NBA Friday first basket best bets and parlay: Bank on Bridges
The NBA is back in action, baby. The all-star break is officially in the rearview mirror, and we have another full slate on Friday. We’ve got a big card with nine games scheduled, including an intriguing doubleheader on ESPN. What better way to celebrate the start of the weekend than with some first basket bets? Let’s dive into them, using odds from FanDuel Sportsbook:
Raptors vs Hornets: Miles Bridges +500
The Hornets going to Bridges early has been pretty much a foregone conclusion recently. In Charlotte’s last game before the All-Star break, Bridges took each of the team’s first three shots. In their matchup before that against the Timberwolves, Bridges’ made the game’s first basket. And in their game right before that, Bridges took the team’s first shot once again. He was really starting to catch fire before the break, recording at least 22 points in five of his last six games, so the team should look to keep him rolling after the time off. One of those games was against this same Raptors team, and Bridges scored the game’s first bucket and led Charlotte in scoring in that one. He’s taken 21 shots from the field in back to back games, and volume is key with these first basket wagers.
Heat vs Knicks: Julius Randle +650
Speaking of volume, Julius Randle’s usage rate is off the charts right now. With RJ Barrett still sidelined by his ankle injury, Randle is chucking it up as much as anybody. In the Knicks’ most recent game, he made the team’s first basket. Right before that against the Thunder, he took 26 shots from the floor. In each of his previous four games, he took the first shot of the game for the Knicks. He’s consistently taking shots early in the first quarter of almost every game. In the month of February, Randle has been averaging 28.1 points per game, and it’s by far the best he’s been all season. The Knicks desperately need him to keep it going, and should feed him early and often here in this nationally televised game against Miami.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Miami Heat vs New York Knicks
Pelicans vs Suns: Herb Jones +1400
Wrapping up these first basket plays with more of a longshot. Getting Jones at 14/1 is just too good to pass up. He’s best known for his defense but has shown flashes of taking his offensive game to the next level recently, and in New Orleans’ most recent contest he took three of their first five shots. Jones isn’t going to attract a ton of attention from the Phoenix defense, so I expect the Pelicans to go to him early to try to steal a quick basket.
Check out all of our NBA previews and picks for Thursday
If you want to go really big, a Bridges-Randle-Jones parlay pays out at +67400!