NBA Playoffs Predictions - First Basket Best Bets for Sunday: Ayton off and running

Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns
Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon

NBA

Show Bio

Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

There is still one conference semifinal series to be completed, but the Western Conference is not waiting around. Game 1 between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers takes place on Sunday, actually tipping off before Game 7 of the Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks series. Speaking of tipoffs, those could go a long way in determining who scores the first points in the two contests. Let’s take a look at our best such bets for Sunday’s action on the professional hardwood.

Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns – Deandre Ayton +650

Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers – Trae Young +550

Here is a breakdown of the two prop plays one by one.

Clippers at SunsAyton +650

Well, we all know who is expected to win the tipoff between Deandre Ayton of the Suns and Marcus Morris Sr. of the Clippers. Just look at the first-basket odds; everyone on Phoenix is +700 or better, while Paul George (+650) is the only L.A. player with better than +850 odds (Reggie Jackson is +850, while Morris is +950). Assuming Ayton gives his team possession, he very well could be rewarded with the first basket. Suns all-star point Chris Paul (Covid-19 protocols) is out, so Ayton needs to have a big game. Look for the home team to establish him down low right from the start, and the Clippers’ interior defense is nothing special.

76ers at Hawks – Young +550

The Hawks wasted a chance to close out Philadelphia at home in Game 6 on Friday, but they at least still hold the lead in one department: jump balls. Atlanta center Clint Capela has taken four of the six opening tips from Philadelphia big man Joel Embiid. Although Embiid has the height advantage, he isn’t 100 percent due to a partially torn meniscus. At times that hasn’t been a factor in terms of preventing him from filling up the stat sheet, but at other times he has looked slow and unable to get any legs into his shots. Whatever the case, I would once again prefer to roll with a healthy Capela winning another jump ball and giving his team first possession. If that happens, you have to like Young’s value at +550 to score the first basket. I wouldn’t touch Danilo Gallinari because there is a chance Bogdan Bogdanovic starts (Bogdanovic is questionable). John Collins scored the first basket on Friday and has good value at +1000, but I expect Young to take matters into his own hands early and often with the season on the line.

Parlay odds: +4775

Why not sprinkle a few bucks on a parlay with both of these bets? It pays out more than +4700 odds at FanDuel. It’s the playoffs, so it’s time to go big or go home.

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. 

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook

$125

Bet $5, Get $125 in Free Bets - Guaranteed!

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up of $5 on any sport

Receive $125 in free bets regardless of the outcome of your wager

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.

Unibet

$100

Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 No Sweat First Bet

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $1,000!

Get refunded if you lose up to $1,000

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.

BetRivers

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Win $200 if Any NBA Team Hits a Three Pointer!

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NBA game

Win $200 in free bets if any team hits a three pointer

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$150

Bet $5 & Win $150 If Your First Moneyline Bet Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on the pre-game Moneyline in any sport

Win $200 if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$800

Get 4x $200 In Free Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Bet up to $200 and If you lose, you get a refund

You will receive Free Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $200 each for four days.

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,250

Get a $1,250 risk-free bet

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Place your first bet of $10 or more

If your first bet loses, you’ll receive a refund up to $1,250 from Caesars in free bets

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 if Any NHL Team Scores A Goal

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NHL game

Win $200 in free bets if any teams scores a goal

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 in Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Free Bets

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

Underdog Fantasy

$100

First deposit is 100% matched up to $100 with Underdog Fantasy

Sign up for a new account with Underdog Fantasy

Make your first deposit

Every dollar (up to $100) will be matched! Deposit $25, get $50; deposit $100, get $200, etc

Must be 21+ to play. Terms & conditions apply