NBA First Basket Prop: Pick Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic in Heat vs Nuggets

NBA First Basket Prop: Pick Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic in Heat vs Nuggets article feature image

Pictured: Jamal Murray talks with Nikola Jokic. (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

  • The Denver Nuggets host Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat in their franchise debut in the championship round.
  • NBA First Basket is once again backing two Nuggets to score first in Thursday night’s series opener.
  • Continue reading for first basket prop picks and Heat vs. Nuggets Game 1 analysis.

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 Pick: Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray

OddsJokic (+425) | Murray (+650)
Time8:30 p.m. ET
Book DraftKingsFanDuel

Game 1 of the NBA Finals kicks off Thursday night with the Denver Nuggets hosting the Miami Heat. Nikola Jokic (48% opening tip win rate) will jump against Bam Adebayo (55% win rate) for the opening tip-off. Over the past two seasons, these two centers have split opening tip-offs, each winning two of four.

In two games this season, each team scored the first basket once. Max Strus scored first for the Heat and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored first for the Nuggets.

Looking at recent trends over the past 20 games, Jokic has won the tip in 65% of games and the Nuggets have scored first in 45% of games. Meanwhile, Adebayo has won the tip in 45% of games and the Heat have scored first in 35% of games.

In the playoffs, Jamal Murray has taken Denver's first shot attempt in 40% of games and has scored the Nuggets first basket in 27% of games. Both of those numbers are significantly higher than Murray's regular-season performance.

For the Heat, Adebayo has taken the team's first shot attempt in 35% of games during the playoffs and has scored their first basket in 30% of games — both numbers similar to his regular-season performance.

I like the Nuggets to score first in this one. Jokic took Denver's first shot attempt in each of the regular-season matchups. I'll take Jokic and pair him with Murray given the trends noted above.

DraftKings Pick: Nikola Jokic 1st Field Goal (+425) | Risk 0.6 Units, Play to +360

FanDuel Pick: Jamal Murray 1st Basket (+650) | Risk 0.4 Units, Play to +500

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