2021 NBA Christmas Odds, Player Props Affected By 23 Key Players In COVID Protocols

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on December 24, 2021
nba christmas odds

Unfortunately, the NBA has become mired in an avalanche of COVID-19 cases. But, the show goes on as the league remains determined to push through its full schedule. With the league’s annual Dec. 25 showcase still on, TheLines put together a sheet of lines, props, injuries and other notes for the 2021 NBA Christmas odds board.

Remember, you can also use our in-depth NBA game previews. Player prop tiles below will populate with the best available odds when sportsbooks open markets.

Keep an eye on the news wire as well. The number of players in the health and safety protocols is pushing toward triple digits if it hasn’t reached that figure already. It’s probably a favorite that at least one key player will be announced out before games tip off, bringing about some changes to 2021 NBA Christmas odds.

Atlanta Hawks At New York Knicks

Key players likely out due to health and safety protocols:

  • Hawks: PG Trae Young, G Lou Williams G Kevin Huerter, C Clint Capela
  • Knicks: G Immanuel Quickley, C Nerlens Noel

The Hawks have been one of the harder hit teams by the protocols and their first taste of action without Young did not look good. The closest things they have left to a point guard are Bogdan Bogdanovic and Delon Wright, and they lost convincingly at home to the lowly Magic.

The team’s offense has long been a problem when Young sits. That has continued this year with the team scoring a massive 17 points per 100 possessions worse when Young vacates the court, per Cleaning The Glass. The team has a -3.5 overall net rating with him off the court.

Additionally, the Knicks come in with the rest advantage as the Hawks will be playing their third game in four nights, traveling between each game.

As low as in the market, the Knicks look bettable here against the depleted Hawks.

Player Prop To Consider

With Young absent and no real point guards left, the Hawks handed the keys to the offense to…Cam Reddish? He has never been shy about chucking, with the third-highest usage rate on the team this year. And the top two — Young and Williams — are both out.

Reddish fired 23 times against Orlando, most on the team by a lot. His efficiency is mediocre. But, with the team’s shot creation so limited, if the light remains green, look for him to go over a points prop if it’s below 20.

Boston Celtics At Milwaukee Bucks

Key players likely out due to health and safety protocols:

  • Celtics: C Al Horford, SG Josh Richardson, PF Grant Williams, C Enes Freedom
  • Bucks: C Bobby Portis

The big question revolving around the 2021 NBA Christmas odds for this game is whether Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo will get clearance to return. Antetokounmpo entered the protocols on Dec. 14, so he will finish his mandatory 10-day quarantine in time to play on Christmas.

The Greek Freak has a monstrous +15.7 net rating, so the team would gain a large boost if he plays. He may find himself on restricted minutes even if he does play, since he’s been out so long.

The spread certainly looks to be counting on Antetokounmpo playing. However, if he doesn’t play a full allotment of minutes, they’re probably a little value on the Celtics.

A better bet, though, might be under the total of . The Celtics somehow played even slower than their (already slow) regular pace in their last game, and both teams are fringe top 10 in defensive efficiency.

Player Prop To Consider

Between Boston’s slow pace, solid defense, abundance of wing bodies to throw at Antetokounmpo and the possibility he won’t play a full minutes load, look for unders on some of his props.

Golden State Warriors At Phoenix Suns

Key players likely out due to health and safety protocols:

  • Warriors: SG Jordan Poole, SF Andrew Wiggins
  • Suns: None

These two teams are about as evenly matched as it gets on paper. They both rank among the league’s best in efficiency on both ends of the court and both play at a high pace. In other words, this should be a fun one, even with a couple of Warriors starters sidelined in the protocols.

While everyone will be excited for the backcourt matchups, the impact of Deandre Ayton could ultimately have a bigger influence on the outcome. He should in theory be able to pound the undersized Warriors in the post and on the glass. He dominated the first matchup with 24 and 11 and scored another 23 in the loss a couple of days later.

The spread and total both look sharp here.

Player Prop To Consider

Mikal Bridges serves as the ace stopper on the Suns, and he drew a fair amount of Stephen Curry duty when these teams played. This role seemed to have significantly sapped his ability and/or willingness to get aggressive on the other end. He took just eight shots total between the two games, where he averages 9.5 per game for the year. If you think that will continue, look for under his points total.

Brooklyn Nets At LA Lakers

Key players likely out due to health and safety protocols:

  • Nets: F Kevin Durant, SG Cam Thomas
  • Lakers: SG Malik Monk, SG Austin Reaves, G Avery Bradley, SF Kent Bazemore

This game is perhaps in more flux than any other as the Nets have had a few games postponed due to their roster getting ravaged by COVID.

It seems unlikely Durant can return in time, but they do have a few contributors likely coming off the list. LaMarcus Aldridge, Bruce Brown, DeAndre’ Bembry and James could return after being placed in protocols Dec. 14.

The Lakers have lost a slew of wing bodies. LeBron James summoned a couple of Herculean efforts recently but both games wound up as losses due to his teammates’ shortcomings. An uncomfortable amount of Isaiah Thomas and Talen Horton-Tucker is happening.

So much depends on Durant here that it’s tough to handicap this one. But, the Nets being does appear to indicate he’ll play. Any bet on the side or total heavily depends on your expectations for him.

Player Prop To Consider

Aldridge might be 36 but he still can school kids in the post, where he ranks in the 66th percentile for scoring efficiency according to the league’s official tracking stats. He actually has the third-highest usage on the team, and if Durant’s out, he figures to put up a ton of shots here. Look to bet over his points total if it’s set too low.

Dallas Mavericks At Utah Jazz

Key players likely out due to health and safety protocols:

  • Mavericks: PG Luka Doncic, SG Tim Hardaway Jr., SF Reggie Bullock, PF Maxi Kleber
  • Jazz: None

Obviously, the Jazz look to find themselves in a massively advantageous spot with the Mavs not only missing their superstar creator but secondary ball-handler and ace shooter Tim Hardaway Jr. out as well.

Kristaps Porzingis is also day-to-day with a toe injury. A lot depends on his status as far how the Mavs offense shakes out. He’d likely take the lead role usage-wise if he goes.

If not, look for Jalen Brunson to lead the way. Interestingly, the team might not suffer as much as you might think with Brunson at the helm in lieu of Doncic. Lineups with Brunson but not Doncic had a +2.9 net rating, per Cleaning The Glass, better than the team’s overall rating of +0.2.

The Jazz will have a massive edge on the boards here, as they lead the league in rebound rate while the Mavericks are among the worst rebounding teams.

It’s a little shocking to see the Jazz only in early 2021 NBA Christmas odds. Rudy Gobert should dominate on the glass, and the Jazz have the best offense in the league by a mile.

Player Prop To Consider

Short of getting him in foul trouble, how in the world are the Mavericks going to keep Gobert off the glass? Doncic and Kleber are two of their top four rebounders out of high-minutes players. The Frenchman should feast.

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Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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