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The season is nearly two months old as the NBA starts to garner more and more attention from the general sporting public as football winds down. It hits a crescendo on Christmas Day with five marquee matchups all televised nationally, including a rematch of the NBA Finals between Miami and Oklahoma City.

Bettors have been in action for those first two months and have already profited nicely from the play of a quartet of Western Conference teams. By backing Golden State, the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis and Oklahoma City bettors have profited by nearly 27 net units.

Through last Thursday those four teams were a combined 63-34-3 ATS (65 percent) and each was at least six games above .500 ATS through roughly 25 games. Only the woeful Washington Wizards had lost fewer than 10 games ATS.

At just 3-20 SU, Washington has usually been getting generous points to level out the betting playing field, often double digits. Using the closing line at the LVH as our source, the Wizards are 10-9-4 ATS. Sacramento has been the league’s biggest money burner with its 8-15-2 ATS mark, showing a loss of 8.5 net units.

The overall home vs. road split remains rather even. Home teams are 187-182-10 ATS despite winning 235 of 379 games straight up (62 percent). Totals are almost as evenly divided with the OVER holding a slight 189-184-6 edge.

Here’s a brief look at Tuesday’s 5 Christmas Day games.

Celtics at Nets: Brooklyn started strongly, but has slumped of late and was tied with Boston at 13-12 before Friday’s action. These teams have already met twice with Brooklyn winning both by 5 at home and 12 at Boston two weeks later. 

Those games were back in November but the Nets had lost 8 of 10 recently. Despite the home court the Nets will be facing a Boston team eager to avenge those defeats and should be getting a bucket or two here. CELTICS.

Knicks at Lakers: New York remains one of the hottest teams in the league with a 19-6 record through Thursday. That includes an 8-5 mark on the road. Just over a week ago the Knicks won at home over the Lakers, 116-107, in a game they controlled throughout. The Lakers may have Steve Nash for this game and that would certainly energize the home crowd that has had little to cheer about as their team is just 12-14.

This game should be competitively priced and perhaps even have New York the slightest of favorites. If Nash does indeed start, the Lakers will be a popular play. Both teams will play again Wednesday night. Even without Nash, the Lakers are likely to give the more spirited effort. LAKERS.

Thunder at Heat: This is the marquee matchup of the day as the teams meet for the first time since Miami defeated Oklahoma City to win last season’s NBA Title. OKC is off to a stellar 21-5 start but its 12 game winning streak was finally broken in Minnesota last Thursday.

Miami’s 17-6 start has gone somewhat overlooked with much media attention being given to the hot start of the Knicks and the struggles of the Lakers. Miami does not always put forth its best effort but should be eager to make a statement. Although taking the points with the Thunder is an appealing option, Miami should be up to the challenge. HEAT.

Rockets at Bulls: Chicago leads the Central Division but with the weakest record of any Division leader, 14-10. They have played well of late, winning 7 of 10 heading into last weekend. Houston is 13-12 playing in the much tougher Western Conference and should be getting a few baskets. James Harden has made a big difference in leading the Houston offense.

Chicago is still a team based on defense but will be challenged by the Rockets who are one of just 7 averaging more than 100 points on the road. There should be some value in the total as these teams scored just 182 points when they met in Houston a month ago. OVER.

Nuggets at Clippers: This is a very attractive matchup between a pair of up and coming contenders in the West as they meet for the first time. Both teams have very talented starting lineups and have depth on the bench. Denver has displayed a more potent offense.

Los Angeles has been better defensively, allowing just below 92 points per game at home. The Clippers took 3 of 4 meetings from the Nuggets last season and are in a favorable scheduling spot as they are off Wednesday while Denver returns home to host the Lakers. CLIPPERS.

And after you’ve have a full dose of the NBA on Christmas Day, you might take a few days off before gearing up for the weekend. So here’s a look at a trio of games to be played between Christmas and New Year’s.

Rockets at Spurs (Fri): Both teams last played on Wednesday as they meet for the third time. Both of the first two games were high scoring contests that produced 206 and 260 total points. That latter game included overtime but the teams were tied at 120 at the end of four quarters. 

The total line was 213 for both of those games which resulted in a 1-1 split. Both teams have shown a consistent willingness if not outright desire to play at a brisk pace, suggesting we should see yet another high scoring game. OVER.

Nuggets at Grizzlies (Sat): Both teams are considered contenders in the West although Memphis has gotten off to the much better start. Part of this is due to Denver having played 19 of its first 27 games on the road. 

These teams have already met twice with Denver winning both by the same 5 point margin, first on the road and then at home. Denver played Friday in Dallas while the Grizzlies have been off since Wednesday, giving them time to prepare. GRIZZLIES.

Jazz at Clippers (Sun): The Clippers have gotten off to a 19-6 start. Utah is barely a .500 team, at 14-13, but remains a strong home team, winning 9 of 11. The Clippers won the first meeting in Utah by 1.

Quick turnaround spots often make for good plays on the team that lost the immediately preceding game.

Preferred play: Straight up loser of Friday’s game.

Andy Iskoe, and his Logical Approach, provides his popular and unique handicapping statistics to Gaming Today readers and online visitors. He has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football. Contact Andy at [email protected]

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About the Author

Andy Iskoe

Owner and author of “The Logical Approach,” Andy Iskoe has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football.

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