First to 15 NBA Odds & Picks: Bet Hawks vs. Wizards, Mavericks vs. Pelicans

Malik Smith gives his first to 15 betting picks for two Wednesday night games: Hawks vs. Wizards, Mavericks vs. Pelicans.

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.

For Wednesday night’s seven game slate, we’re targeting two of the earlier games on the schedule: Hawks vs. Wizards, Mavericks vs. Pelicans. Check out tonight first to 15 odds and picks below.

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Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards

First to 15 Odds Hawks: -130 | Wizards: +105
Time | TV 7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass
SportsBook DraftKings

The Washington Wizards have the fifth-best cover rate in the Race to 15 standings and have the eighth-best cover rate at home. They reach 15 points at the second-fastest rate (5:54) and profile as one of the top teams in the league when it comes to Race to 15 bets. The Hawks, for the season, haven’t been as consistent overall or on the road where they will be tonight.

The Wizards are just 5-5 over their past 10 games, while the Hawks are 6-4 and both teams are scoring roughly the same amount in the first quarter over that stretch: Wizards at 29.4 points and Hawks at 31.2.

I think the Wizards are the better bet between the two teams, though. Over that same 10-game span, the Wizards are a significantly more efficient team, shooting 51.4% from the field and 45.2% from beyond the arc in the first quarter. The Hawks are shooting 48.4% from the floor and 35.7% from deep. I like the Wizards here at any plus number.

Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Pelicans

First to 15 Odds Mavericks: -120 | Pelicans: -105
Time | TV 7:30 p.m. ET | ESPN
SportsBook DraftKings

The Dallas Mavericks have become a much different team since trading for Kyrie Irving ahead of the deadline in February.

Prior to the trade, the Mavericks were the second-slowest team in the NBA in terms of Pace. Since Irving’s debut, the Mavericks moved up to 14th in the NBA in Pace.

Over those 10 games, Dallas is 6-4 in the Race to 15 Standings with an offense that ranks sixth in first quarter scoring (31.7) and second in Effective Field Goal Percentage (60%). The Pelicans have been struggling over that same stretch — 3-7 in the Race to 15 Standings, 18th in first quarter scoring (28.5) and 26th in first quarter point differential (-3.3).

Considering all of the recent trends, getting the Mavericks as -120 favorites against a Pelicans team that score or defend well early looks like good value.