Best NBA First Basket Scorer Picks for Monday, March 11 (Target Nikola Jokic, Kevin Durant)

Breaking down the best first basket scorer picks in the NBA for the action on Monday, March 11.

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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Looking to bet on a first basket scorer in the NBA tonight?

Betting on a player to score first is one of the more exhilarating NBA props out there, as it's settled quickly into the game and will put bettors on the edge of their seat in the game's opening moments.

While this is a tough market to handicap, I personally like to look at a few key statistics:

  • Jump Ball Win Percentage
  • First Shot Percentage
  • First Baskets Scored
  • Player Shots Per Game

Using some of these numbers, we can narrow down who the most likely player is to start with the ball and score first. Let's break down the picks for Monday night's action:

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NBA First Basket Scorer Picks and Predictions

  • Nikola Jokic First Basket Scorer (+410)
  • Kevin Durant First Basket Scorer (+600)

Nikola Jokic First Basket Scorer (+410)

I’m going to take Nikola Jokic to score first against a Toronto Raptors team that is down starting center Jakob Poeltl on Monday night. 

Jokic has 14 first baskets on the season – the most of any player in action tonight – and he takes the first shot for the Denver Nuggets 22.6 percent of the time this season. 

With the Raptors’ interior defense lacking, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Denver run a play for The Joker to start things on Monday. 

Kevin Durant First Basket Scorer (+600)

While the Phoenix Suns may be unlikely to win the jump ball against a Cleveland Cavaliers team that wins the jump over 70.0 percent of the time, I think Durant is underrated in this prop. 

KD has taken the first shot 19.6 percent of his games, hitting eight first baskets, yet he’s +600 for this prop. 

The two-time NBA Finals MVP has been on a heater, scoring over 30 points in four of his last five games. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Durant get the first look for the Suns (he does more than any other player on the team) in this matchup.


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.