NBA First Basket Props: Friday Picks Include Bam Adebayo & More

NBA First Basket Props: Friday Picks Include Bam Adebayo & More article feature image

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat celebrates with Max Strus #31.

  • The Bulls and Heat face off in Miami with a shot at the NBA Playoffs on the line.
  • In such a high leverage game, every score counts, especially the first basket.
  • NBA First Basket has two picks for Bulls vs Heat, including a 14-1 prop. Read on for his analysis and picks.

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 Picks: Bam Adebayo, Max Strus

OddsAdebayo (+500) / Max Strus (+850)
Time7 p.m. ET
Book DraftKings |FanDuel

The Miami Heat host the Chicago Bulls Friday night in a Play-In Tournament game for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Bam Adebayo (57% opening tip win rate) will square off against Nikola Vucevic (35% win rate) for the opening tip off.

Adebayo has won three of five tip-offs vs Vucevic over the past two seasons. I would expect Miami to get the first possession in this game. Despite the high tip win rate, Miami has only scored first in 41% of games this season.  Chicago has scored first in 45% of games this season.

In the three games between the two teams this season, Jimmy Butler, Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine all cashed first baskets.  Given all of the conflicting data above and the fact that neither team has an established a pattern against the other over the past two seasons, I'm not interested in wagering a full unit on this game.

Over the course of the season, Adebayo has scored the first team field goal in 33% of games started while Vucevic has scored the first team field goal in 37% of games started. One of these players is most likely to score first tonight.

I'll take Adebayo to score first given that I believe Miami will win the tip and pair him with Max Strus. The exact method stats for Strus are very skewed — 78% of his first team baskets are 3-point shots. In addition, 70% of all of his shot attempts this season were 3-point shots. Given the concentration of this data, I'll bet the exact method for Strus for more value.

Pick: Bam Adebayo First Field Goal +500 — play down to +400 (risk 0.5 units) — DraftKings

Pick: Strus Exact Method "3-pointer" +1400 — down to +1100 (0.2 units)

Bulls vs. Heat First Basket Prop Data

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Doug Ziefel
Jun 13, 2024 UTC