First place in the Western Conference will be on the line on Christmas Day when the Phoenix Suns host the Golden State Warriors as six-point favourites on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Phoenix has emerged as one of the NBA's elite teams this season, posting straight-up wins in 25 of 27 games ahead of Saturday afternoon's matchup at Footprint Center.
The Suns are coming off a 113-101 win over Oklahoma City on Thursday, and are undefeated in 15 straight home dates since Oct. 27. But while the Suns' impressive run has lifted them to the top of the conference standings, they sit just a half game up on second-place Golden State.
The Warriors wrapped up a two-game homestand on Thursday with a 113-104 win over Memphis. However, Golden State has posted wins in just eight of its past 12 games, including a middling 3-3 SU run on the road.
The NBA's Christmas Day schedule opens in New York on Saturday as the Knicks host the Atlanta Hawks as 6.5-point favourites at online betting sites, before the scene shifts to Milwaukee as the Bucks entertain the Boston Celtics as 5-point chalk.
The Knicks have sputtered to a 3-9 SU record in their past 12 games, and have tallied just one SU win in seven home dates. The Hawks have also slumped badly since winning seven in a row last month. Atlanta has now dropped seven of 11 games, but rides a six-game SU road win streak.
The Bucks have won two straight despite missing Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has been sidelined for five games by injuries and COVID-19. Milwaukee tallied road victories in Houston and Dallas this week, but will be playing its third game in four days on Saturday afternoon. The Celtics have been hard hit by COVID-19, with eight players sidelined, and face a huge challenge to end their current three-game losing streak on the road.
Later on Saturday, the Brooklyn Nets resume their schedule after seeing their past three games postponed as they visit the Los Angeles Lakers in a pick'em matchup. The Christmas Day schedule then closes out in Utah, where the Jazz host the depleted Mavericks as 12.5-point chalk.
The Nets do not expect to have Kevin Durant back in the lineup on Saturday. Durant is one of 10 Brooklyn players sidelined by a recent COVID-19 outbreak that has kept the team off the court since Dec. 18. A visit by a hobbled opponent may be just what the Lakers need to snap out of a four-game losing streak that includes back-to-back home losses to San Antonio and Phoenix.