The NBA playoffs are underway in Orlando. Since the league is in action, DraftKings is hosting massive DFS contests every day and we have another big slate of action on Thursday.
Malcolm Brogdon, IND vs. MIA, $6,900 - As if an injury to Domantas Sabonis wasn’t bad enough for the Pacers, Victor Oladipo left the first game of the playoffs early due to an eye poke. After saying he had trouble seeing, the Pacers took him out of the game and he didn’t return. Now, Dipo is listed as questionable to play for Thursday’s game. If he’s out, Brogdon is going to have to play a massive role for Indy to even the series. Without Oladipo for most of last game, Brogdon played 39 minutes and scored 40.75 DKFP with a 31.2% usage rating.
Eric Bledsoe, MIL vs. ORL, $5,300 - Surely the Bucks will play their starters more minutes in this game. After losing to the Magic in Game 1, Milwaukee finds itself in a bit of a hole. The easiest fix is to up the playing time of core players. Last game, Bledsoe played just 28 minutes and it stands to reason the Bucks could have come away with a win if the starters all played extended minutes. This isn’t the regular season anymore and starters for the Bucks should play bigger minutes in the postseason. Considering Bledsoe averages 30.98 DKFP and could get more run than normal, his price is a bit too cheap.
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James Harden, HOU vs. OKC, $11,700 - Even without Russell Westbrook, the Rockets cruised to a Game 1 win over the Thunder. Harden had his normal strong game sans Westbrook, scoring 37 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Even with a big stat line, that felt like a floor game for Harden. For the season, Harden has a 43.2% usage rating and scores 65.74 DKFP per 36 minutes with Westbrook off the court.
Duncan Robinson, MIA vs. IND, $3,900 - This is a bit of a gut call because Robinson did not play his normal minutes in Game 1. With this being a playoff game, the Heat opted to play Andre Iguodala ($3,400) more minutes than Robinson. This was a decision I don’t agree with and I think Robinson is too good to have his minutes limited. Not only did he have one of the best three-point shooting seasons in league history, Robinson finished the year ranked first among all shooting guards in defensive real plus-minus. At a depressed price, I think his minutes bounce back.
LeBron James, LAL vs. POR, $10,900 - LeBron got no help from his teammates on Tuesday night. He had a triple-double in the third quarter, but the Lakers still fell 1-0 in the series since nobody could make a shot. This puts the Lakers’ backs against the wall, setting up James to play a massive workload. I expect him to play well over 40 minutes against the Blazers, who have the worst defensive efficiency of any team in the playoffs.
James Ennis, ORL vs. MIL, $4,000 - With Aaron Gordon ($6,700) out for the Magic in Game 1, Ennis stepped up in a big way. He played 31 minutes and scored 31 DKFP as the Magic pulled off an improbable upset win over the Bucks. This was actually the seventh consecutive game that Ennis scored at least 20 DKFP, so he should be a safe play. In addition, Gordon is questionable to play.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. ORL, $11,300 - Giannis finds himself in a similar situation to LeBron. After losing Game 1, Giannis is likely going to have pressure on himself to have a big game Thursday to even the series. I like his odds to do it after he scored 65.25 DKFP in Game 1. As mentioned above with Bledsoe, I think the Bucks’ starters are all in line for bigger minutes than normal coming off of a loss.
Jae Crowder, MIA vs. IND, $4,000 - Crowder wasn’t great in Game 1, but as long as he starts, he generally produces fantasy points. Crowder appears entrenched in the Heat’s starting lineup, a role he averages 24.48 DKFP in. Crowder should play a decent role for Miami in the playoffs as a veteran three and D players.
Anthony Davis, LAL vs. POR, $10,500 - One thing that was apparent in Game 1 was that the Blazers didn’t have anybody to match up against Davis. This led to him getting fed the ball in the post, but he just couldn’t finish easy shots or make his free throws. AD ended up with 52.25 DKFP despite making just 8-24 shots from the field. With a bit of a bump in efficiency, he’s in line for a huge night in Game 2.
Steven Adams, OKC vs. HOU, $5,600 - Speaking of mismatches, the Rockets do not have the size to matchup with Adams. In Game 1, he pulled down 12 rebounds in 28 minutes against the undersized Houston frontcourt. If not for a blowout and the Thunder needed to get shooters on the floor to get back into the game, we could have seen Adams threaten for a 20/20 game.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.