Even without COVID-19, the under is the right choice on the Xmas Day NBA odds board when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Saturday, December 25, 2021 – 08:00 PM EST at Staples Center
I, sometimes, feel ambivalent when a plan comes together. We recommended the Utah Jazz for your Thursday NBA picks when they hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves, provided you could get them at –9.5 or better, which was their opening price on the overseas market.
If you managed to snap them up before Karl Anthony-Towns went on the COVID-19 list and the Jazz shot up to –15.5, Merry Christmas. Final score: Minnesota 116, Utah 128. Oh, and they went over the closing total of 226, too. Rats.
So here we are with yet another chance to hammer the under. The Los Angeles Lakers, or what’s left of them, are about to host the Brooklyn Nets, or what’s left of them. The Christmas Day games hit the NBA odds board ages ago, as soon as the schedule was announced; the Lakers opened as 1.5-point favorites at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review), but this matchup is a pick’em at press time, and the total has already sunk from 238 to 237 at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review). Any room left for us to take advantage?
Probably. When it comes to Christmas Day, we don’t need any stinkin’ coronavirus to make us bet the under. This has been a solid NBA pick at 35-20-1 stretching back to 2005; December 25 might be a working holiday for the players – and a giant cash cow for the entire league – but it’s a holiday nonetheless. It’s not easy to focus at this time of year, and shooting requires focus.
It’s also been profitable across the board to bet the under at the best online books when the Nets (21-9 SU, 13-17 ATS, 17-13 under) are playing. With James Harden no longer allowed to fling his body into his opponents to draw fouls (or at least not as blatantly), Harden has seen his Offensive Box Plus/Minus numbers at Basketball Reference fall from plus-6.4 last year to plus-3.1 this year. The struggle is real.
Then you have all these players in league protocol. The under is 15-10-1 these past four days since everything went pear-shaped, and both the Nets and the Lakers (16-17 SU, 12-20 ATS, 16-16-1 Total) have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus.
James Harden, Paul Millsap, and Jevon Carter have cleared protocol for Brooklyn, giving them enough players for Saturday, but Kevin Durant and nine others are still on the shelf at press time.
For the Lakers, they’ve got five players on the COVID-19 list, including Trevor Ariza, who only just made his 2021-22 season debut. And of course, Anthony Davis (knee) is still out for a month or so. Oh, and head coach Frank Vogel is out as well.
Keep fading the Lakers as a rule with LeBron James in uniform, but our official pick for this matchup is the under – and everyone here at the home office would like to wish you and yours the best of the holiday season. May the sphere be with you, ever after.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.