NBA First Basket Prop Odds & Picks: Bet 76ers Joel Embiid, De’Anthony Melton vs. Pistons Tonight (December 21)

NBA First Basket Prop Odds & Picks: Bet 76ers Joel Embiid, De’Anthony Melton vs. Pistons Tonight (December 21) article feature image

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Joel Embiid #21, James Harden #1 and De’Anthony Melton #8 of the Philadelphia 76ers.

NBA First Basket will break down some of his favorite NBA plays of the day here, and will track all his bets in The Action Network app.

NBA First Basket Prop Odds & Picks: Joel Embiid, De'Anthony Melton

OddsEmbiid (+300) | Melton (+1000)
Time7p.m. ET
Book FanDuel | PointsBet

The Philadelphia 76ers host the struggling Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. Joel Embiid (50% opening-tip win rate) will jump against rookie Jalen Duren (20% win rate) for the opening-tip. The two centers have not faced off before, but I expect the 76ers to win the tip.

The 76ers have scored first in 54% of games this season.  Meanwhile, the Pistons have scored first just 36% of the time, due primarily to a low opening-tip win rate. Looking at the data, there are no significant strengths or weaknesses defensively on opening possessions for the Pistons.

For the 76ers, Embiid takes the first team field goal attempt in 50% of games this season, which is good for first in the league among players with 15 or more starts this season.  He converts that to a first team basket in 55% of games played.

Looking at other options for the 76ers, Tobias Harris has scored the first team field goal in 36% of his starts, but he has not been as involved as of late.  James Harden and De'Anthony Melton have picked up in early possession usage over the past month.

With Embiid's odds so low, it makes more sense to pair his first basket odds with the 76ers on the moneyline — they are 11.5-point favorites facing a Pistons team on the second night of a back-to-back. (FanDuel has this bet pre-built but you can also use the QuickSlip link below). I'm also going to grab Melton at 10-1 at PointsBet, which is good longshot value considering his recent play.

Pick: Melton First FG (+1000 down to +800, 0.25 units)

Pick: Embiid / 76ers ML Parlay (+370 down to +300, 1 unit)

Pistons vs. 76ers First Basket Prop Data

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