NBA Day 3 — Christmas Day

No games today (Christmas Eve), and with a busy day tomorrow for myself I thought about writing this tonight to talk about a few things while I have the time. First, let’s set the record, I went 3/4 on the 23rd, 3/5 if you include the parlay, which brings my season total to 5/7. Not bad for someone who started taking this seriously only about a month ago.

Christmas Day Schedule

Now, for the betting lesson of the day, I am going to answer the question I get the most from my friends about betting. What in the world is the spread? For beginners that don’t know the terminology, that is the +/- number beside a teams name, and that number means, when you bet on a team how much you think they are going to win/lose by. For example, the opening game for the Raptors was against the Pelicans. The Raptors were 4.5 point favourites, which would look like Raptors -4.5 on most betting sites, and then the Pelicans would be 4.5 point underdogs, which would look like Pelicans +4.5 on most betting sites. Now for betting why does this matter? Well, it is because you are giving a team a handicap. If I bet the Raptors as favourites, that means I think the Raptors are going to win by at least 4.5 points, so imagine the Raptors are down 4.5 points to the Pelicans before the tipoff. So for me to win this bet I need the Raptors to win by at least 5 points, because there are no half points in basketball, and if they only win by 4 points, I lose because of those 4.5 points I gave the Pelicans before the tip. If I bet the Pelicans as underdogs, it is the opposite, I think the Pelicans are going to lose the game by less than 4.5 points, so the Pelicans start the game up 4.5–0. I win this bet if they lose by less than 4.5 or win the game outright. This is a quick and easy way to think about the spread, in the simplest way possible just imagine the team you are betting on starting with the points beside their name, +/-. Easy…. right?

Happy Holidays, enjoy my picks below

Clippers (+1)

I was lucky, I bet this game on the 23rd when the line had yet to move, it is now at Clippers -2.5, so I got a good number. I think the Clippers are going to walk all over the Nuggets, yes Jokic will give the interior of the Clippers defence some issues, but that was the case last year and they will want revenge on this team after blowing that 3–1 lead in the Conference Finals. MPJ is going to have a tough time scoring against arguably the best defender in the NBA, Kawhi Leonard, and Jamal Murray will be guarded by PG13 and Patrick Beverley all night, which doesn’t sound like a good time. Taking out 2 of the teams 3 best offensive threats, plus the line moving against them, and the Nuggets having to go into OT their first game of the season… ooof. Clippers have revenge game on their mind.

My model has the Clippers -5.7

Lakers (-6)

This is going to be the game to watch on Christmas. LeBron vs Luka. What more could you ask for this Christmas. However, without Kristaps Porzingis in the line up again, this will be too easy for the Lakers. AD will have his way on the interior of the Dallas defence, and with the additions of Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell looking to settle in even more after an impressive first game in the purple and gold, Lakers take this easily. Also, my friend Vic in LA might have a heart attack if the Lakers start 0–2 so I gotta pick this game in hopes for his health.

My model has the Lakers -4.2

Bucks (-9.5)

Another game where I bet early and it paid off. The line opened at -7.5, I got it at -9.5 and it is currently at -10.5. The reason? Warriors stink without Klay Thompson. Steph Curry tried his hardest against the Nets, but with Wiggins shooting like the guy at the YMCA who was a “torn ACL away from the NBA” and Kelly Oubre blaming the double rim for his 2–14 performance in game one, I have no faith until proven other wise. James Wiseman was the one bright spot to this team but his minutes are limited since he missed all the preseason, and I doubt Steve Kerr is going to throw him to the wolves against Giannis and the new look Bucks. Speaking of Giannis, this is his revenge game for what happened at the end of the Celtics game. For those of you who missed it, he bricked a game tying FT and blew a chance to go to OT. He is pissed about that, and will take all of his anger out on the Warriors and the poor rim they choose to wheel out on the court tomorrow. I also didn’t mention how good Jrue looked on the Bucks and Middleton is one of the more consistent players in the NBA. Bucks by 100 if I could.

My model has the Bucks -16.6

Heat -5

The spread has moved against me in this game, and you can currently get it at Heat -3.5, which I love even more than what I got it at. I think there was a little bit of a finals hangover in the first game for the Heat against the Magic, and that rust will be worn off by now. Zion and Ingram will have a tough time scoring against Jimmy and Bam. The Pelicans will have to pick their poison with Tyler Herro and Gorgan Dragic, whichever one is being guarded by JJ Reddick will set the world on fire. Lonzo looks lost out on the court as well, since the addition of Eric Bledsoe has taken away his primary ball handling duties. The Heat burned me last time, I hope they don’t make it two for two.

My model has the Heat -7

Good luck, and happy betting.


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James O'Dowda

An avid sports gambler that wants to share his knowledge and expertise to as many people as possible