NBA first basket predictions & best bets for Warriors vs Mavericks Game 4 on Tuesday, May 24: Luka saves the Mavs

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) shoots over Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the game at American Airlines Center.
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Filip Tomic

NBA · 1 month ago

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Long time NBA fan, have been following the game closely for 21 years now. Joining the Pickswise writing staff for the 2020-21 season. Hopefully we can make some money together! Oh, and I firmly believe Lebron James is not one of the two best basketball players of all time. Yeah, I said it.

With their season on the line, the Dallas Mavericks will have to be at their best tonight if they want to avoid getting swept by the Golden State Warriors. Will the home crowd be enough to make a difference tonight? Or will the Warriors cruise to their 6th NBA Finals in 8 years?

I am focusing on who will get the first basket in tonight’s game. Over the past several weeks we’ve had some pretty big winners on this bet here at Pickswise, so why not try and keep the momentum going? We had a 2-leg +5500 parlay winner featuring Kyrie Irving and Anthony Edwards. Plus we’ve also landed Donovan Mitchell twice, Mikal Bridges, Joel Embiid and Desmond Bane once. So far in this Warriors vs Mavericks series we came really close to cashing on Jalen Brunson in Game 1 at +750 odds, but unfortunately he missed his jump shot attempt after Dwight Powell won the opening tip.

Warriors vs Mavericks first basket best bet: Luka Doncic +390

As always, in order to have a solid chance at knocking down the first basket, winning the opening tip makes a huge difference. The Mavericks are 2-1 in the series so far and having the home crowd behind them will certainly be beneficial for Dwight Powell to continue his dominance over Kevon Looney. Neither Powell or Looney have had impressive numbers when it comes to opening tips, but the Mavs center has had the upper hand in 5 of the last 6 meetings between the two, including Games 1 and 3 in this series.

I know the odds aren’t as tasty on Doncic at +390, but so far this postseason Doncic has made the first basket four times – two times in each of the Warriors vs Mavs and Mavs vs Suns series. If we analyze the entire season we can see that 31% of Mavs’ first baskets made came from the point-guard position which is also a really solid foundation for tonight’s bet. The ball spends the majority of time in Luka’s hands right from the get-go anyway. He has assisted Dwight Powell twice to score the first basket in the series against the Jazz too.

Interestingly enough, only 8% of Doncic’s made first baskets in a game this season were three-pointers, while 44% fall into the “other” category which would in theory mean a 2-point basket for example. Doncic also takes 31% of 1st basket field goal attempts for his team this season, coming out with a lot of aggression tonight will be the key for him in order to save his team from getting swept.

Be sure to check out our full Game 4 preview for Golden State Warriors vs Dallas Mavericks

Pickswise is the home of free NBA picks and predictions. Make sure to also check out our NBA parlays and NBA prop bets tabs for more expert picks.

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