First to 15 NBA Odds & Picks: Target 76ers vs. Celtics, Warriors vs. Trail Blazers (Feb. 8)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Poole #3 of the Golden State Warriors dribbles the ball during the game against the Denver Nuggets.
There are so many ways to bet an NBA game, but for those bettors who can’t bear to sweat the full 48 minutes, there are other markets that offer more instant satisfaction. One of those markets is the Race to 15 Points. It’s as simple as the name suggests: The first team to hit 15 points cashes the bet.
Wednesday’s NBA slate features nine matchups and tonight, I’m actually looking at two road teams with some value. Here’s a look at Wednesday’s first to 15 NBA odds and picks.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics
|First to 15 Odds||76ers: +110 | Celtics: -140|
|Time | TV||7:30 p.m. ET | ESPN|
This is the first time these two teams will meet since opening night at TD Garden. The Celtics have a solid cover rate at home in the Race to 15 standings (17-10, 63%), but the 76ers are the best team on the road in this department (17-7, 70.8%).
Over the past 10 games, the Celtics have seen their first quarter scoring take a dip. In that stretch, the Celtics are 12th in first quarter scoring — they ranked third in first-quarter points (30.6) prior to that point. The Sixers over that same 10-game stretch rank fifth in first quarter scoring and have been the first to 15 in seven of those games.
As always with the Sixers, you worry about the injury report, specifically Joel Embiid (questionable with foot soreness), but there are no indications that his status is any different than any other game when he’s on the injury report. The Celtics also have injury concerns with Al Horford and Robert Williams III questionable to suit up with lower leg ailments.
With everyone healthy, I think these teams are evenly matched, but I give the 76ers a slight edge considering their road success. At plus-money, I lean toward them to be the first to 15 in this Eastern Conference showdown.
Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trail Blazers
|First to 15 Odds||Warriors: -105 | Trail Blazers: -120|
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | TBA|
The Trail Blazers are having a rough stretch to open games. They have gone four straight games allowing their opponent to reach 15 points first and in their past 10 games, they’ve been the first to 15 just once.
More troubling is their cover rate at home. The Blazers are 13-13 at home in the Race to 15 standings, which ranks 22nd in the NBA; there doesn’t seem to be any home advantage for them in front of their fans to start the game.
Enter the Warriors. The only good thing about their team on the road this season has been their record in the Race to 15 standings (15-12, 55.6%). They are dealing with yet another absence to their star player, Stephen Curry. In eight games without Curry on the road, the Warriors have been able to tread water early, with their Race to 15 prop going 4-4. Jordan Poole is no Curry, this we know, but he has the scoring ability that, in spurts, can make up for what the Warriors miss from Curry.
I don’t think the Blazers’ early scoring woes are a fluke and I expect the Warriors to catch them sleeping early.
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