Wednesday, February 28, 2024

NBA First Basket Scorer Odds, Picks & Predictions: Thursday (1/12) – BettingPros

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There are six games on the NBA slate tonight. Four of those six games have a spread of just three points. We’re going to get some real nail-biting action in the NBA.

But you can save your nails by betting on the first-basket market instead. Here are three first-basket suggestions for tonight’s NBA slate.

Check out our other best bets for Thursday:

(Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)

Top NBA First Basket Scorer Odds, Picks & Predictions: Thursday (1/12)

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder have won the tip just ten times in 41 games this season. The Thunder have also launched the first shot just 37% of the time and have made 41% of first baskets.

On the other hand, the 76ers have won the tip 45% of the time and have taken the first basket 48% of the time. However, Philadelphia’s defense has been so good this season that they’ve still scored first 25-of-40 times this season.

Joel Embiid has taken eight first shots but has scored the first basket in 12 games this season. He’s got the highest probability of scoring first for a reason. Back him at +330 tonight.

Bet: Joel Embiid (+330)

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat

The Milwaukee Bucks have won the tip 66% of the time this season. They’ve also attempted the first shot 71% of the time but have scored just 59% of first baskets.

The Bucks haven’t been highly efficient shooting the first shot. But the Heat have won the tip 50% of the time with 43% of the first shots attempted. Despite taking the first shot 43% of the time, the Heat have only nailed first baskets 29% of the time this season.

Milwaukee should end up earning the tip. That would also give them a chance to put up the first shot. However, it’s unlikely that Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, or Jrue Holiday will play in this game. Therefore, we’ll roll with Brook Lopez, who has seven first shots and three first baskets made this season.

Bet: Brook Lopez (+600)

Charlotte Hornets vs. Toronto Raptors

The Hornets and Raptors already played one game against each other. In that game, Toronto won the tip, and Pascal Siakam scored the first basket.

The Hornets have struggled to win the tip in most games this season, averaging 38% on the tip. They’ve still hit 48% of first baskets despite earning the first shot in 43% of games.

Still, the Raptors should have the advantage, earning the tip in 54% of games this season. They’ve also taken the first shot in 54% of games this season, meaning they won’t turn the ball over when they get it first.

Siakam scored first in the first game and would be my selection for this game as well. He’s taken seven first shots and has nailed 11 first baskets this season. That’s almost half of Toronto’s first baskets.

Bet: Pascal Siakam (+380)

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