|Date & Time||Wednesday August 8, 2018, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
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The NBA recently released its Christmas schedule that is made up of five games throughout the holiday, and it didn’t take long for oddsmakers to release betting lines for these matchups. We’ll have these games individually broken down by the time these games arrive, but it’s never too early to give a quick look at them right now. You can get good numbers this time of year, as things change, injuries happen and you can’t expect these same odds come December.
So, here are some quick, early, early NBA Christmas picks in August.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks +4.5
The New York Knicks are likely throwing this season away and there’s a decent chance Kristaps Porzingis doesn’t play. The Knicks have failed to cover eight of their last 12 home games as an underdog of at least three points. The Bucks have covered five of their last eight games as a favorite of at least three points, and they improved big time with the addition of Brook Lopez. The Bucks could be the team that climbs in the East standings this season, and they should roll here.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -4.5
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets -6
The Houston Rockets are 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and have even more firepower with the addition of Carmelo Anthony. I like some of the moves OKC made this offseason and getting Andre Roberson back will be key. But the Rockets have too much offensive firepower and the Thunder lack the outside shooting to keep up. We've seen this movie before with the Thunder. Rockets open this game up in the second half and cover the reasonable number.
Pick: Houston Rockets -6
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics -5.5
The Boston Celtics have covered seven of their last nine games against the Philadelphia 76ers, and those games were without them being at full strength. Getting Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to join the young, deep club that almost made the NBA Finals last year, the Celtics are a squad I’ll be neck deep on in future bets. However, this has become a rivalry game and the 76ers have that dog in them that will allow them to hang around, if not push for the outright win. A lot of past meetings between these clubs were back and forth. I want the points in my back pocket.
Pick: Philadelphia 76ers +5.5
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors -9
I’m not high on the Los Angeles Lakers at all. Like at all. I get LeBron James is great, but the rest of this team makes little sense and you need outside shooting for him to really flourish. The Lakers have zero, especially at point guard. I already have the Lakers not making the playoffs this season. With that said, the Golden State Warriors were just 34-47-1 ATS last season, meaning you lost a lot of coin betting on them long term. You also rarely get LeBron and this many points, and it’s hard to pass up when you do. I’ll take a shot with the free buckets based on how poorly the Warriors were last year against the number and how often they look lackluster in regular season games.
Pick: Los Angeles Lakers +9
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz -5.5
The Portland Trail Blazers are going to have a bounce back year, as many seem to forget they were the third seed last season. And while Portland was one of the third most profitable teams ATS last season, this is a squad that’s not nearly as trustworthy on the road as they are in the Moda Center. The Utah Jazz are deep, well coached and will be even better with a healthy Ricky Rubio and Rudy Gobert. The Jazz have a chance to be second or third seed in the West this season. I love Portland at home but not on the road. Give me the reasonable chalk.
Pick: Utah Jazz -5.5