NBA Basketball

The Race to 20 Points is Popular Among NBA Bettors

The number of wagers on a single NBA game is staggering, but the additional bets allow bettors a great way to supplement their NBA betting strategy.

One of the more interesting bets is on the race to 20 points. The wager is exactly as it sounds. Bettors are wagering on the team they think will reach the 20-point number the fastest.

It’s a fun and exciting bet that will keep you on the edge of your seat for at least the first quarter as the two teams battle. It’s also a great way to get an early winner while you sit back and enjoy the rest of the game.


There is some strategy involved in picking winners when betting the NBA race to 20 points.

First Quarter Points Per Game

One of the first things you should check out is the team rankings for points scored in the first quarter. So far this season, Portland and Denver lead the NBA scoring 31.2 points in the opening quarter. 

Milwaukee (31.0) and New Orleans (30.9) are the only other teams that score more than 30 points per in the first quarter. All four of these teams are among the league leaders in overall scoring, so you should keep them in mind as you bet the race to 20 points.

Related Link: Updated NBA Championship Preview

First Quarter Points Allowed

Another way to look at this prop bet is to approach it from the other end. Which teams give up the most points in the first quarter?

So far in 2020-21, Washington gives up 31.6 points per game in the first quarter. Sacramento (30.3), San Antonio (30.2), and Minnesota (30.0) also give up at least 30 points in the first quarter.

Bettors may want to consider an opponent of one of these teams when betting the race to 20 points. A Portland-Minnesota matchup, for example, would be a great opportunity to wager on the Trail Blazers in the race to 20 points.

Maybe this type of betting is a little much for you, but believe us, these wagers can increase your winning percentage. Maybe it’s time to start paying for expert picks. You need to know that buying premium picks pays.

Home Teams

In this coronavirus-affected season, the NBA home-court advantage may not mean much as several teams play without any fans in the stands. Still, there may be an advantage early in the game for home teams.

While Portland and Denver lead the league in first-quarter scoring, Milwaukee scores the most first quarter points when playing at home. The Bucks average 33.2 first quarter points at the Fiserv Forum. 

Denver averages 32.4 first quarter points at home. When you put first quarter points at home with first quarter points allowed on the road, it’s easy to see why betting on Denver to score 20 points first makes sense.

The Nuggets beat Cleveland 133-95 recently. Cleveland gives up an average of 29 points in the first quarter when playing on the road. In Denver, the Cavs gave up 34 while scoring just 17 of their own.

Using this information can help bettors make sound betting decisions and help them start off their nights with early wins.

Doing some quick research on which teams perform well or poorly in the first quarter can help bettors win the race to 20 points prop bet.