TheRX’s Top 3 Picks for NBA’s Christmas Day Slate

Jalen Brunson RJ Barrett Quentin Grimes New York Knicks
Jalen Brunson #11, RJ Barrett #9 and Quentin Grimes #6 of the New York Knicks celebrate a basket against the Golden State Warriors. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

We’ve got plenty of exciting matchups on Christmas Day. Here are our top three NBA picks for the slate. Let’s make your holiday a good one with some profit!

Philadelphia 76ers vs. New York Knicks

Sunday, December 25, 2022 – 12:00 PM EST at Madison Square Garden

The New York Knicks were on an eight-game winning streak before losing their last two. Now they’ll welcome the Philadelphia 76ers, who are on a seven-game winning streak heading into this game.

The 76ers have all the momentum, but a road game on Christmas Day against the Knicks won’t be easy. The 76ers are fifth in the Eastern Conference, while the Knicks are sixth. This is a fairly even matchup.

Tyrese Maxey won’t be available for the 76ers in this game. He will return soon but won’t be ready for this one. The Knicks can take a deep breath, knowing that Maxey is unavailable, as he always presents problems defensively.

How Are The Teams Doing?

The 76ers have only scored 112.8 points per 100 possessions this season. Meanwhile, the Knicks have allowed 112.8 points per 100 possessions. The Sixers have shot a 54.9% effective field goal percentage and get to the foul line at a high rate. However, they’ve only earned 22.4% of offensive rebounds and turned the ball over nearly 15% of the time.

The Knicks have held teams to a 52.7% effective field goal percentage. They’ll likely perform better on the defensive glass, but the 76ers will still find their way to the foul line between Joel Embiid and James Harden.

On the other hand, the Knicks have shot a 52.2% effective field goal percentage. The offense still scores 114.9 points per 100 possessions due to 31.6% offensive rebounds and a free throw rate of 22.3.

The Pick

If New York can continue to limit turnovers, the Knicks will have more chances with such a high offensive rebounding rate. We’ve got the Knicks earning a big win at home on Christmas Day at +118 NBA odds.

NBA Pick: Knicks ML (+118) at SBK

Los Angles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks

Sunday, December 25, 2022 – 02:30 PM EST at American Airlines Center

The Lakers were hit with the annoying news that Anthony Davis could be out for some time. Now they will be on the road without Davis going up against the Dallas Mavericks on Christmas Day.

Los Angeles has scored just 112 points per 100 possessions. They’ve shot an effective field goal percentage of 53.7% and have earned under 24% of offensive rebounds. The Lakers have been aggressive and are getting to the foul line at a high rate, and they continue to limit turnovers to under 14%.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks aren’t known for their defense. They’ve allowed 113.1 points per 100 possessions while giving up an effective field goal percentage of 55%.

The Mavericks will give up plenty of foul shots but should be able to keep the Lakers off the offensive glass, at least.

The Pick

The Mavericks should dominate offensively. The Mavericks have scored 115.6 points per 100 possessions while shooting an effective field goal percentage of 56.5%.

Dallas will be cautious with the ball, and while they won’t win the offensive glass, they’ll get plenty of scoring chances with the few turnovers they’ll commit. The Lakers won’t send the Mavericks to the line at a high rate but are still allowing 114.6 points per 100 possessions this season.

We’ve got the Over hitting in this game.

NBA Pick: Over 226.5 (-110) at FanDuel

Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets

Sunday, December 235, 2022 – 10:30 PM EST at Ball Arena

This will be the first game between the Suns and Nuggets this season. The Suns are looking to win No. 20, while the Nuggets are sitting at 20-11 on the season.

Devin Booker didn’t play for the Suns on Friday. We’ll see if he’s available for Sunday. That would be a massive blow for the Suns moving forward.

Phoenix has lost two straight games to Washington and Memphis and only scored 110 points or fewer in both.

Still, the Suns are one of the best offenses in the NBA when they’re on and healthy. Phoenix has scored 117.1 points per 100 possessions. They’ve limited turnovers and dominated the offensive glass but rarely get to the foul line.

How’s Performance So Far?

Against the Nuggets, the Suns will need help earning second chances. The Nuggets have allowed just 24% of offensive rebounds this season. However, the Nuggets have also allowed teams to score 115.5 points per 100 possessions while allowing a 56.4% effective field goal percentage.

On the other hand, the Nuggets are scoring 117.3 points per 100 possessions. They’ll likely get to the foul line more and shoot an effective field goal percentage of 57.9%.

The Pick

The Suns figure to win the turnover battle, but the Nuggets should earn more second chances and will also get to the foul line more.

The Suns have allowed 28.3% offensive rebounds and have given up a 23.7 free throw rate.

As long as Denver is more careful with the ball, the Nuggets should earn the victory and the cover.

NBA Pick: Nuggets -4.5 (-108) at SBK