We have a nine-game NBA slate today. On DraftKings Sportsbook, there is one game with a total of at least 230 (SAC/CHA - 231) and two games over 220 (BKN/ATL - 226, MIL/HOU - 227). That SAC/CHA game is the juiciest for many reasons — both teams are top three in offensive pace while being bottom five in defensive efficiency. The NYK/TOR game has the lowest total on the slate at 208. The Bucks are the biggest favorite at 8 points over the Rockets. There are five games that have a spread at 3 points or lower — CHA -1 over SAC, IND -2 over DAL, ATL -1.5 over BKN, TOR -1 over NYK and CLE -0.5 over MIN. Things are going to change throughout the day, so make sure to keep abreast of the news by following @dklive on Twitter.
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets ($10,000) – I like James Harden ($11,200) in this game as well, but I’ll take the $1,100 savings as both are projected to score in the same range. Both teams are top ten in offensive efficiency, and this game has a healthy total of 227. Brooklyn is sixth in defensive efficiency but against point guards, they boost the FPPM by 5.23%. Over the last eight games, Young has scored at least 47 DKFP in all of those contests with four above 50 and two over 60. He’s scored at least 30 points in five of those games and dished out at least 10 assists in all but one. Today may be Friday but it could well be another Traeday.
Other Options – James Harden ($11,200), Luka Doncic ($11,000), Chris Paul ($8,300)
Davion Mitchell, Sacramento Kings @ Charlotte Hornets ($3,400) – The range of outcomes is wide for Mitchell, as he can easily score less than 10 DKFP or go for over 30. Hey, there’s a reason he’s priced at $3,400. That said, over the last five games, he’s played 25, 28, 29, 24 and 31 minutes, so he’s carved out a significant niche for himself. The usage rate has fluctuated from 12% to 31% but at least he’s shown a ceiling. He scored double-digit points in three of those contests with a high of 20. This game is the juiciest one from a fantasy perspective, as mentioned in the opening, and Mitchell should be low-owned.
Other Options – Tyrese Haliburton ($6,100), Chris Duarte ($4,400), Devonte’ Graham ($4,900)
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Detroit Pistons ($8,700) – Ingram is overpriced, but the position isn’t great today and he has accessed a ceiling recently. He’s gone for 57 and 57.75 DKFP in two of the last three games. The Pistons are 24th in defensive efficiency and boost the FPPM to small forwards by 9.4%.
Other Options – Fred VanVleet ($8,800), Khris Middleton ($7,300), Kelly Oubre ($7,800)
Terence Davis, Sacramento Kings @ Charlotte Hornets ($4,000) – Davis has started the last five games and thrived. After playing only 17 and 15 minutes in the first two starts, he’s received 30, 29 and 30 minutes in the three most recent games. He’s gone for 38, 37 and 28.75 DKFP over that span. As mentioned above, this is the juiciest game on the slate from a fantasy perspective. As long as he stays healthy and out of foul trouble, Davis should exceed salary expectations.
Other Options – Tyrese Haliburton ($6,100), Luguentz Dort ($5,500), Josy Giddey ($6,400), Cody Martin ($5,700), Chris Duarte ($4,400)
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets @ Atlanta Hawks ($10,800) – Durant should be well rested for this one, as he was held out of Wednesday’s game. Durant is a fantasy machine who has scored at least 40 DKFP in each of the last seven games with four above 50 and a high of 70.25. This game has a healthy total of 225 with the Hawks favored by one point, so it should be a competitive affair.
Other Options – Luka Doncic ($11,000), Khris Middleton ($7,300), Kelly Oubre ($7,800), Miles Bridges ($7,700)
Garrison Mathews, Houston Rockets vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($4,400) – Houston is first in offensive pace while Milwaukee is eighth, so there should be plenty of possessions in this one. The Bucks are second in allowing three-pointers and Mathews is a three-point specialist. Over the last seven games, he’s averaged 8.57 per game and attempted more than 10 in four of those contests. He’s scored double-figures in all but one and contributed at least 20 DKFP in all but one with a high of 31. He’s starting and playing well over 30 minutes per contest. Against small forwards, the Bucks boost the FPPM by 11.71% with a 13.52% boost to three-pointers.
Other Options – Terence Davis ($4,000), Cody Martin ($5,700), Harrison Barnes ($5,400), Josh Giddey ($6,400), Lugentz Dort ($5,500)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks @ Houston Rockets ($10,900) – Giannis is coming off a 31-DKFP performance against the Heat. The sky is falling! The sky is falling! He’s scored fewer than 50 DKFP in eight other games this season with one of those with 37.5. That said, I. Don’t. Care. The Heat are a good defensive team, while the Rockets are definitely not. Giannis averages a whopping 1.62 DKFP per minute and can go for 70 on any given night. The Rockets play at the fastest pace, so there should be plenty of possessions in this one.
Other Options – Kevin Durant ($10,800), Domantas Sabonis ($9,700), Julius Randle ($9,400), Pascal Siakam ($8,500), Miles Bridges ($7,700)
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings @ Charlotte Hornets ($5,400) – In his return from a five-game absence, Barnes played 30 minutes and put up 29.75 DKFP. This is the juiciest game from a fantasy perspective, and the Hornets boost the FPPM to power forwards by 10.68%. He averages 0.89 DKFP per minute and was averaging 36 minutes for most of the season. The minutes may not get back to that level in this one, but as long as he gets over 30 minutes, he should pay off the salary expectations.
Other Options – Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,500), Josh Hart ($5,000)
Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Detroit Pistons ($8,000) – Valanciunas is tied for the league-lead in double-doubles with 20. He’s coming off a 51.75-DKFP performance against the Nuggets and went for a season-high 70.75 five games ago, so the access to ceiling is there. Normally, he can be expected to score in the high-30 to 40 DKFP range, but he gets a great matchup today against a Pistons team that boosts the FPPM to centers by 9.63%. Another ceiling game could be in the works.
Other Options – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,900), Domantas Sabonis ($9,700), Julius Randle ($9,400), Pascal Siakam ($8,500)
Nick Richards, Charlotte Hornets vs. Sacramento Kings ($3,200) – Richards has only played 256 minutes this season and averaged 0.78 DKFP per minute. Well, Mason Plumlee is out and PJ Washington is doubtful, so Richards may have to play a ton of minutes tonight as Kai Jones and Vernon Carey have played eight and 115 minutes respectively on the season. This should be an up-and-down affair and the Kings boost the FPPM to centers by 13.51%.
Other Options – Tristan Thompson ($3,500), Alex Len ($3,100)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sontzu) 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat. (CT).
21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.