NBA Friday first basket best bets and parlay: Garland gets it going

Cavaliers guard Darius Garland
Photo of Andrew Ortenberg

Andrew Ortenberg

NBA· 1 month ago

Show Bio

I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

The NBA play-in tournament will wrap up on Friday, and we’ve got two great games to look forward to. Hawks/Cavaliers will get us started, before Pelicans/Clippers bring us home in the nightcap. What better way to celebrate the weekend, and postseason basketball, than with some first-basket bets? Let’s dive into them, using odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Hawks vs Cavaliers: Darius Garland +750

Looking at Friday’s first game the anticipated return of Jarrett Allen to the lineup looms large. One of the most important factors when handicapping first basket prop bets is determining who is going to start with ball. And Allen would give the Cavs a big edge here. Allen is one of the league’s best big men at winning opening tip offs, as he’s winning over 66 percent of his jump balls this season.

On the flip side Hawks center Clint Capela isn’t nearly as good, winning just 41 percent of his tips. From there, I think Garland makes the most sense. He’s the engine of the offense, and his volume is going to be off the charts here. Garland took 24 shots from the floor in the first play-in game against the Nets, 10 more than any other player on the Cavs.

In each of his last two full regular season games, Garland took 24 shots as well. Allen is at +600, and there’s no way I could back him at that low of a price coming off an injury. Garland made the team’s first basket against Brooklyn, and I don’t see any reason to believe he won’t do so again here.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Atlanta Hawks vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Pelicans vs Clippers: CJ McCollum +600

Looking at the grand finale of the play-in tournament, things are shaping up in favor of the Pelicans. The Clippers were dealt a brutal blow on Friday morning when it was announced that Paul George had tested positive for COVID-19 and would miss this game. I also don’t like their odds of scoring the first basket.

Clippers center Ivica Zubac is even worse than Capela, winning only about 38 percent of his jump balls this season. From there, McCollum makes the most sense to me as the guy who is going to take charge here. McCollum has a lot more playoff experience than his Pelicans teammates, and his volume should be off the charts just like Garland’s.

McCollum was aggressive in the first play-in game against the Spurs, making the first basket of the game and taking two of New Orleans’ first three shots. He’s averaging over 24 points per game since getting traded to the Pels, and they’ll continue to lean on him here in the biggest game of the season.

If you want to go really big, a Garland-McCollum parlay pays out at +5850!

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.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 Risk-Free Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on Any MLB Game, Get $200 if Your Team Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $200 in free bets + any cash winnings from your original wager

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Win $200 If ANY NBA Team Makes a 3-Pointer!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline bet on any upcoming NBA game.

Win $200 if either team in your selected game makes a 3-pointer

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$150

Bet $5 on any NBA team, Get $150 in Free Bets if they win!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any team to win an NBA playoff game

Win $150 in free bets if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Win $200 If A Goal Is Scored In ANY NHL Game!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline bet on any upcoming NHL game.

Win $200 if either team in your selected game scores a goal

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 on any UFC 274 fight!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any fighter to win at UFC 274

Win $150 in free bets if your fighter wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,100

Get up to $1,100 in First Bet Insurance!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Make your first deposit of $50+

If your first bet is not a winner, get it all back as a free bet (up to $1,100) if you lose!

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.