NBA Tuesday first basket best bets and parlay: Curry to cook from the start

Ja Morant and Stephen Curry Grizzlies vs Warriors
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Ricky Dimon

NBA· 2 months ago

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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.

Welcome to March, when basketball is king. The NCAA Tournament is one week away and the NBA is coming down the home stretch of the regular season. For this piece it is the pros who have our attention. We have a 6-game slate on Tuesday, highlighted by the nightcap on TNT between the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors.

Let’s take a look at some first basket best bets.

Pelicans vs Grizzlies: Ja Morant +650

The Grizzlies can be expected to have the first possession in their home date with the Pelicans on Tuesday. In fact, Memphis is pretty much always favored to win the tip. Steven Adams is the best in the business when it comes to jump balls, having won 57 of 75 this season (76 percent). He will be going up against his former team – and specifically Jonas Valanciunas. Although Valanciunas is better than average when it comes to jumps, his 55.41 percent win rate pales in comparison to his counterpart. These 2 teams just faced each other on February 15 and Adams unsurprisingly won the tip.

Needless to say, the tipoff is the most important factor that should be looked at when deciding on first-basket bets. Obviously players on whichever team gains possession are going to have by far the best opportunities. At +650 (third favorite), Morant – clearly the best player on the team and one of the best in the entire association – has great value. In 3 games this month the former Murray State star has scored inside the first minute, scored inside the first minute and a half, and attempted a shot inside the first 20 seconds.

Check out our Pelicans vs Grizzlies preview

Clippers vs Warriors – Stephen Curry +550

This Clippers-Warriors matchup is another case of the tipoff being a key component. Ivica Zubac will be lining up for Los Angeles and he was won only 25 of 71 jumps during this 2021-22 campaign (35.21 percent). Zubac will be facing Golden State big man Kevon Looney, who comes in at 38.96 percent (30 won, 47 lost). Although Looney’s numbers aren’t markedly better, what really matters is the head-to-head. These 2 teams have squared off 3 times already this season and Looney is 3-0 against Zubac in the tipoff circle.

If Golden State gains possession, don’t be surprised if Curry is the beneficiary. The former Davidson standout has better numbers against the Clippers this season than he does at the expense of any other opponent against whom he has played multiple games. Curry is averaging 37.0 points per game and making almost 8 three-pointers per contest on insane 59.0 percent shooting from the land of plenty.

Check out all of our NBA previews and picks for Tuesday

If you want to go really big, a Morant-Curry parlay pays out at +4775!

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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