Best NBA First Basket Scorer Picks for Wednesday, May 15 (Target Max Strus, PJ Washington)

Here's who you should bet to score the first basket in the NBA playoff matchups on Wednesday, May 15.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Max Strus.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Max Strus. / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

There's a chance we could see a playoff series come to an end on Wednesday with the Boston Celtics heavily favored against the Cleveland Cavaliers, so why not honor that with some first basket scorer picks?

I have one for both of the Game 5 matchups on Wednesday, May 15, and there is a sharpshooter that could be a prime spot to score first tonight.

Let's dive into the odds and my bets for this prop market:

NBA First Basket Scorer Picks and Predictions

  • Max Strus First Basket Scorer (+750)
  • PJ Washington First Basket Scorer (+950)

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Max Strus First Basket Scorer (+750)

Cavs sharpshooter Max Strus scored the first basket in Game 4, and he’s in line to have a major role yet again with Donovan Mitchell dealing with a calf strain and expected to miss Game 5.

Strus has taken the first shot 23.5 percent of the time this season, which is shockingly more than anyone else playing on Wednesday. Yet, he’s well down the odds board to score first in this game.

So far in the 2023-24 campaign, Strus has paid off his high volume of first shots with 10 first baskets in 81 games. If Cleveland looks to keep him hot from 3, don’t be shocked if the Cavs win the tip and go right to a set for Strus. 

PJ Washington First Basket Scorer (+950)

PJ Washington has been a revelation against the Thunder, scoring 29, 27 and 21 points in his last three games while shooting 17-for-34 from 3-point range.

Washington doesn’t take the first shot often – just 2.6 percent of the time – but he actually attempted the first shot by a Mavs player in Game 4.

With the Thunder trying to shut off Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving from driving the ball to the rim, Washington could find himself with a spot-up look early on in Game 5.

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.