There are seven games for Thursday’s main NBA slate, with two games tipping off at 7:30 p.m. ET — the Los Angeles Lakers at the Miami Heat. There is one game at 8:00 p.m. ET — the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Oklahoma City Thunder. There is one game at 9:00 p.m. ET — the Milwaukee Bucks at the Dallas Mavericks. The late-night hammers are the Phoenix Suns at the Los Angeles Clippers and the Portland Trail Blazers at the Utah Jazz, which both start at 10:00 p.m. ET.
The Mavericks, Thunder, Suns, and Jazz are playing the second leg of a back-to-back. DraftKings Sportsbook has zero games with a double-digit spread. There are is one game with an O/U of at least 230 — POR/UTA (232.5).
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $10,900 – Doncic hasn’t been providing the HalleLuka moments recently, as he’s gone for 43.75, 55.25, 47.5, 47.5, 53, and 43.75 DKFP over the last five games. Those are fine numbers, but part of the reason you pay a premium for Doncic is for those ceiling games of 60, 70, or 80 DKFP games. He’s due! I kid, but the environment should be a good one and provide for the opportunity of a ceiling game. While the Bucks are 8th in defensive efficiency, Giannis Antetokounmpo is unlikely to play in this one. In addition, they play at the third-fastest pace. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Mavericks favored by 1.5 points so the game should be a tight affair with plenty of offensive possessions.
Other Options – De’Aaron Fox ($9,300) and Jrue Holiday ($8,100)
Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons at Denver Nuggets, $3,200 – Hayes missed 41 games due to a hip injury but he’s played two games since returning. In the first game, he only played 20 minutes, garnered a 9% usage rate, and scored 10.25 DKFP. On Monday, he played 25 minutes, garnered a 20% usage rate, and put up 34.25 DKFP. The Pistons rested him for the second leg of the back-to-back on Tuesday, so he should be good to go for this one. Mid-20s in minutes should be on the table against a Kings team that plays at the 11th-fastest pace. At near minimum, he should be able to pay off the price and he showed that he has 10x upside. The Pistons are going to want to give their 7th overall draft pick as much experience as he can get the remainder of the year.
Other Options – Malachi Flynn ($4,700), and Tomas Satoransky ($5,200)
Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks at Dallas Mavericks, $8,100 – Holiday has been putting in work these past five games, going for 40.25, 64.25, 47, 56.5, and 47.5 DKFP. Giannis did miss one of those games and he’s doubtful to play today. With him off the court, Holiday sees a 6.6% usage bump to 28.4. This game should be a competitive, back-and-forth affair. Is there a Luke/Holiday mano-a-mano game brewing? Well, Khris Middleton ($7,800) will have a say in that since he garners the highest usage rate without Giannis but Holiday is on a heater and will be heavily involved.
Other Option – Donovan Mitchell ($8,600)
Kenrich Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, $5,200 – Williams has started the last two games and played 22 and 35 minutes. The amount of injuries and “injuries” that the Thunder have is ridiculous, so keep an eye on updates. With that said, Williams should start and play a ton of minutes. He’s averaging 0.86 DKFP per minute and is coming off a 36.25-DKFP performance in his last game.
Other Options – Donte DiVincenzo ($5,700)
Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks at Dallas Mavericks, $7,800 – Without Giannis on the court, Middleton sees a 6.8% usage bump to a team-high 31.8. As mentioned in the Holiday blurb, this game should be competitive with lots of possessions. In four of the five games that Giannis has missed (Middleton was also out in one of those), Middleton has contributed at least 40 DKFP in three of them.
Other Option – Jimmy Butler ($9,000)
Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors, $4,500 – Williams is only averaging 0.71 DKFP per minute but he’s averaged 31.4 minutes over the last three games. He’s a low usage player so the field goal attempts and points won’t be voluminous, but he does contribute a little something in every category. The Raptors do boost the fantasy points per minute to small forwards by 4.81% above league average and the last time these teams faced off on March 14th, Williams put up 41 DKFP.
Other Options – Kenrich Williams ($5,200), Dorian Finney-Smith ($5,200)
Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $8,700 – There’s always some volatility to Porzingis’s game due to the field goal percentage, as he launches from the perimeter more often than not. A 20-DKFP game is always within the range of outcomes but so are 60-DKFP explosions. On the season, he is averaging 1.25 DKFP per minute. The game environment should be a healthy and competitive one. In addition, the Bucks boost the three-point prowess to centers by 5.87% above league average. Porzingis faced the Bucks back on January 15th and put up 33.5 DKFP. He only played 29 minutes in that one since it was only the second game for him on the season.
Other Options – Thaddeus Young ($6,300)
Bobby Portis, Milwaukee Bucks at Dallas Mavericks, $5,300 – With Giannis doubtful to play, Portis should see significant minutes. Now, in the last two games that Giannis missed, Portis only started one with Pat Connaughton ($4,200) starting the other, so keep an eye on the lineups. In games that Portis has started, he’s averaged 31.1 minutes and put up 33.75, 26.5, and 42.75 DKFP.
Other Options – Patrick Williams ($4,500), Dorian Finney-Smith ($5,200)
Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors, $9,100 – Vucevic is coming off his most potent fantasy game since joining the Bulls. The usage rate was 37.2 and he put up 63 DKFP. It took some time for he and his teammates to get acclimated with each other, but he’s gone for 63 and 50.75 DKFP in the last two games, which were both wins for the Bulls. While with the Magic, Vucevic faced the Raptors twice and put up 45.5 and 51 DKFP. The Magic play at the 20th-fastest pace while the Bulls play at the 9th-fastest pace.
Other Option – Kristaps Porzingis ($8,700) and Rudy Gobert ($7,800)
Isaiah Stewart, Detroit Pistons at Sacramento Kings, $4,100 – Stewart has become a significant part of the rotation and will likely get a bigger piece of the pie as developing the young players will likely become a priority at some point. With that said, has the transition already started? In the last game, Plumlee started but only played 20 minutes while Stewart received 28 minutes. Things that make you go hmm. Plumlee is now questionable for today due to a concussion. Stewart has started three games this season and contributed 29, 16, and 33.25 DKFP.
Other Option – Bobby Portis ($5,300) and Enes Kanter ($6,100)
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