Best NBA First Basket Scorer Picks for Monday, April 1 (Target Mikal Bridges, Kevin Durant)

Breaking down the best first basket scorer picks in the NBA for the action on Monday, April 1.

Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges.
Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges. / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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Looking for a quick bet to win in the NBA on Monday?

The first basket scorer market is a great way to do just that, as those bets are decided usually in the opening minute or two of the game. They are hard to predict, but bettors can also cash in on some favorable odds if they predict this market correctly.

Here's a look at some players to target on April 1:

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NBA First Basket Scorer Picks and Predictions

  • Jaren Jackson Jr. First Basket Scorer (+390)
  • Kevin Durant First Basket Scorer (+550)
  • Mikal Bridges First Basket Scorer (+675)

Jaren Jackson Jr. First Basket Scorer (+390)

Jaren Jackson Jr. takes the first shot a ton for the Memphis Grizzlies, and I expect him to do that again with Desmond Bane out for the Grizz on Monday night against the Detroit Pistons. 

JJJ is a first basket star this season (which is why his odds are so low), taking the first shot 28.6 percent of the time (more than anyone else playing tonight) which has led to 14 first baskets.

Not only that, but he’s elite at winning jump balls, and the Grizzlies have won the tip 67.6 percent of their games this season. 

With the Detroit Pistons winning the tip just 48.6 percent of the time, don’t be shocked if Memphis gets the first possession, and the numbers tell us it’ll likely run through the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. 

Kevin Durant First Basket Scorer (+550)

Kevin Durant now has 11 first baskets on the season, taking the first shot 22.7 percent of the time for the Phoenix Suns.

The Suns are elite at winning the jump ball this season (71.6 percent of the time) which is a great sign for Durant and the Suns getting the ball first against the New Orleans Pelicans. Nobody has extremely high odds in this one – Durant and Jusuf Nurkic are the favorites for the Suns at +550 – so I think we’re getting some value on KD here. 

He’s worth a play given how much he’s scored first in recent weeks. 

Mikal Bridges First Basket Scorer (+675)

I love this price for Brooklyn Nets star Mikal Bridges, as he takes the first shot 21.3 percent of the time for the Nets. 

Brooklyn has a jump ball advantage over the Indiana Pacers, winning it 57.3 percent of the time to Indiana’s 44 percent. Bridges doesn’t lead the team in first baskets (he has nine) as Nic Claxton holds that honor, but Claxton only attempts the first shot 15.4 percent of the time. 

Bridges is behind Claxton and Pascal Siakam in the odds for this market, making him a solid play given his usage early in games.


Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.