Best NBA Christmas Day Prop Bets: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, Jayson Tatum highlight top props

For sports fans and bettors, Christmas Day and the NBA go hand-in-hand. Holiday hoops have become one of the bigger draws of the sports calendar year, so it surprised nobody when the Association released a loaded quintuple-header for the December 25 slate. Today we will reveal our five favorite Christmas Day props, which will hopefully help you cash bets from noon to midnight ET.

There will be no shortage of storylines for this festival of hoops. Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks kick off the day at world-famous Madison Square Garden to face Jalen Brunson and the Knicks. Once that game concludes, four-time NBA champ Steph Curry and the Warriors will face two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and the reigning-champion Nuggets in Denver at 2:40. 

The storied rivalry between the Celtics and Lakers embarks upon its next chapter at the Crypto at 5:10, with Jayson Tatum and LeBron James playing their 20th head-to-head matchup. Then reigning MVP Joel Embiid and the 76ers face former Sixer Jimmy Buttler and the defending Eastern Conference-champion Heat in South Beach. Finally, old pals Luka Doncic and Devin Booker face off in Phoenix for what should be a magnificent nightcap. 

Woo! Got all that!? Good. Now let’s get to our picks. Here’s our favorite Christmas Day NBA prop bets from BetMGM, our go-to spot for all the latest odds, lines, and props. Good luck, Merry Christmas, and may the odds be forever in your favor. 

All odds courtesy of BetMGM, an authorized gaming operator of the NBA.

Best NBA Christmas Day Prop Bets: Top props for every game

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks at Knicks — OVER 31.5 points (-125)

If you think the Greek Freak cares only about championships, you’re sorely mistaken. Giannis is clearly as interested in his legacy as an NBA player even more than LeBron James was at the same age. We’ve seen the Bucks’ two-time MVP throw balls off his own hoop in garbage time to seal triple-doubles. We’ve watched him push for big stats in All-Star Games and the In-Season Tournament. And, of course, we’ve seen him go off in standalone holiday games on national TV. 

The league knows a dominating Giannis translates to strong ratings — and the sportsbooks know that superstar players yield super-heavy betting action. Everyone and their mom will be betting Antetokounmpo’s OVER today, and everyone doing so will be 100 percent logical to do just that. New York has been a fun story since Jalen Brunson’s emergence into stardom, but the Knicks still have no clue how to stop the 2021 Finals MVP.

Giannis has averaged 31.5 points per game over Milwaukee’s past two tilts with New York, and those were both blowouts. Look for Giannis to put something extra on this Christmas Day bonanza, like a bow on top of a gift basket. Anthony Davis just put 32 on the Knicks one week ago, a total we project for him today. 

Other Bucks-Knicks props we like: Jalen Brunson OVER 33.5 points + assists; Giannis to record double-double (-210); Malik Beasley OVER 2.5 three-pointers (-120); Jalen Brunson OVER 0.5 steals (-220)

Nikola Jokic, Nuggets vs. Warriors — To record a triple-Double (+145)

We like the plus odds here for the two-time MVP and reigning Finals MVP, as he seems due for a triple-double. Jokic has just three total triple-dubs in Denver’s 12 December games. To put into perspective how underwhelming that triple-double count is for the Joker, he had two in just four October games and five in 14 November games. This feels like a great spot for Joker to collect his fourth triple-double of the month. 

Jokic has a season-long average of 26.4 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 9.2 assists this season, and since 2021-22 he has averaged 27.8/14.6/9.4 against Golden State. With the Warriors missing top defender Draymond Green, they should have trouble containing the Nuggets this afternoon. The points and rebounds are a layup here — the assists should come pretty easily, as well, with Denver running away with this one and Jokic not needing to do as much scoring.

Other Nuggets-Warriors props we like: Michael Porter Jr. OVER 2.5 three-pointers (-125); Brandon Podziemski OVER 5.5 rebounds (-120); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope OVER 1.5 steals (+115)

Jayson Tatum, Celtics at Lakers — To record a double-double (+120)

Tatum once again finds himself firmly entrenched in the MVP race, currently listed at +2500 on BetMGM. The Celtics’ superstar has three double-doubles so far in December, and we think he will notch his fourth today against the rival Lakers.

JT has said in the past that “it means a lot” to play on Christmas Day, saying “Everybody in the NBA is watching Christmas Day as a kid and dreamed of being in that position. It’s become a tradition for me and for us. To be able to play these last six years, it’s a big deal. It’s special.” 

With Kristaps Porzingis banged up and questionable to suit up today, and backup big Luke Kornet nursing a left adductor strain, Tatum will need to help the green team crash the boards for Boston to start strong today. Otherwise, Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and the Lakers’ bigs could dominate this game from the opening tip to the final whistle.

L.A. got younger, bigger, and more athletic this offseasozn, but Joe Mazzulla’s squad is smart and fundamentally sound. JT should grab at least 10 boards this evening, maybe even by the end of the third frame. G

Other Lakers-Celtics props we like: LeBron James OVER 27.5 points (-120); LeBron first field goal for Lakers (+260); Anthony Davis OVER 2.5 blocks (+135)

Bam Adebayo, Heat vs. 76ers — OVER 10.5 rebounds (-120)

With Joel Embiid out today due to an ankle injury, Adebayo has the most alluring rebounding OVER on the Christmas Day prop market. The veteran big already averages 9.6 boards per game, but JoJo’s absence should easily boost Bam’s numbers by at least two.

Adebayo just grabbed 11 against the Hawks, who feature a 1-2 punch of Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu at center. Paul Reed and a banged-up Mo Bamba don’t stand a chance of slowing him down on the interior. 

Devin Booker, Suns vs. Mavericks — OVER 30.5 points (-110)

All season long, Kevin Durant has been a model of offensive efficiency for Frank Vogel’s Suns. And while we expect KD to have another good game tonight against the rival Mavericks, Booker is the guy we think will go HAM.

Book and Mavs superstar Luka Doncic have developed quite the rivalry through the years, and Doncic should have his foot on the gas early and often in this one with Kyrie Irving still out with a heel injury. If Luka and Book engage in a duel, we could see our OVER hit eight minutes into the third quarter. 

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