It’s a big Christmas Day of NBA action and after handicapping the two late TNT games already, it’s time for me to release my NBA Picks of the day. I have found two NBA Odds from the earlier day game that I think have excellent value.
Wizards vs. Knicks
Washington is coming off a loss at home to the Bulls on Tuesday evening, and they are tipping off the Christmas Day schedule with a game against the Knicks. The NBA Odds have the Wizards as -5 ½ favorites on the road here in this spot, with a total of 192. While the Knicks should have Carmelo Anthony back in the lineup after his stint on the bench, he is notably not 100%. While the defense of Paul Pierce isn’t what it once was, he can still give Anthony all he wants on the defensive end, and if that’s the case, the Wizards look like a great play Christmas afternoon.
The Knicks will also get Amare Stoudemire back for this game after he was rested on Sunday, however they should still be without Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith, two of their best wing players outside of Anthony. Tim Hardaway Jr. has been playing very well, but he and Jose Calderon will be no match for John Wall and Bradley Beal.
The Knicks are only 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games this season, and they are only 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games as home underdogs. While the Wizards have lost their last four road games ATS, they are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as road favorites, and they are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games on a Thursday. We expect them to do the same today, as we are offering the Wizards -5 as the irst of our NBA picks today.
My Pick: Wizards -5
Cavaliers vs. Heat
The first two courses of NBA action on Christmas are just an appetizer for this one, which will be Lebron James’ first trip back to Miami after flying back home to Ohio. The NBA Odds have the Cavs as -5 ½ road favorites in this one, with a total of what looks like around 196 points. The Cavs should have no issues with injuries in this game other than Anderson Varejao, who recently tore his achilles and will miss the remainder of the season.
Without Varejao, the Cavs have a big problem; their post defense. Tristian Thompson will likely see the biggest increase in minutes without Varejao, however he is now one of the Cavs’ only reliable big men outside of Love. Neither he nor Love play defense very well outside of their rebounding, and if the Heat can get Chris Bosh back for this game, it will be evident.
Bosh has missed the Heat’s last six games with a calf strain, and there is already word that he will have to miss Thursday’s game. Without him, the Heat will also continue to have little to no post defense, and against Kyrie Irving and James, this is going to be bad for the Heat’s numbers. Dwyane Wade should have no issue finding his points against the soft Cavs defense, and if all goes well, we should wee a pretty high scoring game.
Sportsbook.ag is the only online sports book that has a total for this one here on Christmas Eve, and it’s sitting at 196. The over looks like it could be a great play for these two teams. The over is 9-3 for the Heat in their last 12 games against winning teams, and the over is 7-3 for the Heat in their last 10 games as a home dog.
My Pick: OVER 196