Best NBA First Basket Scorer Picks for Monday, April 29 (Target Bam Adebayo, Bigs in Lakers-Nuggets)

Here's who you should bet to score first in the NBA playoff matchups on Monday, April 29.
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo.
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo. / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

There are a pair of elimination games on Monday night in the three playoff matchups, and there are three big men that could be worth betting on in the first basket scorer market tonight. 

I’m targeting two players in the same game, as I think there is a great chance one of them ends up scoring first, and the odds aren’t too low to make it worth betting on just one. 

First basket scorers are tough to predict, but hitting a +400 or better payout to open a playoff game is a great feeling. 

Here’s a look at three players to target tonight:

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NBA First Basket Scorer Picks and Predictions

  • Nikola Jokic First Basket Scorer (+420)
  • Anthony Davis First Basket Scorer (+500)
  • Bam Adebayo First Basket Scorer (+550)

Nikola Jokic First Basket Scorer (+420)

Nikola Jokic has scored 17 first baskets on the season, taking the first shot in 22.9 percent of his games.

Both of those numbers lead everyone in action tonight, so I love taking a shot on Jokic, especially if the Los Angeles Lakers keep rolling Rui Hachimura out against him on defense. 

Denver also wins the jump ball over 58 percent of the time, so there’s a good chance that it gets the first possession in this game. 

Anthony Davis First Basket Scorer (+500)

Sticking with the Denver Nuggets-Los Angeles Lakers game, I love Anthony Davis on the other side to score first if Los Angeles gets on the board before Denver.

This season, Davis has 13 first baskets, and he’s dominated the Nuggets in this series, scoring 32 or more points in three of the four games. 

AD takes the first shot 17.3 percent of the time this season – by far the highest on the Lakers. If Jokic doesn’t score first, AD is a great backup bet. 

Bam Adebayo First Basket Scorer (+550)

Bam Adebayo has an expanded offensive role for the Miami Heat against the Boston Celtics with Jimmy Butler out, and he’s been a solid first basket target all season long.

Adebayo has taken the first shot 18.4 percent of the time this season, scoring 15 first baskets in the process. 

Boston wins the tip at a high rate (71.8 percent of the time), but if the Heat end up scoring first, there’s a good chance Adebayo will be the one making it happen.

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.