Sportsbooks have become very creative with the game props they offer on a nightly basis. Sure, you can bet on the moneyline, spread, total, or even player props, but there are opportunities to get truly granular when looking to find betting value in an NBA game.
One of those opportunities is betting the First to (or Race to) 15 market.
What Is First to 15?
First to 15 is a statistic that the NBA will be referencing throughout the 2022-2023 season. For any game, First to 15 measures which team scores 15 total points first.
Why Does First to 15 Matter?
First to 15 helps contextualize which teams jump out to fast starts. It can help fans identify which teams tend to start games strong and may help predict which team will ultimately win a given game. In fact, over the past four seasons, teams that are the first to reach 15 points have gone on to win the game 61.3% of the time.
How Do I Make First to 15 Bets?
Multiple sportsbooks offer these props for every quarter, but we’ll use DraftKings as an example.
At DraftKings, you can find these markets under the game props tab of each individual game on a given night. The Race to X row of bets offer options to bet the first team to score as few as five points with increasing five-point increments going up to 30 points.
DraftKings gives you a three-way option to bet either team to reach the 15-point mark first, or for neither team to score 15 points in the quarter.
You’ll notice the odds of neither team reaching 15 points offer a very high 100-1 payout because it is exceedingly rare, especially in today’s NBA. (The Pistons and Trail Blazers in March of 2019 were the last two teams who each failed to score 15 points in the first quarter of a game.)