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NBA Christmas Day 2021: Predictions, odds, lines, point spreads for all five games

The 2021 Christmas Day slate features five blockbuster matchups to keep you entertained once the presents are opened, with Madison Square Garden tipping off the action at lunchtime.

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Will LeBron James claim the record for most wins on Christmas Day? Can the Knicks avenge their playoff defeat to the Hawks? Five members of our Sporting News Staff give their predictions for all five games across the marquee day.

MORE:  2021-22 NBA Christmas Day guide  |  List of players in NBA’s health and safety protocols

All odds are courtesy of FanDuel sportsbook.

NBA Christmas Day 2021 odds, lines, point spreads, predictions

Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks

Game time: 12:00 PM ET | 9:00 AM PT

Hawks ML: +105

Knicks ML: -122

Spread: Knicks -1.0 (-110); Hawks +1.0 (-110)

Over/Under: 218.0 (-110)

Tipping off the Christmas Day action is a rematch of last season’s first-round playoff battle between the Knicks and Hawks at Madison Square Garden. 

There will be no love lost between these two teams, who have developed one of the East’s newest and best rivalries as two teams on the rise.

The Knicks are making their return to the Christmas Day stage after not playing since 2018, while the Hawks haven’t played on Christmas since 1989.

Staff Predictions

Scott Rafferty Carlan Gay Benyam Kidane Kyle Irving Nick Metallinos
Knicks Hawks Hawks Hawks Knicks

Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks

(Getty Images)

Game time: 2:30 PM ET | 11:30 AM PT

Celtics ML: +240

Bucks ML: -280

Spread: Bucks -6.5 (-110); Celtics +6.5 (-110)

Over/Under: 227.5 (-110)

Two Eastern Conference teams with differing fortunes this season collide on Christmas Day. 

The Celtics have hovered around .500 all season but have received a big boost with Jaylen Brown returning to the lineup after an extended absence with a hamstring injury. 

Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo has cleared the league’s health and safety protocols, with optimism growing that he could play on Christmas Day. The Bucks have been ravaged by injuries and absences this season, with 13 different players starting for them at some point this season. Milwaukee is 3-4 in 2021-22 without Antetokounmpo. Who will step up for them against the Celtics?

Staff Predictions

Scott Rafferty Carlan Gay Benyam Kidane Kyle Irving Nick Metallinos
Celtics Celtics Bucks Celtics Celtics

Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns

Game time: 5:00 PM ET | 2:00 PM PT

Warriors ML: +145

Suns ML: -160

Spread: Suns -3.5 (-110); Warriors +3.5 (-110)

Over/Under: 227.5 (-110)

On paper, the Nets and Lakers is the marquee game of the day, but Phoenix and Golden State have been the two best teams in the league this season.

They’ve already played twice this season, each winning on their home floor, setting the stage for what will be the best quality game of basketball on Christmas with both teams largely escaping the health and safety protocols. 

For the Warriors, they will be without Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, while the Suns have a clean bill of health.

Staff Predictions

Scott Rafferty Carlan Gay Benyam Kidane Kyle Irving Nick Metallinos
Suns Warriors Warriors Suns Nets

Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Lakers

(Getty Images)

Game time: 8:00 PM ET | 5:00 PM PT

Nets ML: -105

Lakers ML: -102

Spread: Nets -1.0 (-110); Lakers +1.0 (-110)

Over/Under: 234.0 (-110)

History beckons for LeBron James, who is just 13 points shy of eclipsing Kobe Bryant on the all-time Christmas Day scoring list. A win against the Nets would give LeBron his 11th on Christmas Day, clearing Dwyane Wade (10) for sole position of the record.

Christmas Day top 5 scorers

1. Kobe Bryant — 395 points in 16 games (24.6 ppg on 40.8 FG%)
2. LeBron James — 383 points in 15 games (25.5 ppg on 48.4 FG%)
3. Oscar Roberson — 377 points in 12 games (31.4 ppg on 47.0 FG%)
4. Dwyane Wade — 314 points in 13 games (24.1 ppg on 45.7 FG%)
5. Kevin Durant — 299 in 10 games (29.9 ppg on 51.7 FG%)

With James Harden cleared of health and safety protocols, the Nets receive a huge boost ahead of the game, however, they will be without Kevin Durant, who is currently in the league’s health and safety protocols. For the Lakers, Anthony Davis (knee) will miss the game due to injury. 

Staff Predictions

Scott Rafferty Carlan Gay Benyam Kidane Kyle Irving Nick Metallinos
Lakers Lakers Lakers Lakers Nets

Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz

Game time: 10:30 PM ET | 7:30 PM PT

Mavericks ML: +175

Jazz ML: -205

Spread: Jazz -5.5 (-110); Mavericks +5.5 (-110)

Over/Under: 222.5 (-110)

The final game of the day will see the Mavericks travel to Utah, but they will be without Luka Doncic, who has missed their past eight games with an ankle injury. He is the most recent player to enter the health and safety protocols, making a win on the road all the more difficult for Dallas. 

Without Doncic, it will be the battle of the bigs that takes center stage between Kristaps Porzingis and Rudy Gobert. 

Staff Predictions

Scott Rafferty Carlan Gay Benyam Kidane Kyle Irving Nick Metallinos
Jazz Jazz Jazz Jazz Jazz




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