Just because it is Christmas, doesn’t mean that your options for a bet on the sports are limited. In fact, a number of big sports events take place at the same time over the festive period each year and this year is no exception with some exciting sporting fixtures to enjoy from Christmas Eve right the way through to Boxing Day and beyond.
In this article, we are going to preview some of the biggest sports events taking place over the main festive period, looking at what the best picks for those events are and, if they are available, giving you the odds on some of the bets we like the look of across these fixtures. All with the hope of landing a little festive windfall from the bookmakers!
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So with that in mind, what are the big festive sporting fixtures to look forward to over the Christmas period? Let’s take a look starting with the action available from Christmas Eve onwards.
NBA – Week One Fixtures (23rd & 24th December)
The new NBA Season kicks off on the 23rd December with two games as the Brooklyn Nets face the Golden State Warriors followed by the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Los Angeles Clippers. However, the majority of fixtures for Week 1 take place on Christmas Eve as the NBA new season gets into full swing with the following fixtures on the 24th December:
- Philadelphia 76ers v Washington Wizards
- Orlando Magic v Miami Heat
- Cleveland Cavaliers v Charlotte Hornets
- Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks
- Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks
- Toronto Raptors v New Orleans Pelicans
- Memphis Grizzlies v San Antonio Spurs
- Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder
- Chicago Bulls v Atlanta Hawks
- Minnesota Timberwolves v Detroit Pistons
- Denver Nuggets v Sacramento Kings
- Portland Trail Blazers v Utah Jazz
- Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks
Tip – Bet365 will have odds on these games available shortly before they kick off on Christmas Eve and an accumulator or parlay bet on Miami, Milwaukee, San Antonio and Utah Jazz looks a nice selection to back.
NFL – Week 16 Fixtures (25th, 26th, 27th 28th and 29th December)
In the penultimate week of the NFL season, every one of the 32 teams will be in action from Christmas Day on the 25th through to the final game on Tuesday 29th December. The full list of games to enjoy across this period is as follows (all games Kick off 6pm unless stated):
Friday 25th December
- Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints (9.30pm)
Saturday 26th December
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Detroit Lions
- San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals (9.30pm)
Sunday 27th December
- Miami Dolphins @ Las Vegas Raiders (1.15am)
- Carolina Panthers @ Washington Football Team
- Atlanta Falcons @ Kansas City Chiefs
- Chicago Bears @ Jacksonville Jaguars
- Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans
- New York Giants @ Baltimore Ravens
- Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets
- Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers (9.05pm)
- Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys (9.25pm)
- Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks (9.25pm)
Monday 28th December
- Tennessee Titans @ Green Bay Packers (1.20am)
Tuesday 29th December
- Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots (1.15am)
Huge matches include the Dolphins against the Raiders, the Giants at the Ravens, the Colts at the Steelers, the Browns at the Jets, the Eagles and the Cowboys, Rams against the Seahawks and Monday’s game between the Titans and the Packers. All these games have significant playoff considerations and in the case of the games involving the Washington, Giants, Cowboys and Eagles, as well as the Colts and Titans and even the Steelers, Browns and Ravens, divisional titles are also up for grabs.
Once again bet365 does not yet have odds on these games up on the site (they will be available following the conclusion of this week’s Week 15 matches) but there are a number of bets to consider.
Tips – Back the Packers to beat the Titans, the Ravens and Browns to beat their New York opponents, the Eagles to best the Cowboys, the Bills to beat the Pats and Houston to put one over the Bengals. You may well get better odds by combining these selections into an accumulator bet.
Horse Racing – King George VI Chase at Kempton Park (26th December)
The Boxing Day meeting at Kempton Park is one of the biggest traditions in horse racing and the pick of the races that day is the King George VI Chase. The race has attracted some of the biggest names in jump racing over the years and two of them, Desert Orchid and Kauto Star, not only won the race three times, but went on to become bona-fide legends of the sport.
There could be another triple-winner crowned this year with Clan Des Obeaux going for a third win. The Paul Nicholls trained horse is one of the two big favourites for the race, with another Nicholls trained runner, Cyrname reckoned to be the biggest challenger. The bookies also rate the chances of Lostintranslation and Monalee, who are both somewhat outside bets for the race but offer good each way value.
Latest Antepost Odds with bet365: Cyrname (2/1), Clan Des Obeaux (9/4), Lostintranslation and Monalee (9/1), 16/1 bar.
Tip – For me this is a two horse race between Nicholl’s two charges and while Cyrname is the pick at the moment for many, I can’t back against Clan Des Obeaux becoming a legend here.
Premier League Football – Matchday 15 (26th & 27th December)
The first of two sets of games which occur back to back (Matchday 15 on the 26th and 27th December, Matchday 16 from the 28th to 30th December) we have six games taking place on Boxing Day, plus four more on the 27th December.
26th December Games
- Leicester City v Manchester United (12.30pm)
- Fulham v Southampton (3.00pm)
- Aston Villa v Crystal Palace (3.00pm)
- Arsenal v Chelsea (5.30pm)
- Manchester City v Newcastle United (8.00pm)
- Sheffield United v Everton (8.00pm)
27th December Games
- Leeds United v Burnley (12.00pm)
- West Ham v Brighton (2.15pm)
- Liverpool v West Brom (4.30pm)
- Wolves v Tottenham (7.15pm)
Tips: A number of selections catch my eye here, I think Manchester United, Chelsea and Everton are clear picks to win away from home on Boxing Day, while I am backing Man City and Aston Villa to claim wins and Fulham and Southampton to share the points. Back those six results with an accumulator with bet365 and you would get odds of 60.42/1 against that bet at the current odds with the site.
Sunday’s games are, I feel, a little easier to predict and I think Leeds, West Ham and Liverpool will pick up home wins, with Tottenham grabbing all the points on the road at Wolves. This fourfold bet returns at odds of 8.29/1 with bet365 at the current odds.