For just the third time since moving to the desert in 1988, betting on the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Suns will be the highlight on Christmas Day.
The 2022 games, pitting the Suns against Denver and the Cardinals against Tampa Bay, will be the second straight Christmas Day doubleheader in the Valley.
Last year, the Suns lost their first Christmas Day game in 12 years to Steph Curry and the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, 116-107.
The Cardinals didn’t fare any better, losing to Indianapolis, 22-16, capping off a rather dismal Christmas Day for the city’s sports teams.
Fast-forward 365 days, and both teams will be back on the big holiday stage, and Arizona sports betting sites figure to be hopping.
While oddsmakers from BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona have yet to put a line on either the Cardinals or Suns Christmas games, the Suns are currently tied for third in NBA title odds at +700. The Suns lead the NBA’s Pacific Division with a 16-12 record, but have lost five straight games heading into Thursday’s meeting with the L.A. Clippers.
There won’t be a lot of Christmas cheer surrounding the 4-9 Cardinals, who lost Kyler Murray for the season with a knee injury Monday and now have the worst Super Bowl odds at +100000.
Before you hit the AZ betting apps this holiday, take a look at some of the best Christmas moments for the Suns and Cardinals.
Last Five Suns Games on Christmas Day
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Best of the Suns, Cardinals on Christmas
To get you in the holiday spirit, here’s a look at three memorable Christmas Day games for the Suns and Cardinals.
2010: Cardinals Earn Lone Christmas Day Win
A motley crew of Cardinals waltzed into State Farm Stadium and pulled off an upset over the Dallas Cowboys on Christmas Day 12 years ago.
While neither the Cardinals nor the Cowboys were particularly good in 2010, leaving Glendale with dueling 5-10 records, it still showed the resilience that was the calling card of then-head coach Ken Whisenhunt.
In classic Cardinals fashion, Arizona appeared to have the game under lock and key early, scoring two touchdowns within the first seven minutes and growing its lead to 21-3 midway through the second quarter.
A David Buehler field goal and a 24-yard touchdown run from Dallas’ Marion Barber trimmed Arizona’s lead to 21-20 after three quarters of play.
Luckily for Arizona, it had the right leg of veteran kicker Jay Feely in its back pocket, as the veteran nailed a 48-yard field goal with 10 seconds left to give the Cardinals a 27-26 victory.
It’s the Cardinals only Christmas Day victory, offsetting losses to the Cowboys in 1995 (37-13) and Colts in 2021.
2009: Suns Shellack Clippers
The Suns’ last Christmas Day victory came in convincing fashion at home against the L.A. Clippers, with Phoenix winning 124-93 behind 29 points and nine boards from center Amare Stoudamire.
Stoudamire, along with guards Jason Richardson and Steve Nash, paced the Suns’ fast-paced offense in a 48-minute rout of the Clippers, with the backcourt combo scoring 32 points and dishing out 12 assists.
Four Suns players came off the bench to score in double figures, led by forward Jared Dudley, who had 18 points in 26 minutes, to propel Phoenix to its second-largest margin of victory on Christmas Day — behind 1973’s 135-100 victory over the L.A. Lakers.
1993: Suns Ride Hot Streak to Win Over Rockets
The 1993-94 season would ultimately result in heartbreak for Paul Westphal’s Suns team, with Phoenix failing to return to the NBA Finals for a second straight season.
All hope was not lost on Christmas, however, as Charles Barkley and company throttled the eventual NBA champion Houston Rockets, 111-91, earning the Suns their first win in the holiday game in 11 years.
Westphal’s bunch rode a 37-point second quarter to a wire-to-wire win over Hakeem Olajuwon and company, with Barkley scoring 38 points while teammate Kevin Johnson had 36.
The Rockets scored revenge, however, as they knocked out the Suns in seven games during the Western Conference Semifinals, capped off with a 104-94 victory on the road in Game 7.