NBA First Basket Scorer Odds, Picks & Predictions: Monday (1/15)

There are plenty of opportunities to hit a first basket bet with today’s NBA board. We’ve got 11 games, meaning there will be 11 different players securing the first basket in their respective games.

Our job is to find at least one of those tonight.

Also, make sure to check out our NBA first basket cheat sheet for even more betting advice.

Plus, be sure to join our BettingPros Discord to discuss the best first basket bets for each and every slate of NBA games with our community of sports bettors!

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    Monday’s Best NBA First Basket Player Prop Bets

    (Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook)

    Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks

    The Orlando Magic are among the worst teams at winning the tip this season. Orlando has added the tip in 33% of games and made the first field goal in 41% of matchups.

    They essentially needed two shots per game to make the first field goal.

    On the other hand, the Knicks have won the tip in 53% of games and have scored the first field goal in 58% of matchups. They’ve been more efficient at winning the tip and at shooting the ball early.

    When the Knicks win the tip and look to score first, it’s typically Jalen Brunson getting the bucket. He’s added 11 first field goals in 37 games started this season. He’s also attempted the team’s first field goal in almost 50% of games while hitting the team’s first field goal in 30% of matchups.

    Brunson isn’t always efficient at starting games. But there’s a high probability that the Knicks win the tip and Brunson takes the game’s first shot. At +500, I’ll take those odds.

    Bet: Jalen Brunson (+500)

    Chicago Bulls vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

    The Chicago Bulls have only won the tip in 46% of games this season. They’ve also hit the first field goal in 44% of matchups and have attempted the first field goal in 51% of games.

    It’s taken the Bulls 2.5 shots per game to score the first bucket.

    On the other hand, the Cleveland Cavaliers have won the tip in 70% of games. They haven’t been super efficient despite winning the tip in seven of every ten games. However, the Cavaliers have still nailed the first field goal in 54% of games while attempting the first field goal in 62% of matchups.

    It’s taken the Cavaliers just 1.6 shots to score their first bucket, which is almost a full possession better than the Bulls.

    Therefore, I expect the Cavaliers to win the tip and shoot the ball first. That gives Cleveland a much higher probability of scoring first.

    They’ll likely start Donovan Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, Max Strus, Isaac Okoro, and Dean Wade. Mitchell is by far the highest-used player in these spots. He’s added 11 first field goals in 28 games started and has taken the team’s first shot in 39% of games. He’s also nailed the team’s first field goal in nearly 40% of games too.

    Bet: Donovan Mitchell (+310)

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