional sports is the Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. Both Marshall and Buffalo began the season with long winning streaks but head into their bowl matchup after each taking a loss. Buffalo is favored by 3.5 points, and the over/under is 53.5.
College basketball has four Big Ten games on its schedule, including three games involving ranked teams.
- No. 9 Wisconsin at No. 12 Michigan State
- No. 19 Michigan at Nebraska
- No. 4 Iowa at Minnesota
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