NBA Christmas Day Picks 2021: Is Suns-Warriors a Western Conference Finals Preview?

Eric Uribe
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
NBA Christmas Day Picks 2021: Is Suns-Warriors a Western Conference Finals Preview?

It has never been harder to master online NBA bettingLike many other professional sports leagues at the moment, the Association is coping with a rash of COVID-19 cases that has caused postponements and reduced rosters to a fraction of their full-strength versions. It has made for turbulent single-game lines and rapidly shifting betting odds on the NBA Finals.

Don't worry about packing all this uncertainty into your 2021 NBA Christmas Day picks, because we've done it for you across every game, including the ballyhooed matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns in what could be a Western Conference Finals preview.

Prior to diving into our NBA Christmas Day predictions, here are the latest NBA betting odds:

New York Knicks-208+169Atlanta Hawks
MIlwaukee Bucks-227+183Boston Celtics
Phoenix Suns-208+169Golden State Warriors
Brooklyn Nets-115-105Los Angeles Lakers
Utah Jazz-483+356Dallas Mavericks

These NBA Christmas Day betting odds are current as of Wednesday, December 22. If you're placing your wagers after this date, you'll want to double-check the NBA odds. They will definitely be swinging as linemakers get a better idea of who's available. And as you consider which NBA picks to make, you should take a look at our reviews of the top sportsbooks online. They'll help you determine the best NBA betting sites in the business.

2021 NBA Christmas Day Predictions

All of our 2021 NBA Christmas Day picks were made using information current as of Wednesday, December 23. This means we've accounted for scheduled absences from Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving for Brooklyn, among many others.

However, should it turn out teams getting some of their stars back from health and safety protocols, you'll want to reassess all NBA predictions for Christmas Day.

Phoenix Sends Message to Golden State

As it stands, the Warriors are set to be without Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole and James Wiseman on Christmas Day. That is excellent news for the Suns.

Not only has Devin Booker rejoined Phoenix's rotation following a hamstring injury, but Golden State struggled to defend big man Deandre Ayton in the first two matchups between these teams. And with Wiggins on the shelf, Draymond Green's defensive role will be even bigger, limiting the help he can pitch in on Ayton.

Any team with Stephen Curry always has a chance. But don't be surprised if the Suns win this game by double-digits.

OSB Prediction: Phoenix Suns (-208)

Phoenix Suns To beat the Golden State Warriors

Shorthanded Hawks Upset Struggling Knicks

It isn't hard to wrap your head around the oddsmakers' logic here. The Hawks are currently without De'Andre Hunter, Clint Capela, Danilo Gallinari and, most importantly, superstar Trae Young. Given how much their offense has struggled without Young, and how vulnerable they are on defense without Capela, it makes sense that the Knicks would curry favor over them.

Still, it's a bad idea to trust New York this season. They have been all over the place on a game-to-game basis. You don't know what to expect from Julius Randle, Evan Fournier, Mitchell Robinson or Kemba Walker anymore

And to complicate matters further, there's a chance the Knicks won't have R.J. Barrett, their most important perimeter defender. Betting on the upset is worth the risk.

OSB Prediction: Atlanta Hawks (+169)

Atlanta Hawks To beat the New York Knicks

Boston Takes Advantage of Milwaukee

The Bucks should absolutely be favorites against the Celtics if they're going to have Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton in the lineup. They might not.

Giannis remains in the league's health and safety protocols and isn't expected to play while Middleton is dealing with an ankle injury. Even if the latter takes the floor, Boston's perimeter rotation remains intact despite injuries of their own. 

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Dennis Schroder and Marcus Smart are all active, and the Celtics at large have done a better job putting pressure on the rim in recent games—the latter of which is a weakness of Milwaukee's defense when Giannis (and the injured Brook Lopez) aren't on the floor.

OSB Prediction: Boston Celtics (+183)

Boston Celtics To beat the Milwaukee Bucks

Lakers Steal One from Brooklyn

Our motto all season has been "Don't trust the Lakers." We seemingly shouldn't be deviating from that mantra now. Anthony Davis is sidelined for the next four to six weeks with a left MCL sprain, and Los Angeles' supporting cast continues to disappoint.

And yet, the Nets are simply missing too many bodies at the moment. Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap and Joe Harris are all expected to be sidelined for Christmas Day. Brooklyn, in fact, has recently needed to rely on a handful of players on 10-day contracts to get by.

So long as LeBron James is in the lineup for L.A., the Lakers should be your pick.

OSB Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers (-105)

Los Angeles Lakers To beat the Brooklyn Nets

Utah Obliterates Dallas

No team in the league is hotter than the Jazz right now. It certainly helps that they're one of the few squads not dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, but their success is much more than that.

After a slow defensive start, Utah is back to dominating on the less glamorous end. Rudy Gobert yet again looks like a Defensive Player of the Year, and they're more committed to getting back in transition.

The Jazz's offense, meanwhile, is divine. Donovan Mitchell is playing like a potential MVP candidate, and Utah leads the entire league in efficiency on off-the-dribble jumpers.

Combine all this with the fact that Dallas could be without Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, Maxi Kleber and Tim Hardaway Jr., and there isn't much of a decision to make. The Jazz should win this one easily.

OSB Prediction: Utah Jazz (-483)

Utah Jazz To beat the Dallas Mavericks

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your NBA betting:

Meet the author

Eric Uribe

Eric has been passionate about sports since he was 10 years old. He brings over 10 years of sports journalism experience to his expert coverage of sports betting. Hailing from the US, Eric leverages his diverse expertise covering sports at all levels – from high schoo...

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