New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks NBA First Basket Picks Tonight (12/5/23)

The New York Knicks travel to face the Milwaukee Bucks this Tuesday in an In-Season Tournament matchup. Get Knicks vs. Bucks first basket picks, data, and odds below.

New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks First Basket Picks

The goal of the first basket prop is to identify which player will score the first basket of the game. It’s important to note that first basket includes free throws, while first field goal does not.

Jalen Brunson First Basket (+470 FD)

The Knicks are slightly favored to win the tip-off. Jalen Brunson has taken New York’s first field goal attempt in a whopping 57.8 percent of his starts. This Team First FGA% (min. 10 starts) leads the entire NBA! 

He faces a below average Bucks defense that is allowing the sixth most points per game to point guards. They also surrender the fourth largest pick-and-roll ball screen frequency, as well as the second largest mid range jumper frequency (per ShotQuality). Brunson thrives in these departments, so it’s an excellent matchup for him against Milwaukee’s terrible defensive guards. These teams have played once already, and Brunson scored 45 points while also cashing the first basket. 

He needs to score the first basket roughly 17.6 percent of the time for the bet to hold a positive expected value. 

Julius Randle First Field Goal Exact 3PT (+2800 BMGM)

Julius Randle’s first basket usage has significantly fallen off since last season. He now ranks third on the Knicks with an unimpressive 15.7 Team First FGA%. However, I expect Randle’s usage to increase, and his matchup is solid here. 

Opposing power forwards average the third most three-pointers per game against the Bucks because Giannis Antetokounmpo frequently leaves his man to act as a help defender. It’s a necessity given their porous point-of-attack defense, so Randle has the chance to capitalize. He’s only shooting 30.2 percent from deep over his last ten games, but the volume is encouraging at 5.3 attempts per game. During their matchup on November 3rd, Randle launched nine three-point attempts; look for a similar result in this rematch. 

He must score the first field goal via a three-pointer about 3.5 percent of the time based on his odds. 

Brook Lopez First Bucks Field Goal (+325 BMGM)

Lopez surprisingly paces Milwaukee with a massive 40 Team First FGA% – no other Bucks starter even reaches 20 percent. 

He’s a pick-and-pop center that loves to stretch the floor against rim protectors. New York has allowed the second most made threes per game to opposing centers because Mitchell Robinson doesn’t hedge and instead prefers to play a deep drop. Lopez will subsequently get excellent looks from deep all night; in their previous matchup, he went 4/10 from three. 

Lopez must score Milwaukee’s first field goal about 23.6 percent of the time. 

New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks First Basket Data

Game First FGA% is how frequently the player takes the first field goal attempt of the game during their starts. Team First FGA% is how frequently the player takes their team’s first field goal attempt of the game during their starts.

Game First FGA%Team First FGA%Starts
New York Knicks78.9--19
Jalen Brunson42.157.819
Quentin Grimes5.85.817
RJ Barrett21.421.414
Julius Randle10.515.719
Mitchell Robinson0019
Milwaukee Bucks65--20
Damian Lillard11.116.618
Malik Beasley51020
Khris Middleton018.716
Giannis Antetokounmpo10.515.719
Brook Lopez354020

New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks First Basket Odds

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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