The Daily Sweat: Looking ahead to the three Christmas football games

Let’s all have a merry betting Christmas.

There are three football games to bet on Christmas Day. We were set to have a game on Christmas Eve, but the Hawaii Bowl was canceled on Thursday night after Hawaii was forced to back out of the game because of COVID-19 cases. It’s the second consecutive year that the Hawaii Bowl hasn’t been played.

The Camellia Bowl (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) kicks off the football festivities on Saturday as you get done opening presents. Georgia State is a 5.5-point favorite over Ball State. The Panthers are 8-4 against the spread this year while Ball State is just 4-8. Ball State games have gone over just three times this season.

Scroll to continue with content

The over/under is at 51 and we think the over is a good bet here. Both teams give up around 26 points per game And Georgia State has scored at least 28 points in four of its last six games.

Two hours later, the Cleveland Browns visit the Green Bay Packers (4:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network). The Packers are favored by 7.5 points as the Browns start to get numerous players back from the COVID-19 list. Baker Mayfield is set to start after he missed Monday’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

The total here is 45.5 and the over also feels like the right bet. With Myles Garrett hobbled by a groin injury he suffered against the Raiders, the Packers and Aaron Rodgers could easily put up 30 or more points like they did against the Ravens a week ago. The Packers need to get the win to stay atop the NFC.

The Christmas night game should be phenomenal between the Cardinals and Colts (8 p.m. ET, NFLN). After losing to the Lions in Week 15, the Cardinals are just 1-point favorites against Indianapolis. The Colts have become the trendy pick among potential wild card teams to make a Super Bowl run thanks to their performance over the past few weeks while the Cardinals are going to be without DeAndre Hopkins for the rest of the regular season.


Arizona also needs a win to keep pace with the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West. A Cardinals loss and a Rams win puts the Rams in first place in the division with two weeks to go. The over/under is 49 and we’re leaning toward the under on this one. Colts QB Carson Wentz could be due for a bad game that holds the team’s offense down.

The NBA on Christmas

The line between the Nets and Lakers is currently off the board as the Nets get players back off the COVID-19 list. Kevin Durant could play on Saturday but that seems doubtful.

The Bucks are 3.5-point favorites at home against the Celtics, the Knicks are 4.5-point favorites over the Hawks at home, the Suns are 4.5-point favorites over the Warriors, and the Jazz are 10.5-point favorites over the Mavericks. With both teams near full strength, Warriors and Suns looks to be the marquee game of the day


Who cashed tickets Thursday night?

A shorthanded Atlanta Hawks team beat the Philadelphia 76ers 98-96 on the road on Thursday night. The game went under 205.5 points and Atlanta was an 11.5-point underdog.

The Milwaukee Bucks also covered a 3.5-point spread with a 102-95 win over the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas was without Luka Doncic and Milwaukee was without Giannis Antetokounmpo because of the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.