The NBA slate has six games on Saturday. It is a smaller slate but there’s plenty of juicy matchups across the board. Here are a few of my favorite First Basket picks for the Saturday schedule.
NBA First Basket Scorer Picks for Saturday
New York Knicks at Charlotte Hornets
The Knicks travel to Charlotte to take on the Hornets in this weekend matchup. The Knicks have gotten off to a solid start on the season behind a balanced offensive attack. They have four different players that are averaging 15 points or better in their starting lineup.
Since last season, the Knicks have scored the first basket in well over half of their games. Against a Charlotte team that sits closer to 45%, it’s a solid bet to back a Knick for First Basket.
Charlotte has been known for the last year or so to give up early baskets to bigs. They have given up almost half of their first opponent scores to centers and power forwards. Because of this, I like Julius Randle. He led the Knicks in First Baskets last year and although he’s gotten off to a slower start this year, he is still averaging 19.0 PPG. It’s still early and he has a great chance to heat up. There’s no better opportunity than now for Randle. I love his odds here to score a First Basket.
Pick: Julius Randle (+500)
Dallas Mavericks at Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis returned to the Bucks lineup on Friday night in a big win over the Hornets. With this game being a back to back and Giannis dealing with an ankle injury, it’s not outside of the realm of possibility that he sits here, but if he doesn’t this is a great matchup for a First Basket.
The Bucks remain a top team when it comes to First Baskets. Scoring first in over 60% of games dating back to last year makes them one of the best teams in the league when it comes to cashing the prop. To no surprise, Giannis is one of the best in the league at cashing First Baskets.
Dallas is a good matchup for Giannis as they have given up just under 60% of opponent first scores to bigs. The Mavericks are guard centric and have lacked a lot of force down low over the last few years. Against a young and inexperienced frontcourt, I Ike Giannis to cash us a First Basket on Saturday night.
Pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo (+340)
Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs
The Grizzlies are limping into this game with the Spurs in more ways than one. In addition to a terrible slide to start the season, they’ve now lost Marcus Smart for the foreseeable future. However, this doesn’t really affect their First Basket ability. The Grizzlies have still been pretty successful with this prop even though the final scores haven’t been in their favor.
San Antonio provides a decent matchup for one particular Memphis player in particular, Desmond Bane. The Spurs typically struggle most against centers, but they’ve also managed to give up a little less than 25% of their first opponent scores to shooting guards. Bane has a strong shot and can score in multiple ways. In the absence of Ja Morant he’s really blossomed, leading the team in scoring at 25.5 PPG. I like him to get the scoring started for Memphis against San Antonio on Saturday night.
Pick: Desmond Bane (+500)