NBA Playoffs Predictions – First Basket Best Bets for Friday: Curry to keep cooking

Seth Curry of the Philadelphia 76ers

The Denver Nuggets survived an entertaining first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers, but it’s already desperation time for them in the Western Conference semifinals. Following two straight losses at the hands of the Phoenix Suns, Denver returns hope in serious need of a win. It’s a different story in the Eastern Conference, where the underdog Atlanta Hawks managed to take one of two on the road against the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia, however, has momentum after taking Game 2 as the series now shifts to Atlanta. What will happen in each of these best-of-7 sets on Friday?

Well, right now we only concerned with happens on the first possession—or at least on one of the first few possessions, whenever points are produced. Let’s take a look at some intriguing first-basket bets for Friday’s postseason action on the professional hardwood.

Philadelphia 76ers at Atlanta Hawks – Seth Curry +1000

Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets – Chris Paul +850

Let’s break down the two prop plays one by one.

76ers at Hawks – Curry +1000

The two opening tips have been split by Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Atlanta center Clint Capela. If I’m going to put my eggs into one of the tipoff baskets, it would have to be Embiid’s. After all, at 7-feet Embiid has the height advantage over the 6’10’’ Capela. And based on how the NBA MVP runner-up looked in the first two games of this series, his knee issue is, well…no longer an issue. Embiid should be able to elevate and win the jump, which would give everyone on the Sixers good value to become the first point-scorer. Curry is certainly no exception. The former Duke standout is averaging 21.0 ppg on 15-for-25 shooting (10-for-15 from three-point range) through two contests in this series. With defensive stopper De’Andre Hunter missing for the Hawks, Curry will likely continue to be a problem right from the start of Game 3.

Suns at NuggetsPaul +850

It’s hard to say which team is going to obtain first possession in Friday’s nightcap, and the odds reflect as much. The top three favorites on each team are about the same to put up the first points (only when you dip down to Denver’s Austin Rivers at +1400 and Facundo Campazzo at +1600 do you get wild fluctuation in the numbers). Deandre Ayton won the Game 1 tip for the Suns before NBA MVP Nikola Jokic controlled it on Wednesday. Either way, I would rather go with someone on Phoenix to be the first point-scorer. The Suns have been the far better team so far and the Nuggets may fork up a bad shot early as they try to get some momentum and treat their fans to a strong star. Paul led his team with 14 field-goal attempts in Game 1 and he was one point off the team lead (17, compared to Devin Booker’s 18) in Game 2. Look for the veteran point guard to get involved early on Friday.

Parlay odds: +10350

Why not sprinkle a few bucks on a parlay with both of these bets? It pays out more than +10000 odds at FanDuel. It’s the playoffs, so it’s time to go big or go home.

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