NBA Playoffs predictions - First basket best bets for Sunday: Young strikes first

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) moves the ball against New York Knicks guard Elfrid Payton (6) during the first half of game two of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal at Madison Square Garden
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Andrew Ortenberg

NBA· 3 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 playoffs are officially in full swing, and it’s been hard to complain about the action we’ve seen so far. There have been plenty of thrills, and we’ve got a solid two-game slate on Sunday as the Hawks and 76ers kickoff their second-round series while the Clippers and Mavericks meet for a Game 7 showdown. It’s a lot to unpack, and there are a plethora of wagers to make. We’ve got 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 favorite such plays for Sunday, starting with Trae Young.

Hawks @ 76ers – Trae Young +650

Mavericks @ Clippers – Luka Doncic +450

Let’s break ’em down one by one:

Hawks @ 76ers – Trae Young +650

Young already cashed one of these for us at +600 last round, and he can do it again here. Oddsmakers are treating the 76ers as a big favorite to score first, and I’m not sure why. Ben Simmons is +420 and Tobias Harris is +440, while Young has the lowest odds of any Hawks player at +650. Clint Capela and Joel Embiid faced off three times in the regular season, and Capela won the tip twice. It’s unclear whether Embiid is going to play here, so it might be the shorter Ben Simmons doing the jump for Philly. If Embiid does play, he likely won’t try too hard for the tip considering he’ll be gutting through a meniscus tear. Young only played in two games against the 76ers this season, and he made Atlanta’s first shot both times.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Atlanta Hawks vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Mavericks @ Clippers – Luka Doncic +450

The Mavericks are virtually guaranteed to start with the ball on Sunday. The Clippers have moved Ivica Zubac to the bench, and are now jumping Marcus Morris. Even when Zubac was doing the tips it didn’t matter, as the Mavericks have won the opening tip-off in each of the first six games of this series. As such, it would be hard not to take a player on Dallas here. It would be even harder not to take Doncic. The young superstar is coming off a tough Game 6, and the Mavs know that getting their best player going early is the most important thing for this Game 7. Doncic has scored the first basket of the game in two of the past four games in this series, so I’m not too concerned about only getting +450.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Parlay odds: +4025

Just for fun I’ll be sprinkling a few bucks on a parlay of both of these. It’ll pay out at almost 50/1 at FanDuel Sportsbook. It’s the playoffs, why not celebrate by going for the jackpot?

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.

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