We cashed one First Basket with Deandre Ayton on Friday, finishing with another positive day. Saturday gives us six great chances to find some First-Basket winners.
Season to Date: 6-23-3, +1.55 units
Also, take a look at our other best bets for Saturday:
Saturday’s Best First Basket Player Prop Bets
Let’s take a look at the slate.
Detroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers
The Pistons travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers on Saturday. With both of these teams at opposite ends of the Eastern Conference standings, the intrigue for the game may be low. However, the intrigue on the race for the First Basket is as high as ever.
The Pistons remain one of the worst teams at scoring First Baskets in the league, doing so at under 40 percent. In previous matchups with Cleveland the last two years, they’ve struggled against the size of the front court. It would make sense to focus on one of Cleveland’s skilled bigs, but I’m going in a different direction.
I like Donovan Mitchell to record the First Basket in this game. Detroit gives up first field goals to opposing shooting guards in over 25 percent of their games. Mitchell is more than just a regular shooting guard, as he leads the Cavaliers in scoring. He also leads them in first field goal scoring.
This is a matchup of strength versus weakness. You won’t get crazy long numbers, but it’s too strong of a play to pass up.
Pick: 0.25u on Donovan Mitchell (+390)
Minnesota Timberwolves at Sacramento Kings
Minnesota is fighting hard for a playoff spot down the stretch. They find themselves playing one of the biggest surprises in the league in Sacramento. It should be a really exciting game, but I’m only focusing on the first points.
One edge that I like on this game is Minnesota’s ability to win opening tips. The marriage with Rudy Gobert hasn’t always been pretty, but he’s still a tall, long center who wins a lot of opening tips. Meanwhile, Domantas Sabonis struggles winning tips at an under 40 percent.
The correlation between opening tip wins and First Baskets is well known. That is why Minnesota scores the first field goal in around 60 percent of contests. Early in the season, these opportunities often went to D’Angelo Russell, but with him being moved to Los Angeles, Anthony Edwards has taken over that scoring role.
Edwards now trails only Gobert in team first field goals, scoring 15 of his own in 64 starts. The matchup is strong for Edwards too, as Sacramento gives up around 22 percent of opposing first baskets to shooting guards.
It is a really strong play here for Edwards to score the First Basket. I am going to ride with that pick on Saturday night.
Pick: 0.25u on Anthony Edwards (+400)
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