Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.
Christmas Day isn’t traditionally a big day of sport in the UK, but that isn’t the case everywhere. In the US it’s a marquee day of big clashes, while the time difference means the Boxing Day action in Australia kicks off on Christmas night for UK sports fans.
There’s plenty of action to enjoy across a variety of sports, while all of the action can be streamed live on bet365. We’ve also put together a cross-sport accumulator for Saturday’s action, which you can back below.
Christmas Day cross-sport treble
Turkish Super Lig
4 games including Trabzonspor vs Istanbul Basaksehir at 4pm
Resisting every possible urge to make bad Turkey puns, the Super Lig is the pick of the action as far as football is concerned. The day’s four matches are headlined by a battle between the top three, as runaway leaders Trabzonspor meet third-placed Basaksehir.
It should prove to be an entertaining clash, with both teams scoring in four of Basaksehir’s last five. The hosts have scored in their last 16 matches in all competitions, so back both teams to find the net in this battle for the Turkey crown.
Best Bet: BTTS in Trabzonspor vs Istanbul Basaksehir
Cleveland Browns @ Green Bay Packers at 9:30pm
The first of the NFL’s Christmas Day double-header is the only game which takes place before midnight on Christmas night in the UK. While UK-based NFL fans can see in Boxing Day with Cardinals @ Colts, we’ll focus on the live Sky game on Saturday night.
The Green Bay Packers host the Cleveland Browns in the opening game and the Packers come into it having already wrapped up their place in the post-season. They won the NFC North with a narrow 31-30 win over the Baltimore Ravens last week, but they are chasing a seeded spot in the playoffs so don’t expect them to ease up.
Meanwhile, the Browns come into this one bottom of their division and their chances of making the post-season are fading. They need a big finish to the campaign to stay in the mix, but that’s unlikely. Cleveland have lost five of seven on the road and the Pack have gone 6-0 against the spread at home this year. Take the Packers to cover -7.5 at 10/11.
Best Bet: Green Bay Packers -7.5 handicap
5 live games including Golden State Warriors @ Phoenix Suns at 10pm
While the NFL is now muscling in, Christmas Day traditionally belongs to the NBA. It’s a big deal for the league once again, as they’ve scheduled five marque matchups one after another, which clocks in at over 12 hours of basketball. It’s a dream for basketball fans worldwide, especially in the UK as the coverage starts at 5pm.
At 7:30pm, The Milwaukee Bucks host the Boston Celtics. The champions will be hoping to have superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo back, but his absence hasn’t hurt their good home record. The Bucks have won 10 of their last 11 at home, while the Celtics have lost four of their last five away. Back the Bucks -3.5 in that one.
However, the middle matchup is the pick of the bunch. The two best sides in the Western Conference meet in what could be a preview of this season’s Conference Final. While the Warriors remain without star Klay Thompson, these two sides should put on a show.
The pair have split the season series, with each winning their home game. However, the Suns’ Devin Booker was able to feature in his side’s win in their opening clash this season. An injury in that game saw him miss the return clash in San Francisco. He is back in the Suns side now and his influence will be crucial. The Suns lost almost as many games in seven clashes without Booker (two) as they have in 22 matches with him (three).
The Suns have a 14-2 record at home this season and they should be able to see off the Warriors in this clash.
Best Bets: Bucks -3.5 handicap, Suns -5
Third Test starts at 11:30pm
England face a mountain to climb as they head into the third test at the MCG, with Joe Root’s side looking to become just the second side in Ashes history to win a series from 2-0 down.
The tourists are expected to make changes to their XI. Jonny Bairstow or Dan Lawrence could replace Ollie Pope, while Mark Wood, rested last week, is likely to be recalled to the bowling attack.
Australia should have Josh Hazlewood (side strain) and captain Pat Cummins (isolation) available and may choose to rest Mitchell Starc.
The hosts are strong favourites to continue piling the misery on Joe Root and his team by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead that would consign England to a third successive series defeat down under.
Their batting has been a real strength. Steve Smith scored a first innings 93 in Adelaide and has recorded centuries in four of his last five Boxing Day tests in Melbourne. He is 4/1 to rack up another century in the first innings of this match.
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