Cavaliers vs. Celtics: NBA First Basket Scorer Picks (Wednesday)

As a 15.5-point favorite, the Boston Celtics will need a fast start to cover in Game 5 against the Cavaliers. At this point, Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen are both questionable with the Cavaliers. But that’s not a good enough reason to back the Celtics in the first-basket market.

I’ll break down the NBA first basket scorer market for that game, along with the Mavericks-Thunder Game 5 matchup below.

Make sure to check out our NBA First Basket Cheat Sheet for even more betting advice. Also, join our BettingPros Discord to discuss the best First-Basket bets for every slate of NBA games with our community of sports bettors. Let’s at least cash in on one of the two NBA first-basket props tonight! And below you can find our top NBA first basket scorer picks for Cavaliers vs. Celtics.

Who will score the first basket in today’s NBA games? We compare historical first basket stats to prop bet odds to help identify today’s best bets. View first basket odds across sportsbooks here >>

NBA First Basket Scorer: Cavaliers vs. Celtics

(Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook)

Cavaliers vs. Celtics First Basket Scorer

There were rumblings about Jarrett Allen returning in Game 4, but he didn’t. In addition to Allen sitting out, Donovan Mitchell was too banged up to play in Game 4 as well.

Therefore, the Cavaliers will likely be stuck with Evan Mobley for the tip against Al Horford of the Celtics. Mobley has already been the tip-man in seven games in the playoffs. In those seven games, Mobley has won the tip in 71% of games, helping the Cavaliers score first in 64% of playoff games this year.

On the other hand, Al Horford has only won the tip in 40% of games after participating in the opening tip five times. However, in the playoffs, the Celtics have scored first in 78% of games.

Still, I’d rather the team that has the better chance of winning the tip and taking the first shot. That’s the Cavaliers.

In the regular season, the Celtics allowed the first basket to go to the point guard in 30% of games. Darius Garland is healthy and will be the leading-scorer for the Cavaliers if Allen and Mitchell are out. Therefore, let’s back Darius Garland to score first in Game 5.

NBA First Basket Scorer Bet: Darius Garland (+1000)

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