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NBA First Basket Parlay | Apr. 10

Thomas Snodgrass

Updated: Apr 10, 2024


The NBA has eight games on the slate for Wednesday, which provides bettors more than enough games from which to select their legs of a first basket parlay.

There were some interestingly valuable first basket scorers on Tuesday, such as Javon Freeman-Liberty of the Toronto Raptors (+1000), Christian Braun of the Denver Nuggets (+1000), and Tre Jones of the San Antonio Spurs (+900)

Imagine selecting Freeman-Liberty, Braun, and Jones for a first basket parlay yesterday. Those three players would have set up a parlay with roughly 1200-1 odds.

That would have paid out over $12,000 on just a $10 wager!

Wild stuff.

Here were the 14 players that scored first buckets on Tuesday.

Games (April 9th)First Basket ScorerConsensus Odds
DET vs. PHIJaden Ivey (DET)+650
IND vs. TORJavon Freeman-Liberty (TOR)+1000
DAL vs. CHALuka Doncic (DAL)+360
MIA vs. ATLTyler Herro (MIA)+800
BOS vs. MILGiannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)+330
NYK vs. CHICoby White (CHI)+700
ORL vs. HOUWendell Carter Jr. (ORL)+500
WAS vs. MINCorey Kispert (WAS)+800
SAC vs. OKCDe’Aaron Fox (SAC)+575
SAS vs. MEMTre Jones (SAS)+900
DEN vs. UTAChristian Braun (DEN)+1000
GS vs. LALSteph Curry (GS)+600
LAC vs. PHXIvica Zubac (LAC)+900
NOP vs. PORScoot Henderson (POR)+825

Speaking of Spurs’ point guard Tre Jones, he’s been knocking on the first-basket door quite often of late, as BestOdds EDGE shows in his player info data.

That’s three straight games that Jones has taken the first shot for San Antonio.

Jones has now taken the first shot in 25% of the last 20 games for the Spurs, which is the highest mark on the team among all players that have started at least 15 of those games; Jones has started all 20 of them.

There are plenty of other players to keep an eye on for first baskets this Wednesday, so let’s dig through the slate and find some potentially profitable legs for a first basket parlay.

This parlay will be placed on DraftKings.

Max Strus – SF, Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers host the Memphis Grizzlies tonight, and since Grizzlies’ center Jaren Jackson Jr. will be on the sidelines in this one, I like Jarrett Allen to win the opening tip for the Cavaliers.

Allen has won 74% of his jumps this season, and with Trey Jemison being Allen’s opposing jumper at center court, Cleveland should gain control of the first possession.

Jemison has won only one of his 10 opening tips this season, so all signs point to the Cavs getting early control.

Memphis has allowed the first basket in seven of their last 10 games, and of all first baskets the Grizzlies have allowed this season, 26% have come from opposing small forwards, which is the second-highest percentage in the NBA.

Donovan Mitchell missed Cleveland’s last contest, but now that he will make his return, Max Strus will slide over from shooting guard back to small forward.

BestOdds EDGE gives us a look at the key first baskets stats for the Cavaliers’ expected starting five.

As we can see, Strus is third on the club in first field goal attempt percentage (24%) and first basket percentage (12%).

Strus has recorded respectable first basket numbers in 2023-24, playing in a Cleveland lineup that features more higher-profile players.

Here’s what the key first basket stats look like for the Cavaliers over the last 10 games.

Over the last 10 games, Strus holds the highest first FGA% for his team and team’s second-best first basket percentage.

In recent games, it has become clear that Cleveland has gotten Strus involved early, and against a Grizzlies’ squad that has allowed a chunk of first baskets to small forwards, Strus could strike first on Wednesday.

Pick: Strus – First Field Goal (+800) DraftKings

Dejounte Murray – PG, Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks will welcome the Charlotte Hornets to State Farm Arena on Wednesday night, and the opening tip data for this matchup is somewhat tough to nail down.

Here’s a look at the opening tip data from BestOdds EDGE:

Atlanta’s Clint Capela has the 1-0 head-to-head edge over Charlotte’s Nick Richards.

Neither center has been a dominant force at midcourt this season, but the largest number that stands out to me is the First Team To Score Percentage.

Despite Richards winning his opening tips at a higher clip, the Hornets are still scoring the first basket at 14% less than the Hawks.

I believe that Capela can get the better of Richards at midcourt once again, but ultimately, this one could come down to making the first basket, even if it’s not the first shot.

Charlotte has allowed the first basket in 62% of their games, the second-highest mark in the NBA, and they allowed two first baskets to point guards in the last three games, including Luka Doncic’s first bucket in last night’s contest.

Atlanta’s point guard Dejounte Murray has been a solid early scorer, and lately he’s been picking up the first-basket pace.

That’s back-to-back games with Murray attempting the first shot for the Hawks.

Murray has a 34% first field goal attempt percentage this season, and among all players taking the floor tonight, that number is tied with Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell for the second-highest behind only Nikola Jokic’s 39%.

Murray should fire up an early shot, and possibly make the first bucket.

Pick: Murray – First Field Goal (+600) DraftKings

Kevin Durant – PF, Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns visit the Los Angeles Clippers tonight, and even if Suns’ center Jusuf Nurkic is on the sidelines, Phoenix should still be in good hands at the opening tip.

Suns’ backup center Drew Eubanks has won all six of his opening tip opportunities this season, and tonight, against the Clips’ Ivica Zubac, Eubanks could win his seventh.

Zubac has been terrible at winning the opening jump this season, winning just 28% of his jumps; one of the lowest marks in the NBA among starting centers.

Also, one of Eubanks’ six tips victories came against Zubac just last night!

Phoenix should kick this game off with the first possession.

Los Angeles has allowed the first basket in 61% of their games this season, joining only the Utah Jazz (67%) and Charlotte (62%) as the only teams to allow the first basket in more than 60% of games.

The Clippers being mentioned in the same sentence as the Jazz and Hornets can’t be a good thing.

Most first baskets scored against Los Angeles have come from opposing centers (29%) and power forwards (23%).

I wouldn’t expect Eubanks, Phoenix’s backup center to score the first bucket, but Suns’ power forward Kevin Durant certainly could.

In 2023-24, Durant has the highest first FGA% and first basket percentage for Phoenix.

Yesterday, the Suns had an offensive clunker against the Clippers, including a 1-for-11 showing from Devin Booker.

Durant’s going to be the man to get this Phoenix offense flowing once again.

Pick: Durant – First Field Goal (+550) DraftKings

First Basket Parlay Legs – DraftKingsOdds
Max Strus – Cleveland Cavaliers+800
Dejounte Murray – Atlanta Hawks+600
Kevin Durant – Phoenix Suns+550
First Basket Parlay Odds+40850

$1 on this parlay could payout $409.50, or a $10 wager could payout $4,095!

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