Betting The NBA ‘Race to 20’ Prop

A great way to supplement your NBA betting strategy is by adding a few daily prop bets to the mix. Most online sportsbooks will release a full set of game, team and player props as you get closer and closer to tip off. However, one of the more general props you can bet on well in advance of the start of a game is the ‘race to 20’ game prop.

Prop odds cover which team will be the first to cross the 20-point threshold in that night’s game.

This not only adds some tremendous excitement to a game right out of the gate, it is a great way to cash an early winner if you also have some bets on the side with the spread, moneyline and total line numbers. Get all your NBA scores and odds here.

The race to 20 does favor higher scoring teams, the favorite in mismatches and fast starts in front of the hometown crowd. While handicapping this prop is not an exact science, first quarter scoring stats is a good place to start.

The Milwaukee Bucks (119.2 points) in the Eastern Conference and the Houston Rockets (119.4 points) in the Western Conference are the two highest scoring teams in the league this season. The Bucks would get the slight edge between the two with a shooting percentage of 48.1 verse the Rockets’ shooting percentage of 45.6.



When it comes to first quarter scoring stats, Houston, along with the Los Angeles Lakers, top the list with an average of 29.3 points a game.

The Miami Heat are ranked 13th in the NBA in scoring with an average of 111.1 points per game. However, they move to third on the list in first quarter points with 29.2.

Two other teams averaging 29.2 points in the first quarter are the Philadelphia 76ers and the Dallas Mavericks. Milwaukee would be next on the list at 29.1.

This gives you a solid base of five teams that know how to get off to fast starts on the scoreboard.

A few of the best teams to bet against in the race to 20 prop would be the Orlando Magic (25.3 points), Golden State Warriors (25.5 points) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (25.6 points).

As you can see, the margin of difference between the top first-quarter scoring teams and the lowest scoring teams is not all that wide. These stats provide a good starting point but you will need to dig a bit deeper to aid the overall handicapping process.

Related Link: Customizable Betting Odds With Real Bookies

The Lakers are the highest scoring first-quarter team in the NBA when playing at home with 31.4 PPG. Miami is next on that list with 30.3 points and the 76ers are third with 30.2.

When it comes to fast starters on the road, Houston is posting an average of 29.4 points in the first quarter of play. Dallas is second on that list at 29.4 followed by the Bucks and the San Antonio Spurs at 28.9 points.


Conversely, Orlando is the lowest scoring first quarter team at home with 24.9 points followed by the Spurs at 25.6 points. Toronto, Cleveland and Golden State are the lowest scoring road teams in the first quarter with 24.5 points.

The biggest takeaway from these basic scoring stats should be consistency. The Lakers top the list with the best overall balance. Another first-quarter scoring stat that adds some value to the mix is recent performance. Over the Lakers’ last three games, they have averaged 36 points in the first quarter. Houston is high on that list at 31.7 points as another well-balanced scoring team.

About the Author

A big part of the services that my marketing company, Blue Pointe Advisors, LLC offers is written content for sports betting websites.  I have been working as a full-time sports betting writer for the past nine years following a previous career in the field of sales and marketing.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to write about my true passion in life; the world of sports. I also enjoy concentrating the bulk of my pieces towards the betting angle in sports.

It is always a challenge to take past results and current form to try and correctly determine a future result. Sports brings out the unpredictability in what should be a fairly predictable outcome based on the stats, facts and recent trends in a particular matchup. The one thing that I have learned over the past decade or so is that when it comes to betting on sports there is no such thing as a lock.

The main objective with my writing style is to create insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player. While there are times when my predictions fall well short of the actual outcome, I still enjoy trying to come up with a logical explanation to support my views on every pick I make.

My love of sports started a long time ago when I was just a kid growing up just outside Philadelphia. While I was a big Phillies, Flyers and 76ers fan, my number one team was always the Eagles. My dad was a season ticket holder from 1961 to 2002 and I would honestly say that he missed less than a handful of games than more than a few dismal seasons.

I was fortunate enough to go to a number of Eagles’ games back in the day including the 1980 NFC Championship when Wilbert Montgomery ran roughshod over the bitter rival Dallas Cowboys to lead Philly to their first appearance in a Super Bowl. Flash forward 40 years later and am I still celebrating the thrilling victory over New England in Super Bowl LVII. I know that my dad was smiling down on that one.