Stuff Your Stocking with these Pre-Christmas NBA free Picks!

Troy Haliburton

Saturday, December 23, 2017 7:25 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017 7:25 PM UTC

Before the NBA takes over the sports world with their patented Christmas day schedule, there is a full slate of games to be bet on to get your weekend started right. Take a look at three carefully crafted picks that will certainly stuff your stockings.


Sixers at Raptors

Toronto will be looking to extend their hot streak against the struggling Philadelphia 76ers for the second time this week. The Raptors have won five games in a row and eleven of their last twelve games. One of the reasons that Toronto has been so successful this season is the fact that they made a conscious effort this offseason to change their style of play. The intent was on making sure that the Raptors were playing a style that would fit in better in the pace and space era.

From a gambling perspective, the Raptors have been a bettor's best friend this season, as they have gone 18-12 against the spread this season for a 60 percent win rate. Toronto’s success as a favored team has led them to the fifth best record against the spread this season.

The Sixers started out the season as one of the hottest teams in the NBA and certainly had the buzz surrounding them. Now the Sixers are struggling mightily and will appear to be fighting to have a playoff spot down the stretch. The biggest reasons for the Sixers struggles has to be the absence of star center Joel Embiid who has missed the last three games with a sore back. The Sixers are 1-7 without Joel Embiid this season and desperately need the big man to be in the lineup if they want to compete with the better teams in the conference.

Free Pick Raptors -9
Best Lines at Heritage (-105)

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Bucks vs Hornets

The Milwaukee Bucks will be seeking to get their season series win against the Hornets in a scheduling quirk that has this two teams playing their fourth matchup of the season before Christmas. Milwaukee has won two of those meetings, including a thrilling 109-104 comeback victory a few weeks back.

That was when the Bucks were riding high on The Greek Feek allure that is taking the NBA by storm, and while Giannis is still playing at an extremely high level, it is not adding up in wins for his team. Simply put, Giannis’ teammates are letting him down. The Bucks outside shooters have one of the easiest jobs in America because all they have to do is stand in their hot spots and wait for the defense to sink in on Giannis, leaving them wide open.

Last night the Bucks shot 9-30 from deep and it was honestly frustrating to watch. This team wins when Giannis has support, and will more than likely lose when the team fails to take advantage of opposing defenses leaving them wide open. The Hornets only allow 31% from opposing teams beyond the 3-point line. Look for the Bucks ancillary players to struggle to get off shots against the Hornets swarming defense, as Dwight Howard continues his dominance protecting the rim.

Charlotte is coming into this game with one of the worst records against the spreads in the NBA (12-17-3), the smart money for your NBA picks would definitely be on them to not cover against a superior opponent.

Free pick: Bucks -2
Best Line is (-103) at Pinny

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Jazz at Thunder

Utah is another team that has been hit by the injury bug. Rudy Gobert had just come back from a knee injury before re-injuring that same knee and now is in the midst of another month off of basketball. In his absence, Derrick Favors is stepping up and scoring down low on the offensive end, but he can not supplement Gobert’s defensive production.

The Thunder are finally figuring out how to play together as a newly formed team, and that means establishing a hierarchy on who gets the basketball. Paul George has distinguished himself as the best player in Oklahoma City, and it would behoove the Thunder to start playing like that. OKC will play at it’s best when George is the focal point of the offense and Carmelo Anthony is relegated to an ancillary role player.

These two division rivals have already split their first two meetings and with the Thunder’s lack of success against Western Conference opponents, it would behoove them to take care of the Jazz when they are shorthanded. The Thunder are also one of the worst teams against the spread this season, as they have amassed an 11-21 record ATS this season.

Free Pick Jazz -1
Best Lines at Heritage (-105)

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