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Burke: Home for the holidays

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

December 25, 2021 01:54 PM
USATSI_17408449

Before digging into today’s blurb topic, I want to wish all of our VSiN subscribers, readers and listeners the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of holidays. Thank you for your continued support and I wish you and your families and friends good health and good fortune now and into the New Year.

For the NBA, playing on Christmas Day has become commonplace. Many have said it’s the “unofficial” start of the season, as teams start to turn it into high gear after Santa Claus makes his appearance. Based on what we’ve seen so far, a lot of the good teams have been committed right from the jump this season. Those good teams know that a Christmas game is either a possibility or a certainty and it just becomes part of the annual grind.

For the NFL, there was one game on Christmas in 2020 and none in 2018 or 2019. There were two games in 2016 and 2017, but no Christmas games from 2012-15.

I’ve had many discussions about whether or not there is an advantage to being at home or on the road during these holiday games. Road teams obviously cannot spend the day with family. Home teams can move around the festivities to accommodate the games, but players may also be missing out on things while going to work.

I’m not sure it matters one way or another, but bettors are always desperate to find an angle or create a narrative, so it has been a talking point. My take would be that being on the road is better. You’re still with your second family and everybody is going through it together. This season, with enhanced COVID protocols, maybe families weren’t even getting together anyway, so it may not have any bearing on the handicap at all. If they did, they could have gotten together to celebrate before or after the players left.

I don’t think it really has any bearing one way or the other, but it has been an age-old question and one I thought I would address quickly in today’s blurb.

Obviously there are a lot of people away from their families to work today, like first responders, doctors and nurses, military members and those working in the service industry. A shout-out and a thank to all of you.

Happy holidays once again and good luck with your NBA and NFL plays today.

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