Did Santa hook you up with a PS5? No? Well, Adam Silver is providing a nice consolation prize –five Christmas games, starting with Pelicans-Heat. It’s a noon tip for those on the East Coast, and it will pair nicely with your breakfast burrito in SoCal.
1) Pointsbetting the Pelicans (+4) over the Heat: The Pelicans crushed the Raptors 113-99 in the opener as a 3.5-point underdog. The Heat, meanwhile, lost to the Magic as a 4.5-point favorite. Call it recency bias, but I’m intrigued by the Zion Williamson crew. Pointsbetting works as a multiplier – the more you’re right, the more you win. (And the more you’re wrong, the more you suffer.) If the Pelicans win by 6, you win 10 times your stake. Apple gift cards for all!
2) Bucks -19.5 (+240) over the Warriors (Pick Your Own Spread): Golden State got drubbed by the Nets 125-99 in the opener and will again be without Draymond Green (foot). The Bucks are favored by 10 at -105. If you’re smelling a blowout in addition to that country ham, consider giving more points and getting more gravy if it hits.
3) Celtics + 3 over the Nets: A game featuring Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown should be entertaining enough without having to bet … nah, who are we kidding?! With the juice reduced to -105, you should keep it simple, pick a side and enjoy some glorious hoops.
4) First Basket in Mavericks-Lakers: It’s tight at the top: Luka Doncic (+420), Anthony Davis (+430), LeBron James (+500). Or you can roll the dice on Tim Hardaway Jr. (+850), Dennis Schroder (+900) or Marc Gasol (+1200). Remember, free throws don’t count.
5) Pointsbetting Nikola Jokic Points x Assists x Rebounds: Viewer discretion advised on this one, as the bettor can win or lose big. The under is 1,562; the over, 1,797. Last season Jokic averaged 19.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 7.0 assists. That equals 1,351. But check out Jokic’s numbers in Denver’s season-opening loss to the Kings: 29 points, 15 rebounds, 14 assists. That’s 6,090 (!). A $1 bet on an over of 1,797 would have returned the maximum available stake.
Under Name A Bet … VSiN Expert Picks:
6) Zion Williamson Over 2.5 Dunks (-110): The social media clowns who complained about the Pelicans receiving the NBA’s Christmas Day treatment can take the under or, better yet, watch a preview of the Camellia Bowl. Watching Zion is a blast and seeing him duel Bam Adebayo will be even sweeter.
7) Over 1.5 Combined Triple Doubles on Christmas Day (+100): This NBA five-pack features the top three triple-double men in the league: Luka Doncic, LeBron James and Nikola Jokic. The three combined for 43 in 201 games last season – a 21.3% clip. Other possibilities: Adebayo, Brandon Ingram (24-9-11 against the Raptors), Jimmy Butler and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
8) Over 39.5 Most Points Scored by a Player on Christmas Day (-140): Talk about value. Make this bet and you get to root for … everyone! Will Giannis go for 40? How bout Anthony Davis? Or Stephen Curry? Or Doncic?
9) Under 39.5 Most Points Scored by a Player on Christmas Day (+125): The Scrooge special. You should only bet this if you plan to smack your hardwood floor between possessions.
XMAS Specials Under NBA Futures:
10) Most Assists on Christmas: A full 20 players are listed, starting with: LeBron (-105), Doncic (+200), Lonzo Ball (+600) and Jokic (+750).
Most Points on Christmas: We’re listing 20, starting with: Antetokounmpo (+300), Doncic (+350), Davis (+550) and Curry (+650).