NBA Playoffs predictions - First basket best bet for Suns vs. Clippers: Ayton the aggressor
The NBA playoffs are officially in the home stretch, and it’s been hard to complain about the action we’ve seen so far. There have been plenty of thrills, and we have another pivotal game on Saturday as the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns continue their Western Conference Finals series.
At Pickswise we have tons of great content for the playoffs, including same game parlays, mega parlays, and picks on the side and total for every single matchup. But right now we’re going to talk about one of my favorite props: first-basket bets. Let’s dive into my best such bet for Saturday, where we’re counting on Deandre Ayton. We also have a long-shot play at the end.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns
Clippers at Suns – Deandre Ayton +650
Deandre Ayton won the tip over Ivica Zubac in Game 3, so he should be able to do it again here. It doesn’t get talked about much because he’s not seen as a player with a dynamic offensive game, but Phoenix often likes to start things off by looking for Ayton.
He scored the first basket in Thursday’s Game 3, and that bucket was far from an aberration. Ayton also took the team’s first shot in Game 2, and that was a 21-foot jump-shot, so it’s not like we’re relying entirely on a lob around the rim.
He scored the game’s first bucket in Game 1 too, when he got an offensive rebound and put-back. He *also* took the team’s first shot in each of the last two games of their second round series against Denver. That means Ayton has taken the Suns’ first shot in four of their last five games, and in the one that he didn’t, he still scored first.
As such, getting +650 presents a ton of value. He’s been doing it consistently throughout the playoffs, but oddsmakers still haven’t budged. That’s their loss.
Longshot: Jae Crowder +900
If you want a bet with a little juicier odds, I’d recommend Crowder. Although oddsmakers are acting like Devin Booker dominates opening possessions, that’s simply not the case. In fact, it’s almost always been Ayton or Crowder getting the first look for the Suns throughout these playoffs. Crowder has taken the team’s first shot in six out of their 13 playoff games, so getting nearly 10/1 is attractive.
Make sure you read our same game parlay for Suns vs. Clippers (+1259 odds!)