NBA First Basket Scorer Odds, Picks & Predictions: Saturday (1/21)

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Charlotte Hornets at Atlanta Hawks

This Southeast division matchup provides an interesting opportunity for First Basket. The Hawks have been a solid First Basket prop team, having a player cash in 55.6% of games this season. They’ve gotten a lot of success out of their All-star backcourt of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. I’m going to target one of those players, as well as a matchup-driven play, for this spot on Saturday.

It’s an interesting matchup with Charlotte. Typically, Charlotte gives up first field goals to the frontcourt at 58%, but that isn’t necessarily Atlanta’s strong suit. Looking more into the numbers, the Hornets give up 18% of their first field goals to opposing shooting guards. It’s not a strong trend, but the offensive trends on Atlanta’s side make this play more attractive.

Murray is scoring the first team field goal in 25% of his starts and four of his last ten. I’m going to ride his hot hand, and even though it doesn’t align with Charlotte’s defensive trends, it is a strong play for Atlanta that I’m going to sprinkle a little bit on.

Given Charlotte’s ability to give up first-field goals to big men, I will also target John Collins. His trends suggest staying away since he hasn’t scored a First Basket in over ten games and only has only three on the season. He is, however, attempting as many first three field goals as Trae Young has for the Hawks. The volume is there, he just hasn’t been hitting. Given the matchup with Charlotte, it is worth sprinkling a little on Collins to break out of the funk and cash this prop.

Pick: Dejounte Murray (+650) & John Collins (+650)

Philadelphia 76ers at Sacramento Kings

The 76ers head into Saturday night looking to sweep a five-game west road trip. The team is finally getting healthy and starting to look like the championship contender that people thought they would be, even after a slow start to the year. In addition to winning games, the 76ers have been juggernauts at cashing First Basket props. They’ve scored the first field goal in over 60% of their games this year, and one player has dominated that prop.

Joel Embiid has scored the first field goal for the 76ers in 20 games this year, almost twice as many as anyone else on the roster. I don’t think things will be much different on Saturday. Sacramento gives up first field goals to centers in 29% of their games this season. It is a perfect mix of defensive weakness and offensive strength, so Embiid is a must-play for First Basket.

Pick: Joel Embiid (+240)

Check out our NBA Player Prop Cheat Sheet for today’s best bets>>