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NBA Betting, Fantasy Advice: DraftKings Basketball DFS Picks, Predictions, Odds for January 14

Matt LaMarca breaks down today’s NBA slate with game analysis, odds, lines and prop bets.

The NBA Cheat Sheet provides an in-depth look at Friday’s slate, featuring DraftKings DFS and Sportsbook picks.

Follow along on Twitter (@dklive) for updates.

Top Scoring Game Environments on DraftKings Sportsbook

Rockets @ Kings – 239.5
Bulls @ Warriors – 224.0
Magic @ Hornets – 223.5

Friday’s game between the Rockets and Kings stands out as the clear top game from a fantasy perspective. Both of these teams play extremely fast – the Rockets rank first in pace, the Kings rank ninth – and neither of these squads play any defense. The Rockets rank dead last in defensive efficiency, while the Kings rank 27th. Add it all up, and this game should be chock-full of fantasy goodness.

There’s a drop-off of more than 15 points to the game with the next highest total. Still, the Bulls and Warriors should still provide some value. Both of these teams rank in the top half of the league in pace, and while both squads are strong defensively, the Warriors will be weaker than usual. They’re currently missing Draymond Green and Gary Payton II, and their defense takes a hit when both players are off the court. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the Bulls are actually favored despite this game being played in Golden State.

The Magic and the Hornets also stand out from a fantasy perspective. The Hornets have been an elite fantasy matchup all season, ranking second in pace and 26th in defensive efficiency. That makes this an excellent spot for the Magic, who are implied for significantly more points than their season average. The Magic are also weak defensively, so the Hornets should be able to do some damage as well. They rank second in the league in offensive efficiency, so they should be able to exploit that unit. The only real question is whether or not this game will stay competitive: The Hornets are currently listed as 11-point home favorites.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $400K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]

Scheduling Notes


Warriors, Grizzlies

3rd game in 4th night

Warriors, Grizzlies, Bulls

Key Injuries to Monitor

Heat SF Jimmy Butler ($9,800) vs. Hawks

Butler is the biggest name on Friday’s injury report, and he’s been an outstanding fantasy asset when in the lineup this season. He’s averaged 1.35 DKFP per minute, and he’s capable of stuffing the stat sheet. However, he’s missed the past three games for the Heat, and he’s questionable for Friday’s matchup vs. the Hawks. If he’s out of the lineup again, the rest of the team receives a sizable boost in value. Kyle Lowry ($7,900) and Tyler Herro ($7,800) would serve as the primary scoring threats in that situation, and both players have averaged at least 1.00 DKFP per minute in games without Butler this season.

Pacers PG Malcolm Brogdon ($7,400) vs. Suns

Brogdon returned to the Pacers’ lineup in their last game, but he was only able to play 17.1 minutes. He aggravated his right Achilles injury, but he was able to practice on Thursday. He’s officially listed as questionable for Friday’s matchup, but that bodes well for his return to the lineup. Still, it’s impossible to trust Brogdon at this point, so his return just diminishes the appeal for the rest of the Pacers’ lineup.

Kings C Richaun Holmes ($5,500) vs. Rockets

Holmes is a much smaller name than Butler and Brogdon, but his status is arguably the most important to monitor. The game between the Kings and Rockets should garner massive attention in DFS, and Holmes’ return would impact the Kings’ rotation. If he remains out, Marvin Bagley ($4,800) and Chimezie Metu ($4,300) will have some appeal as value options in the Kings’ frontcourt. If Holmes returns to the lineup, both players will take a significant ding to their fantasy stock.

Favorite Pick Against the Spread

Pistons +9.0 vs. Raptors

The Raptors have been rolling recently, winning six of their past seven games, but that has caused them to become a bit overvalued in the betting market. One thing to keep in mind is that most of the Raptors’ recent victories have come at home, and the Raptors have a massive advantage when playing in Toronto. We’ve seen plenty of teams choose to keep their star players on the US side of the border given Canada’s COVID-19 protocols.

Friday’s game vs. the Pistons will be played in Detroit, and I think they can keep this game competitive. I have this spread at about 4.5 points, so we’re getting some significant value with the Pistons in this matchup.

Place your NBA bets at DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

Favorite Player Prop

Robert Williams Over 17.5 Points + Rebounds

The Celtics have the unenviable task of dealing with Joel Embiid on Friday, but that could work as a positive for Williams. He’s likely going to be asked to handle most of the defensive responsibilities on Embiid, which could result in a few additional minutes. Williams has averaged 9.8 points and 9.0 boards per game this season, and he’s done that in just 29.1 minutes per game. He’s played at least 32.1 minutes in five of his past six contests, and he’s hit the over on 17.5 points + rebounds in three of them. The only reason this line is this low is that Williams was limited to 22.8 minutes in his last contest, but he struggled with foul trouble before that game turned into a blowout. He should return to his usual workload on Friday, making him an excellent buy-low target.

Favorite Value Play

Kings SF/PF Harrison Barnes ($5,500) vs. Rockets

Loading up on the Kings-Rockets contest makes a ton of sense on Friday, and Barnes is one of my favorite options. Barnes has seen a reduction in value with the Kings recently, but it’s possible that he’s turned a corner. He racked up 37.5 minutes in his last contest and responded with 38.25 DKFP. The playing time is the key takeaway. He averaged just 30.4 minutes over his previous seven contests, so 37.5 minutes represents a sizable increase. If he’s going to continue to play that much moving forward, he’s undoubtedly underpriced.

Favorite Stud

Hornets PG/SG LaMelo Ball ($8,900) vs. Magic

Ball has struggled recently, underperforming salary-based expectations by an average of 9.65 DKFP over his past 10 games, but that was mostly due to a lack of minutes. He’s still averaging a strong 1.32 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he’s logged at least 35.4 minutes in back-to-back games.

His salary has also plummeted over that time frame. He’s down to just $8,900 vs. the Magic, and he offers major appeal at that price tag now that he’s back to playing around 35 minutes.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $400K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]

Place your NBA bets at DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) 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.

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