NBA Playoffs predictions - First basket best bets for Wednesday: Young to silence crowd

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
Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon

NBA· 3 months ago

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.

We have a quartet of Game 5s in the NBA playoffs on Wednesday, making it the most important night of the postseason to date. Three series could come to an end, with the Philadelphia 76ers (vs. the Washington Wizards), the Atlanta Hawks (vs. the New York Knicks), and the Utah Jazz (vs. the Memphis Grizzlies) all holding 3-1 leads. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks are deadlocked at 2-2, with the visiting team having won all four contests.

Let’s take a look at some intriguing first-basket bets for Wednesday’s postseason action on the professional hardwood.

Washington Wizards at Philadelphia 76ers – Seth Curry +700

Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks – Trae Young +550

Memphis Grizzlies at Utah Jazz – Jonas Valanciunas +650

Let’s break down the three prop plays one by one.

Wizards at 76ers – Curry +700

Joel Embiid was 3-0 in jump balls against Wizards center Alex Len during this series and then Embiid took the jump from Daniel Gafford in Game 4 after Len got benched. Unfortunately for the 76ers (and unfortunate for a lot more reasons than just the tipoff), their star big man is doubtful for Wednesday because of a knee injury. That means Ben Simmons will probably be in the circle for the jump, and he should be able to win it. After all, he is bigger and more athletic than Gafford. With Embiid out, the Sixers’ offense is likely to run through everyone. This presents a good opportunity for Curry to get involved early and often. He has attempted a three-pointer less than two minutes into the game in two of the four contests and he was his team’s second point-scorer on Monday.

Seth Curry of the Philadelphia 76ers

Hawks at Knicks – Young +550

The Hawks are 3-0 in jump balls in this series. Clint Capela has had no trouble getting the best of Nerlens Noel at the tip, twice controlling the ball to Trae Young and once dropping it off to Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Knicks threw Taj Gibson at Capela in Game 4 and Atlanta’s big man won it again. You have to like Capela’s chances of taking it on a fifth straight occasion, in which case basically everyone in the visitors’ starting five has decent value to be the first point-scorer on Wednesday. Young scored the first basket on Sunday and you shouldn’t be surprised if he does the same here. The third-year point guard has been borderline unstoppable all series long and he is loving it, too. These teams don’t like each other and the New York fans don’t like the Hawks either. They especially don’t like Young. He will try to stick it to them early and often in Madison Square Garden.

Grizzlies at Jazz – Valanciunas +650

The Grizzlies trail 3-1 in this series, but Jonas Valanciunas leads the jump-ball battle 3-1 over Rudy Gobert. Let’s play the percentages and go with Memphis to gain first possession once again on Wednesday. Look for Valanciunas to be the beneficiary of his own tipoff success. He scored the first basket of Game 1 and was his team’s first scorer in Game 2. In Game 4 he was the second point-scorer, giving the Grizz an early 4-0 lead after Jaren Jackson Jr put in the first bucket. This is a must-win situation for the visitors, who will want to establish Valanciunas down low from the start.

Parlay odds: +38900

Why not sprinkle a few bucks on a parlay with all three of these bets? It pays out at almost +39000 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. 

See All
Caesars Sportsbook

$5,000

Get a $5,000 Risk Free Bet + a free NFL Jersey!

Register for a new Caesars Sportsbook account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $5,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $5,000 + a free NFL Jersey

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$200

Bet $20, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit $20+

Bet $20 on your team to win Money Line (NFL or NCAAF)

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

FanDuel Sportsbook

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 in cash if the Cowboys or Eagles win!

Bet $5 on the Cowboys or Eagles to win

Win $150 in CASH if your team wins!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account to claim

Must be 21+ to play. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit $20+

Bet $10 on your team to win Money Line

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $1 On Any NFL Football Game & Get $150 In Free Bets Instantly!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $1 on any Pro Football game

Instantly get $150 in free bets

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

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

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.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & 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.

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.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

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

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

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

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

BetAmerica Racing

$200

$200 Sign Up Bonus!

Fast, reliable and fast payouts - you'll have your money in 72 hours, if not sooner!

Proud history of providing safe, secure, and fun betting to American patrons

BetAmerica is owned by the iconic Churchill Downs Incorporated, home of 150 years of wagering history and the world-famous Kentucky Derby

Players who sign up using ‘BET200’ code will get a $200 sign up bonus. Offer valid for 7 days after registering on BetAmerica Racing product only. 21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign Up Bonus with TwinSpires Racebook!

Register for a new Twinspires account using offer code BET200

Make a deposit and start wagering on horse racing

Earn $100 in bonus cash for every $400 wagered!

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