Best NBA First Basket Scorer Prop Bets for Today 2/27: Randle sets the tone early
Only 4 games are being played in the NBA this Monday, but we have a pair of massive contests in the Eastern Conference as we get close to the final 20 games of the NBA regular season. As always, we have picks on the side and total for all 4 games being played tonight, be sure to visit our NBA predictions page to see them.
To spice things up I’ve prepared a couple of first basket plays for tonight’s action, so let’s get into it.
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Celtics vs Knicks: Julius Randle (+490)
With the return of Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks have gained a lot of size at the center position; that’s one of the factors we have to consider when analyzing who will win the tip in tonight’s game. Being almost 3 inches taller, Robinson has the height advantage over Robert Williams III — so he should be able to get the first possession for his team. As a team the Knicks win 59% of their tips this season which is a higher number than their opponent in this game. They also make the game’s 1st field goal 52% of the time, while the Celtics are at just 44%.
Even though it’s Jalen Brunson who takes their most 1st field-goal attempts at 36%, Julius Randle actually leads the team in 1st field goals made this season (36%). He has made a total of 20 of them, Brunson is 2nd with just 10 made, while over the last 10 games each of them has been able to do it 3 times. So there’s a pretty good chance 1 of these 2 will attempt the first basket from the Knicks’ side. I’m more inclined to leaning toward Randle, as he can bully his way on the inside and get an easier look closer to the basket — which increases his chances of making one before Brunson.
Check out our full game preview for New York Knicks vs Boston Celtics
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Heat vs 76ers: Joel Embiid (+240)
Although Miami is one of the elite teams in tip win percentage this season, the 76ers are miles better in 1st field-goal percentage. Philly has made the first basket in 63% of its games, while the Heat are near the bottom of the standings making it just 34% of the time — which is understandable considering the slow pace at which they play. Even though Embiid spent a lot of energy in the loss against Boston and was heartbroken towards the end as his half-court heave didn’t count, he should still be motivated to well in tonight’s game.
He’s jumping against Bam Adebayo, and — similarly to our bet in the Celtics vs Knicks game — he has the height advantage of almost 3 inches over Bam. Nobody on the Sixers has made more than 9 first field goals for their team this season. Embiid is the clear-cut leader with 23 made in 48 games played. Over the last 10 played he is at 4 first shots mate, and he also attempts 48% of first field goals this season — which is the highest amount by a long margin. Obviously these bets are never easy to land, but I believe backing Embiid gives us the best chance here.
Read our Miami Heat vs Philadelphia 76ers Same Game Parlay at +647 odds!
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