First to 15 NBA Odds & Picks: Target Hawks vs. Thunder, Grizzlies vs. Warriors Wednesday (January 25)

First to 15 NBA Odds & Picks: Target Hawks vs. Thunder, Grizzlies vs. Warriors Wednesday (January 25) article feature image

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry #30, Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors, Dillon Brooks #24 of the Memphis Grizzlies.

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.

Let's get right into the first to 15 NBA odds and picks for Wednesday's 10-game slate.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

First to 15 OddsHawks: -115 | Thunder: -110
Time | TV8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass

Believe it or not, the Hawks and Thunder are the two hottest teams to bet right now in the Race to 15 market. The Hawks have been the first to 15 in seven straight games, including four on the road. The Thunder have done it in six straight games. By the end of the night, only one streak will remain.

Not only is the game itself a toss up with the Hawks listed as 1.5-point favorites against the spread, these two teams have similar profiles as first quarter teams. They rank tied for 15th in the NBA in average scoring in the opening period this season (28.9) and they are both in the top 10 in first quarter scoring in January — the Thunder rank third (31.5) and the Hawks seventh (30.3) over that span.

But I think the slight edge should go to the Hawks here. The Thunder have struggled all season to be the first to 15 at home and in this six-game streak they have played just one home game. The Hawks, meanwhile, have come on strong in recent games and are 13-12 on the road in the Race to 15 standings.

There's also the small matter of defense. The Thunder have not been able to stop anyone from scoring early in games this season (teams reach 15 points in 5:53 on average). Only the Pacers have allowed opponents to score 15 points faster and the Hawks are tied for the 10th-fastest team (6:16 to reach 15 points) this season. I'll take Trae Young & Co. to come out on top here.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors

First to 15 OddsGrizzlies: -105 | Warriors: -125
Time | TV10 p.m. ET | ESPN

It's #NBARivalsWeek, so it's only right that we have two teams that truly don't like each other on the betslip. The Grizzlies and Warriors met on Christmas Day and we got the same fireworks then that we saw in last year's playoff matchup.

The Warriors have been a different team this season when they play at home compared to on the road and that extends the Race to 15 market as well. At Chase Center, the Warriors have the fourth-highest cover rate (69.6%) in the NBA this season and they lead the league in first quarter scoring (32.1 points).

The Grizzlies also score a ton of points in first quarters this season (29.7), but they are middle of the pack on the road in the Race to 15 standings and have failed to be the first to 15 in five straight games. Tonight the Grizzlies be without Steven Adams, which removes one barrier for the Warriors who typically struggle with size in the paint, while the Warriors will have all their main contributors available.

Data aside, it seems like the Warriors get up for games against teams they beat on their road to a chip (see: Celtics) and come with a bit more juice to open the game. I'll take them in this matchup of rivals Wednesday.

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Nick Sterling
Jun 16, 2024 UTC