Thursday NBA First Basket Prop Picks: Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges Provide Great Value for Suns vs. Pelicans

Thursday NBA First Basket Prop Picks: Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges Provide Great Value for Suns vs. Pelicans article feature image

Via Jim Poorten/Getty Images. Pictured: Deandre Ayton (#22) and Mikal Bridges (#25).

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.

Deandre Ayton & Mikal Bridges

PropDeandre Ayton (+400) | Mikal Bridges (+1000)
MatchupPhoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Time7:30 p.m. ET
Book DraftKings | FanDuel

The Suns travel to New Orleans for Game 6 on Thursday night against the Pelicans. Not much has changed since our last article. Deandre Ayton has won 73% of all opening tip-offs this year and is now 7-0 versus Jonas Valanciunas this season! The Suns score first 56% of the time (sixth in the league) while the Pelicans score first just 39% of the time (third-worst in the league).

In the nine games this season between the two teams, the Suns have scored first seven times. Ayton has cashed three times, including the last game when he hit a turnaround fadeaway shot while double-teamed for the first basket. Ayton has taken the first Suns field goal attempt in five of the seven games he has started in this matchup, including the last three games without Devin Booker.

Looking at other Suns players and early shot attempts, the one who seems to benefit the most is Mikal Bridges. Although his overall statistics are worse without Booker, in the 20 games with Booker out, Bridges' frequency of taking one of the Suns first three field goal attempts nearly doubles over his Usage Rate for the season.

Bridges scored 1st with a layup in Game 4 and took the second shot for Phoenix in Game 5 on Tuesday. Bridges also exploded for a season-high 31 points in Tuesday’s game.

However, there is a remote chance Booker plays Thursday night. I will be monitoring the situation and may add an exact method play of some sort upon that news.


  • Deandre Ayton +400 Risk (0.9 units, DraftKings)
  • Mikal Bridges +1000 Risk (0.3 units, FanDuel)

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Nick Sterling
Jul 13, 2024 UTC