First to 15 Bets: Target Timberwolves, Lakers Friday

Action Network Senior Editor Malik Smith gives his first to 15 betting picks for two games on Friday's NBA slate, including Raptors vs. Lakers.

There are so many ways to bet an NBA game, but for those bettors who can’t bear to sweat the full 48 minutes, there are other markets that offer more instant satisfaction. One of those markets is the Race to 15 Points. It’s as simple as the name suggests: The first team to hit 15 points cashes the bet.

Here’s a look at Friday’s first to 15 odds and picks.

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Brooklyn Nets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves 

First to 15 Odds Nets: +110 | T-Wolves: -135
Time | TV 8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
SportsBook DraftKings

The Timberwolves have one of the best first quarter offenses in the NBA over their past 10 games, scoring 32.2 points in the first, which ranks fourth in the league over that span. In those 10 matchups, they have been the first to 15 in seven games and they reach 15 points at the seventh-fastest rate (6:07) this season.

The Nets have been the complete opposite to open their recent games. In that 10-game stretch, they are averaging 26.0 points in the first quarter with a -6.3 point differential — marks that rank 28th and 29th in the NBA respectively — and 3-7 in the Race to 15 standings over that span.

The odds suggest that the Timberwolves cash this bet roughly 55% of the time, but at home they’ve cashed their Race to 15 bets at a 68% rate. Considering all the factors, I’m taking the value on the Wolves against a struggling Nets team.

Toronto Raptors vs. Los Angeles Lakers

First to 15 Odds Raptors: -128 | Lakers: +100
Time | TV 10:30 p.m. ET | NBA TV
SportsBook FanDuel

The Raptors and Lakers are fairly evenly matched over their past 10 games.

Both teams are averaging 26.8 points in the first quarter. The Raptors and Lakers rank 10th and 14th respectively in first quarter point differential over that span. And they are 8-2 and 7-3 respectively in the Race to 15 standings over that span.

Despite having similar profiles, the Raptors are favorites on the road. I think getting the Lakers at even money is good value. At home, the Lakers have the eighth-best cover rate (62.5%) in the NBA, while the Raptors are .500 on the road when it comes to covering Race to 15 bets.

The Lakers should have offensive reinforcements coming with D’Angelo Russell probable to return to the court after dealing with an ankle sprain. I’d bet the Lakers to -105 if this line moves before tip-off.