Friday is here again! Another great sports weekend is upon us, including a full slate of NBA action. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite spots to back for First Baskets on Friday night to get off to a strong start on your betting weekend.
Friday’s Best NBA First Basket Player Prop Bets
(Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook)
Washington Wizards at Miami Heat
The new-look Wizards travel to Miami on Friday night for a Southeast Division matchup. Last season Washington looked to Kristaps Porzingis and Bradley Beal often in First Basket situations. It resulted in them being exceptionally good as a team at cashing these props. However, 2023-24 is a different story. There’s still a lot we don’t know about this team, but we do know they are a sieve defensively.
I’m targeting Miami in this situation for a First Basket, and specifically Jimmy Butler. Butler is the main cog on this offense so the biggest concern here is he could be more of a distributor, but against this defense, he should get a chance at a good look.
Last year Washington gave up their most first opponent baskets to small forwards and Butler fits that bill. The Wizards will be even worse on that side of the ball this year so I like riding with Butler to score that First Basket on Friday night.
Pick: Jimmy Butler (+550)
Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder should be improved, even by last year’s surprising standards. Friday night will be a good litmus test against one of the best rosters over the last decade. It should be a really fun opportunity for the Thunder to see how close they are to real contention in the league. However, I’m looking in the other direction for First Basket.
The Warriors were really good last year, scoring the First Basket in 53% of their games last year. Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson dominated this prop for Golden State, but I like someone else in this spot.
Steph Curry has gotten off to an incredible start on the season. He’s averaging 31.0 PPG to start the season and has been red hot. I like him to record the First Basket in this game. After the way things went last year, Curry seems on a mission to get the Warriors back on top. I’m going to ride the hottest hand on the team and play Steph Curry for First Basket.
Pick: Steph Curry (+500)
Dallas Mavericks at Denver Nuggets
The Mavericks are off to the hottest start in the league and they go up against the defending champions on national television on Friday night. Dallas has been playing rookie C Dereck Lively where he has just won his first tip on Wednesday night. This didn’t result in a score on the first possession, but eventually, Luka Doncic cashed the prop. On Friday he’ll be going up against Nikola Jokic. I like Denver’s chances to win the opening tip.
Offensively you have to look at Jokic here as well. Last season Dallas gave up 35% of opposing first scores to centers. Of course, with Lively now at the center position, you can’t necessarily assume those stats last through this season. However, if you’re giving me a two-time league MVP going up against a rookie big man, I’m taking the MVP every time. Jokic is my favorite play for First Basket on the day’s slate.
Pick: Nikola Jokic (+460)
Make sure to check out our other best bets for Friday:
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- NFL Betting Primer: Top Picks & Player Prop Bets for Every Game (Week 9)
- College Football Week 10 Same Game Parlay Odds & Picks (2023)
- NBA First Basket Scorer Odds, Picks & Predictions
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