ArticlesVideosExpert PicksPromotions
HomeFree ToolsPremium ToolsOffersAccount
Categories Betting 101 NBA

How to Profit on First Basket Bets: Strategy Tips & Free Throw Rules

We’ve all been there. You find a great off-market number for a player to hit the first basket, and they take the first shot — only to get fouled on the attempt. If they sink the free throws, will the first basket wager cash? It’s not a simple yes or no answer — different sportsbooks take different approaches. Let’s dive into some first basket betting strategy tips and discuss the different sportsbook house rules for first basket bets. If you’re hungry for more action, check out our NBA betting tools or our NBA betting promos!

How to Profit on First Basket Bets: Strategy Tips

First basket betting isn’t like standard player prop betting. Unlike most markets, you don’t need consistent production from your chosen player — you just need them to sink a basket early. So what factors should you consider when placing a first basket bet? Let’s dive in.

  • Tip-Off Win Rate: To sink the first basket, your team has to start with the ball. Consider how often the player competing for the opening tip actually wins it! You can find tip-off win rate data here.
  • First Shot Rate: You should also care about how often a player takes the first shot on the team. While this number is similar to usage rate, some players are likelier to contribute earlier than others. You can find first shot rate data here.
  • Usage Rate: Although it’s not as specific as first shot rate, usage rate is still useful for first basket bettors, especially early in an NBA season. Usage rate measures how often a player is the last one on his team to possess the ball on a given possession, and you can find usage rate data here.
  • Injury Report: You’ll want to keep a close eye on a team’s injury report before placing your first basket bets. Teams who are missing their starting center may have a less (or more!) efficient option fighting for the opening tip. Further, teams missing the player who leads the team in first shot rate can be good targets for longshot plays. Find up-to-date injury news here.
  • Foul Rate: Ah, fouls. The one thing that can ruin a first basket bet at some books while sealing it at others. If your ideal first basket target is playing against a team that fouls often, that can make getting off a clean shot to open the game more difficult. Find team foul rate (or opponent free-throw rate) data here.

How to Profit on First Basket Bets: Sportsbook Free Throw Rules

So what happens to your first basket bet when the first basket made in a game is a free throw? The answer often decides whether you win or lose your wager. Let’s look at the house rules across the market to help you decide where to put your action:

SportsbookDo FTs Count?
Hard RockYes
Last updated 10/30/2023

OddsShopper’s NBA Tools & Tips

Looking for more NBA betting advice? OddsShopper’s experts are here to break down this NBA season — make sure to check out the rest of our NBA articles. Still need more picks? Subscribe to OddsShopper Premium for our market-based betting model’s picks and best bets.

React App

Featured Articles

Related Articles