NBA Playoffs Predictions - First Basket Best Bets For Wednesday: Young strikes first

Trae Young Playing Against Knicks
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Andrew Ortenberg


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I'm an NFL handicapper 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. For Andrew Ortenberg media enquiries, please email
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The NBA playoffs are officially 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 another great slate of three games to break down on Wednesday. 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 Wednesday:

Wizards @ 76ers – Joel Embiid +290

Hawks @ Knicks – Trae Young +600

Grizzlies @ Jazz – Dillon Brooks +750

Let’s break ’em all down one by one:

Wizards @ 76ers – Joel Embiid +290

You’ll be hard-pressed to ever find a first basket prop with lower odds than this. That being said, it’s for good reason. This is a chalky play, but it’s the right one. The Wizards and 76ers have played four times this season, and Embiid has won three of those tip-offs. In all three of those games, he’s taken the 76ers’ first shot. Now that Alex Len is jumping for Washington (it was Thomas Bryant earlier in the season), I don’t see any way the Wizards win the tip. Embiid can dominate these weak Wizards big men, and the 76ers will want to get him established early.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Washington Wizards vs. Philadelphia 76ers.

Hawks @ Knicks – Trae Young +600

Clint Capela has won two of the three tipoffs he’s competed for against Nerlens Noel for this season, yet oddmsakers are acting like the Knicks are a favorite to win this jumpball. That’s because Julius Randle (+470) and RJ Barrett (+500) both have lower odds than Young. Young certainly didn’t look fazed by the bright lights in his first playoff game, going off for 32 points and taking 23 shots in Game 1 of this series. He took the Hawks’ first shot in Game 1, and will be looking to carry the momentum from his game-winner over here.

Grizzlies @ Jazz – Dillon Brooks +750

For our best odds of the slate I like Brooks a lot. Jonas Valanciunas and Rudy Gobert have faced off for four tip-offs this year, and Valanciunas has won three of them. Similarly to the Hawks/Knicks game though, oddsmakers are favoring the Jazz players here. Gobert and Donovan Mitchell are both +500, while Valanciunas is +700, but I’m expecting Memphis to start with the ball here. Brooks was easily the best offensive player in Game 1, and he took a game-high 26 shots, so I like his chances of getting the first look Wednesday.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Memphis Grizzlies vs. Utah Jazz.

Parlay odds: +23105

Just for fun I’ll be sprinkling a buck or two on a parlay of all three of these. It’ll pay out at better than 200/1 at FanDuel. It’s the playoffs, why not celebrate by going for the jackpot?

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