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 are Friday’s first to 15 NBA odds and picks.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies
|First to 15 Odds||Timberwolves: +126 | Grizzlies: -162|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The Grizzlies have been the first to 15 in their past four games and generally they are a team I would bet at home at the right price. However, the Timberwolves have been a strong bet in their past 10 games covering seven Race to 15 bets over that span. The Grizzlies, over their past 10 games have the third-worst first quarter offense in the league with a -3.2 point differential according to NBA Advanced Stats.
The Wolves just pulled off a three-team trade that essentially swapped out their D’Angelo Russell for Mike Conley at point guard, who is available to play tonight. That could be a factor here if the Timberwolves throw him into the fire.
I’m mostly interested in this play because Minnesota has matched up well with the Grizzlies defensively this season. Offensively, at least recently, these two teams are about equal in the first quarter and for the full season, the Wolves have actually been a better team early. I like the odds on the Wolves here at plus-money.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Clippers
|First to 15 Odds||Bucks: -120 | Clippers: -105|
|Time | TV||10:30 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
The Milwaukee Bucks are elite to open games, especially on the road (17-10, 63%). They have been the first to 15 in eight of their past 10 games and over that span, they rank third first quarter scoring. The Clippers are on the other other end of the spectrum as one of the worst early-scoring teams in the NBA — 11-15, 42.3% in home games, which ranks 24th this season.
The Bucks just played last night but it’s the back-to-back in L.A., which means they should still be fresh for tonight’s game. This feels like a play you don’t overthink. The recent trends and data all point to the Bucks being a better team early in games and at -120, I like their odds tonight against the Clippers.