Best NBA First Basket Scorer Picks for Thursday, March 28 (Target Jaylen Brown, Malik Beasley)

Breaking down the best first basket scorer picks in the NBA for the action on Thursday, March 28.

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown.
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown. / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

There are just two games in the NBA on Thursday night, which really limits our options when betting in the first basket scorer market.

Still, I'm going to take a stab at picking the best player to wager on in both games, using first shot percentage, first baskets scored and the team's jump ball win percentage as some of the guiding statistics for predicting this prop.

Let's dive in:

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NBA First Basket Scorer Picks and Predictions

  • Jaylen Brown First Basket Scorer (+500)
  • Malik Beasley First Basket Scorer (+1100)

Jaylen Brown First Basket Scorer (+500)

Jaylen Brown is the most obvious target in the first basket scorer market tonight, as he has 13 first baskets (highest number of any player in action tonight) on the season. 

Brown also attempts the first shot more than any player on Thursday (20.6 percent of the time). Boston wins the jump ball over 69 percent of the time this season, so don’t be shocked if the C’s have the first possession against the Atlanta Hawks tonight. 

If that’s the case, Brown is the most likely candidate to score first tonight. 

Malik Beasley First Basket Scorer (+1100)

This is strictly a value play for Milwaukee Bucks sharpshooter Malik Beasley, who is criminally undervalued at +1100 odds to score first tonight.


Well, Beasley is third on the Bucks in first baskets this season with seven, one behind Damian Lillard (eight) who is +700 to score first against the New Orleans Pelicans. 

While Dame may have the ball in his hands more during a game, Beasley nearly takes the first shot as much as the team’s leader in first baskets – Giannis Anteotokounmpo – in the 2023-24 season. Giannis takes the first shot 10.8 percent of the time this season while Beasley attempts it nine percent of the time. 

Of all the players in the Pelicans-Bucks game, Beasley has the worst odds to score first. However, he’s third amongst those players in first baskets scored this season. I love the value on him at this number. 

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.