A couple more close calls saw these picks go 0-3-1 on Saturday in this volatile market. Friday we get a full slate of 10 NBA matchups to sate any fans’ palate. Let’s take a look at these matchups and find some First Basket plays.
Season to Date: 5-20-3, +1.25 units
Also, take a look at our other best bets for Friday:
Friday’s Best NBA First Basket Bets
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics
The Nets travel to Boston on Friday to take on the Celtics. Brooklyn’s lineup has changed significantly over the last few weeks, but they’ve still had success when it comes to first field goals. Brooklyn has a small edge over Boston when it comes to scoring first field goals, so I’m going to target a Net player here.
Nic Claxton has a really solid matchup with Boston when it comes to First Baskets. Boston has given up first field goals to opposing big men in just less than half of their games which poses well for Claxton.
In a lineup he shared with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant for much of the season, Claxton leads the Nets in first field goals, 16, and First Baskets. He has also continued this trend since Irving and Durant were traded, leading the team in their absence. I like Claxton to continue this trend and score another First Basket.
Pick: 0.25u on Nic Claxton (+800)
Phoenix Suns at Chicago Bulls
The Suns travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls. The new-look Suns got off to a fast start with a win on Wednesday and will look to continue this by getting off to a hot start on Friday. They have a solid edge to score a First Basket in this matchup. Ayton is winning the tips at over 70% rate, while Vucevic is well under 35%. The correlation between winning the tip and scoring the First Basket is clear.
Deandre Ayton is a really good pick in this situation. I’ve harped many times about how Ayton leads the Suns in First Baskets, with over twice as many first team field goals as any current Sun player. The matchup with Chicago is favorable as well. Chicago gives up first opposing team field goals to centers in almost 30% of their games.
Ayton is a strong play generally for First Basket. With a great matchup in Chicago, he is a must-play for First Basket on Friday night.
Pick: 0.25u on Deandre Ayton (+420)
New York Knicks at Miami Heat
An exciting Eastern Conference rivalry is renewed yet again on Friday night as the Knicks head to Miami to take on the Heat. It should be an exciting game, but I’m focused on the First Basket matchup. Miami remains one of the worst teams in the league at cashing First Basket props, while the red-hot Knicks are doing so at over a 50% rate.
Miami has a few deficiencies when it comes to positions they tend to give up their first field goals. Opposing centers and shooting guards have been most successful against Miami, combining for the first field goal in about half of their games. This leads to two Knicks that I’m targeting for Friday night.
Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson lead the Knicks in First Baskets on the season and are priced as such. Because of this, I’m not targeting either. I’m going to take Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett. They sit third and fourth on the team in First Baskets, and because of the matchup stats with Miami, I like one of them to score a longshot First Basket winner.
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