NBA Saturday first basket best bets and parlay: Garland's game

Cleveland Cavaliers' Darius Garland advances the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Chicago.
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Andrew Ortenberg

NBA· 2 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 is approaching the home stretch, and we have another full slate on Saturday. There is a solid card with 7 games on the docket, including a highly anticipated Bucks-Warriors showdown on ABC. What better way to celebrate the weekend than with some first basket bets? Let’s dive into them, using odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Cavaliers vs Bulls: Darius Garland +500

It seems like oddsmakers view the Bulls as 50/50, if not better, to start with ball here as Nikola Vucevic actually has the lowest odds at +460. I don’t think that’s the case. Vucevic isn’t very good at jump-balls, as he’s winning only 39.4 percent of his tips this season. Getting Garland at 5/1 has good value considering how ridiculous his volume has been lately. With Jarrett Allen and his 16 points per game now out, Garland is shouldering even more of the offensive load than usual. In the Cavs’ most recent game on Friday, Garland took three of the team’s first five shots.

He had a poor shooting night overall, and will look to get the bad taste out of his mouth by starting hot early here. Garland also attempted a career-high 16 free-throws last night, and remember that free throws count as a first basket at FanDuel. In Cleveland’s previous game Garland took a whopping 26 shots from the field while scoring 41 points.

Timberwolves vs Heat: Anthony Edwards +800

Edwards is being slept on here. Heat center Bam Adebayo has been pretty good at jump balls this year, but it’s a relatively small sample size since he missed a lot of time due to injury. And when Miami and Minnesota played each other for the only time earlier this season, Karl-Anthony Towns won the tip. From there, Edwards has significantly higher odds than teammates Towns and D’Angelo Russell, and I think that’s misguided.

In the T-Wolves’ most recent game Edwards took 19 shots, which was five more than any of his teammates. In their previous game, Edwards took 15 shots while only playing 25 minutes due to a blowout. The volume is there. And there’s another interesting factor at play here, that Edwards scores dramatically better on the road. At home this season, Edwards is averaging 17.7 points per game. On the road, that number jumps all the way up to 24.5. That could bode well for his chances of scoring early here in Miami on Saturday night.

If you want to go really big, a Garland-Edwards parlay pays out at +5300!

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