NBA Playoffs predictions - First basket best bets for Suns vs. Clippers: Chris Paul starts hot
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 Wednesday 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 Wednesday, where we’re counting on Chris Paul. We also have a long-shot play at the end.
I cashed the last first basket bet I did for this series with Deandre Ayton at +650 on Saturday; let’s make it two in a row!
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First basket best bet: Chris Paul +850
With Ivica Zubac out now, the Suns are virtually guaranteed to start with the ball in Game 6. That’s where our handicap has to start. Marcus Morris stands no chance against Ayton for the jump ball, and he didn’t even really try in Game 5.
I suggested betting Ayton frequently in the past, as there was a clear trend of Phoenix trying to get him involved early and running actions for him at the beginning of games. It took oddsmakers a while to adjust, but they finally have. Ayton was +650 when I suggested taking him on Saturday, and he’s now down to +420.
That’s too dramatic of a shift for my liking, so we’ve got to look elsewhere for value. At +850, Paul provides it. He’s been cold from the floor, but his volume has been there, and that’s what really matters for these bets. Paul has taken at least 19 shots in each of the three games he’s played in this series.
In Games 3, 4, and 5, Paul has taken the Suns’ second shot from the floor. So he’s been pretty close to cashing this each time in this series. On the heels of his poor shooting performances, I think Paul will look to be aggressive early and come out strong in what is definitely a legacy game for him.
I’m expecting a vintage Paul midrange jumper early on, and there’s a good chance it comes on the opening possession.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers
First basket longshot: Jae Crowder +1000
If you want a bet with a little juicier odds, I’d recommend Crowder. He’s moved down a bit from +900 all the way to an even 10/1. Recently it’s been more Ayton, but for a while, it was always either Ayton or Crowder getting the first look for the Suns throughout these playoffs. Crowder took the team’s first shot in six out of their first 13 playoff games, so getting 10/1 is definitely attractive.
Make sure you read our same game parlay for Suns vs. Clippers (+1530 odds!)