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First to 15 NBA Bets: Value in Raptors vs. Knicks, Trail Blazers vs. Thunder (December 21)

First to 15 NBA Bets: Value in Raptors vs. Knicks, Trail Blazers vs. Thunder (December 21) article feature image

Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers.

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 slate features 11 games, which gives us ton of options to find value. There are two games that stand out on the slate, though. Here are tonight's First to 15 NBA bets to monitor.

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Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks 

First to 15 OddsRaptors: -108 | Knicks: -115
Time | TV7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass

The Knicks are the hottest team in the NBA and if you've been following them, you might have seen a huge difference in how good their starting lineup has been during their win streak.

Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson have played the most minutes of any five-man lineup in the NBA in this stretch. Offensively they've been solid, averaging 114.3 points per 100 possessions. Defensively? They are suffocating teams to start games with a 96.4 Defensive Rating, according to NBA Advanced Stats.

Grimes is listed as doubtful after suffering an ankle injury on Tuesday, but Immanuel Quickley is likely to get the start and provides the necessary on-ball defense and spacing to make this lineup work.

There's a lot to like about the Knicks in this spot. At Madison Square Garden, the Knicks are 12-3 on First to 15 bets, tied with the Grizzlies for the best home mark. They are also 9-1 on First to 15 Bets in their past 10 games.

The Knicks are on the second night of a back-to-back, but most of their starters played fewer than 30 minutes in Tuesday's blowout against the Golden State Warriors. And the Knicks have won the first quarter in three of their five games on the second night of a back-to-back.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

First to 15 OddsTrail Blazers: -136 | Thunder: +106
Time | TV8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass

There's a bit of a revenge angle for this one. Damian Lillard broke the Trail Blazers franchise record for points against the Thunder just two nights ago, but it was overshadowed by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's game-winning baseline jumper in a wild finish.

You can be certain the Blazers will want some get-back early in this one. They've been the hottest first to 15 team in the league, cashing their prop in seven straight games. In fact, the Trail Blazers have been the highest scoring team in first quarters since Lillard returned from injury on Dec. 4, putting up 32.6 points in the opening frame over that eight-game stretch.

Thunder are averaging 26.8 points in the first quarter (25th) over the same time frame. They have been the worst team at covering First to 15 bets this season (8-23). The Trail Blazers have a great chance to push their First to 15 streak to eight games in this spot.

Pick: Trail Blazers First to 15 (-136)

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Nick Sterling
Mar 2, 2024 UTC