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NBA Three at 3: Best Bets for Saturday, December 25

Published on 12/25/2021
By Zachary Cohen
Knicks guard Kemba Walker
Knicks guard Kemba Walker is starting to come alive for New York.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Three at 3 is 5-3-1 over the last three days and we'll now look to give you some Christmas Day winners so that you can make your holiday a profitable one: 

1. Hawks at Knicks - The Knicks are coming off a rough loss to the Washington Wizards, but they have still won and covered in two of their last four games. New York has also figured things out offensively as of late, as Tom Thibodeau has put Kemba Walker back in the rotation. Over the last three games, Walker is averaging 31.3 points per game and his offense will stand out with the Hawks not having Trae Young in this game. Atlanta will also be without a number of different rotation players, while New York will still have most of its best players. With Walker and Julius Randle getting to play at home against a depleted Hawks team, look for the Knicks to comfortably take care of business in this one. For what it's worth, Atlanta is 38-56 against the spread on the road over the last three seasons. Meanwhile, New York is 20-9 against the spread after playing back-to-back home games since the start of last season. 

THE PICK: Knicks -6.5 

2. Celtics at Bucks - The Bucks haven't been the type of team that consistently strings covers together in recent seasons, as they're just 19-33 against the spread when coming off back-to-back wins since the start of last season. And while Milwaukee might have Giannis Antetokounmpo in this game, the Bucks are still without Brook Lopez. That's a key piece to the puzzle for Milwaukee, and Boston is expected to have Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Dennis Schroder and Robert Williams here. That's more than enough of the Celtics' core when you factor in that Boston earned a 117-103 win over Milwaukee back on December 13. The Celtics have the necessary length on the wing to give Giannis and Khris Middleton trouble, which is part of the reason that Boston matches up so well here. The Celtics are actually 4-1 straight-up and 5-0 against the spread in their last five meetings with the Bucks. 

THE PICK: Celtics +7

3. Warriors at Suns - In this meeting between the two best teams in basketball, it's the Suns that are in better shape in the health department. Not only is Golden State still waiting on the return of Klay Thompson and James Wiseman, but the Warriors are also without Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole because of the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Wiggins is one of the best two-way players on the team, while Poole is a walking bucket as a scorer. Without them, Golden State is going to be putting far too much pressure on Steph Curry. The Suns have the second-best defensive rating in basketball, so they should be able to scheme a way to slow Curry down and make sure that end-of-rotation guys aren't torching them. Meanwhile, the Warriors are an excellent defensive team, but they are missing too much here. They just aren't going to be able to keep up with the Suns, who should have a massive home-court advantage in front of their wild fanbase. 

THE PICK: Suns -5.5 

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