By the Numbers: Home Cookin' Cashes in the NBA on Christmas Day

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, December 24, 2017 3:10 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017 3:10 PM UTC

By the Numbers is a weekly NBA picks column that focuses on game time matchups, historical trends, as well as the prevailing odds. Below we isolate our two top selections on Christmas Day that will help pay for all those presents under the tree.

76'ers (14-18 SU, 16-16 ATS) vs. Knicks (17-15 SU, 19-13 ATS)

* New York is 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up loss.

* New York is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as a favorite of 0.5-4.5.

* New York is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.

* Philadelphia is 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a straight up loss.

* Philadelphia is 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS loss.

* Philadelphia is 0-8-1 ATS in their last nine when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.

The Knicks are feasting on the home cookin' this season as evidenced by their 13-3 ATS mark at Madison Square Garden. This will be the first meeting between these clubs this season after splitting their four games last year. However, the Knicks have improved markedly and their superstar Kristaps Porzingis has upped his game in his third year in the pros.

The Sixers counter Porzingis with their own young, bright light in Joel Embiid. But the former Jayhawk looked fragile in his return on Saturday night after a three-game absence. The 7-footer scored 14 points in Philadelphia's 102-86 loss to the Raptors but his back is clearly still aching and how effective he will be remains a big question mark.

The Knicks are in a groove, having covered the NBA odds in 13 of their last 16 home contests while the Sixers are freefalling with a 0-5 ATS mark over their last five and have lost nine of their last 10 games straight up. I am more than a little surprised the line is this tight and will gladly lay the one-point with the Knickerbockers, who have had since Friday to prepare for this one.

Free NBA Pick: Knicks -1
Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Wizards (18-15 SU, 16-17 ATS) vs. Celtics (27-9 SU, 22-12-2 ATS)

* Boston is 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games as a favorite of 5.0-10.5.

* Boston is 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games as a home favorite of 5.0-10.5.

* Boston is 10-3-2 ATS in their last 15 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.

* Washington is 4-10 ATS in their last 14 road games vs. a team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600.

* Washington is 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a straight up win.

* Washington is 0-4 ATS in their last four after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.

The Boston Celtics have the best record in the league and are far more mature than their young roster would lead one to believe. After dropping two straight to lesser lights Miami and New York, the Green bounced back to a 117-92 thrashing over the Bulls on Saturday night. Boston has the weapons to explode on any given night and the addition of superstar Kyrie Irvin, along with the generous contributions from rookie Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown, has taken this team to new levels.

This is the first meeting of the year between these two clubs but the Celtics' suffocating defense, ranked 2nd in the league, will be too much for the Wizards. Although this line may seem a bit steep, considering that Washington has the chops to push the ball and maintain pressure in the offensive end, ultimately they will wilt in the latter stages of this contest and the Shamrocks will not only emerge victorious but cover the number as well. Back Boston in your NBA picks.

Free NBA Pick: Celtics -5
Best Line Offered: SportsBetting
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