NBA Friday first basket best bets and parlay: Tatum time

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics
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Andrew Ortenberg

NBA· 2 months ago

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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 is approaching the home stretch, and we have another full slate on Friday. There is a big card with 10 games on the docket, including an intriguing double-header on NBATV. What better way to celebrate the huge slate than with some first basket bets? Let’s dive into them, using odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Pistons vs Celtics: Jayson Tatum +650

This isn’t the most high profile game on Friday’s board, but there’s a spot I think has good value. One of the most important factors for first basket prop bets is, of course, who will start with ball. And I think Boston is likely to get the first possession here. Robert Williams has been one of the best big men in the league at winning opening tips; he has won more than 65 percent of his jump balls this year. It looks like Marvin Bagley will jump for Detroit here, and he’s only had a few all season so it’s hard to judge him. But I’m skeptical he’ll beat out Williams. From there, I’m not sure why we’re getting such steep odds with Tatum here.

Tatum’s teammate Jaylen Brown is at +380, and I don’t think that price disparity is warranted. Tatum likes to get some good volume going early as well. In the team’s most recent game against the Hornets, for example, he made the team’s first basket and took 8 shots in the first 7 minutes. That’s a lot. In 4 games in March, Tatum is averaging 42 points and 26 shots from the field.

Knicks vs Grizzlies: Desmond Bane +950

I feel pretty good about the Grizzlies’ chances of starting with ball here. Steven Adams takes jump balls very seriously, and it’s not hyperbole to say he might be the best in the league at them. Adams is winning more than 76 percent of his tips this year, which is the best mark in the NBA for anyone with at least 10 jump balls. From there, I think Bane is being slept on at +950. I don’t see any reason for 6guys in this game, including three Knicks, to have lower odds than him.

In Memphis’ most recent game, Bane made the first basket of the game and took each of the Grizzlies’ first 2 shots. He took 6 shots in the first 6 minutes, and nailed 3 triples. He took 17 shots for the game which was easily the most on the team, yet we are getting almost 10/1 with him here. In their game before that against Houston, Bane took 22 shots! He has been on fire over his past handful of games, and the Grizzlies should look to keep feeding him early on Friday.

If you want to go really big, a Porter-Gordon parlay pays out at +6300!

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