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NBA Betting, Fantasy Advice: DraftKings Basketball DFS Picks, Predictions, Odds for March 21

Nick Friar breaks down Monday’s NBA slate with game analysis, odds, lines and prop bets.

The NBA Cheat Sheet provides an in-depth look at Monday’s nine-game main slate, featuring DFS and Sportsbook picks.

Follow along on Twitter (@Nick_Friar) for updates.

Top scoring game environments on DraftKings Sportsbook

Wizards-Rockets: 234 point
Pelicans-Hornets: 233.5 point
Timberwolves-Mavericks: 229 points

Kelly Oubre Jr. ($4,500) has been in a bit of a DFS slump of late, thus the major price drop. But I like him in this spot because he’s facing a Pelicans team that has struggled with defending 3-point shooting this season, ranking 22nd in opponent 3-point percentage (35.9%). Oubre had limited minutes vs. the Pelicans last time out, but he still shot well (4-for-7 from the floor and 2-for-5 from deep). So long as he gets the playing time — which he should if CJ McCollum ($9,200) is good to go on the other side — he’ll be in a good spot to at least provide five-times value.

With Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,400) questionable, we’ll dig into the Timberwolves in Key Injuries to Monitor.

Kyle Kuzma ($8,000; questionable) is also questionable and will impact the ceiling of the Wizards players if he’s a go vs. Houston, but he won’t hurt Cory Kispert’s ($4,200) floor. The wing has provided five-times value on this price tag in four of his last six, coming 0.25 DKFP short of doing so in five of those six games. While he didn’t go off with Kuzma out on Sunday, the Rockets provide him a great chance to do so if Washington’s power forward is unavailable. But if Kuzma goes, Kispert is still in a comfortable place to produce five-times value.

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

Scheduling Notes

3rd game in 4th night

76ers, Celtics, Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Jazz, Raptors, Rockets, Thunder, Mavericks, Cavaliers, Wizards

2nd night of a back-to-back

76ers, Celtics, Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Jazz, Raptors, Rockets, Thunder, Mavericks

1st night of a back-to-back


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Key Injury to Monitor

76ers C Joel Embiid ($11,000) vs. Heat
Lakers PF/C LeBron James ($11,600) vs. Cavaliers
Heat SF Jimmy Butler ($8,500) vs. 76ers
Timberwolves C Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,400) vs. Mavericks
Wizards PF Kyle Kuzma ($8,000) vs. Rockets
Raptors PG/SG Fred VanVleet ($7,900) vs. Bulls

Embiid and VanVleet are the only two of the group who aren’t on the injury report yet, but that’s because their teams are on the second leg of a back-to-back — VanVleet didn’t play Sunday, and Embiid was questionable going into the first leg of Philly’s back-to-back.

Even though he didn’t come through for Philly on Sunday, James Harden ($10,000) becomes a strong DFS option if Embiid is a no-go. But with so many games on the slate, there may be better ways to pay up and still get a piece of the 76ers if Embiid’s out. Tyrese Maxey ($6,200) has posted a 26.6% usage rate without the big man (and both Seth Curry and Andre Drummond) on the floor, leading to even 1 DKFP per minute in that setting.

EDITOR’S NOTE: 76ers C Joel Embiid (back) and PG/SG James Harden (hamstring injury recovery) have been ruled out tonight vs. the Heat.

The biggest injury to watch Monday is KAT. He’s had quite a month, and this game has one of the highest projected totals on DraftKings Sportsbook. If he sits, Anthony Edwards ($7,400) becomes the more enticing option of the two Minnesota studs available. As for value, Naz Reid ($4,100) is the guy to turn to if KAT can’t suit up. Reid has provided five-times value on Monday’s price tag in four of his last five games and five of the last seven. With KAT off the floor this season, Reid has a 22% usage rate and puts up 1.12 DKFP per minute.

Favorite Pick Against the Spread

Raptors +3.5 at Bulls

As much as I do like Miami in Philly Monday, we need to know what’s up with Butler and Embiid. If Butler gets the green light, move on Miami regardless of Embiid’s status. If Embiid gets ruled out first, no need to wait on Butler.

But when it comes to the Raptors, we don’t need to wait on VanVleet when assessing the spread — even though he’d be of help. Toronto is a cool 10-5 ATS on the second leg of back-to-backs and 9-6 ATS with a rest disadvantage. They’re also 15-10-1 ATS as road underdogs this season. The Bulls may be the best home favorite ATS (19-7) in the league, but they’re a miserable 1-8 ATS in their last nine games. Meanwhile, the Raptors are 6-1 ATS in their last seven.

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Favorite Player Prop

Pistons SF Saddiq Bey: over 20.5 points vs. Trail Blazers

Bey has been rolling, and the Pistons once again find themselves without Jerami Grant. Bey wasn’t able to go over this number vs. Cleveland last time out, but he was as close as you can get — while playing a much tougher opponent than he’ll see on Monday. Not only are the Blazers continuing their downward trend, they have the highest opponent 3-point percentage in the NBA (37%). If you want a way to improve the payout, a Same Game Parlay of over 20.5 points, 5+ rebounds and 2+ 3-pointers for Bey brings things to +150.

Favorite Value Play

Nets SG/SF Cameron Thomas ($3,400) vs. Jazz

We’ve talked about quite a few value options already here, but Thomas is my No. 1 for Monday.

When Irving, LaMarcus Aldridge (out) and the departed Harden are off the floor this season, Thomas has a 25.2% usage rate, leading to 0.96 DKFP per minute in those situations. He’s been dealing with a back issue of late, but he’s clear of Monday’s injury report, so he should get at least 14 minutes like he did on Friday vs. Portland. In the 14 games he’s logged at least 14 minutes since Feb. 4, he’s provided five-times value 12 times.

But that’s just looking at his floor — Thomas has gone off more than a few times this season, several instances being in the aforementioned stretch of games. He could still be featured on a decent amount of rosters Monday, but his rostership should be lower than he deserves because of the back problem and limited minutes he’s logged of late as a result.

Favorite Stud

Mavericks PG Luka Doncic ($12,000) vs. Timberwolves

Yes, the highest-priced option is my favorite stud of the night. Good news is, there are quite a few strong value plays you can partner Doncic with on Monday.

Minnesota may have a strong defensive rating, but putting Doncic in a pace-up spot is too promising. Plus, for those worried Patrick Beverley and company will stifle Doncic, the Dallas guard scored over 40 in two of the last three games he saw Beverley (when he was with the Clippers). Combine all of that with the fact these two teams are fighting each other to stay out of the play-in tournament, and Doncic is in a spot for a heavy workload.

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

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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 dk-nfriar) 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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