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NBA Betting, Fantasy Advice: DraftKings Basketball DFS Picks, Predictions, Odds for April 8

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.

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

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $200K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st]

Top Scoring Game Environments on DraftKings Sportsbook

Hornets at Bulls – 234.0 total
Cavaliers at Nets – 232.5 total
Hawks at Heat – 230.0 total

Friday’s slate features nine games, and three stand out above the rest from a scoring perspective.

The game between the Hornets and Bulls features the top total on the slate at 234.0 points. The Hornets being in the top spot is no real surprise. They’ve played at one of the fastest paces in the league this season, and they also rank ninth in offensive efficiency. That’s a good combination for scoring. Their defense also has some issues – they’re just 24th in defensive efficiency – so the Bulls should also put plenty of points on the scoreboard. Their offense has struggled a bit recently, but they have plenty of firepower with guys like DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine.

Unlike the Hornets, the Cavaliers are not a team that has been featured in this section very often. They’re a defensive-minded squad, and they also play at the sixth-slowest pace. However, the Nets can score points against anyone. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are two of the best individual scorers in the league, and they’ve been carrying massive workloads for the Nets recently. The Nets have also played at a faster pace than usual over their past 10 games, ranking sixth in the league in that department.

The Heat are another team that rarely find themselves in this section, but the matchup with the Hawks changes things. The Hawks have played at the fifth-fastest pace over their past 10 games, and they rank fifth in offensive efficiency over that time frame. The Heat rank fourth in offensive efficiency over their past 10 games, so this game has some sneaky shootout potential.

Scheduling Notes

3rd game in 4th night

Hawks, Nets, Hornets, Bulls, Lakers, Bucks, Thunder, Suns, Trail Blazers, Raptors, Jazz, Wizards

First leg of back-to-back


Second leg of back-to-back

Hornets, Lakers, Bucks, Trail Blazers, Raptors

Key Injuries to Monitor

Lakers SF LeBron James ($11,200) vs. Thunder

Editor’s note: Lakers PF LeBron James (ankle) will miss the final two games of the regular season.

James, Anthony Davis ($9,200), and Russell Westbrook ($8,400) all rested for the Lakers on Thursday, and their status for Friday’s matchup vs. the Thunder is still to be determined. However, with the team officially eliminated from playoff contention, it would not be surprising if all three players sat again.

If that happens, it’s going to open up a ton of value with the rest of the roster in a great matchup. Talen Horton-Tucker ($3,800) played 37 minutes and scored 56.25 DKFP with all three players out of the lineup on Thursday, and he posted a massive 37.4% usage rate. He would be an extremely tough fade if the Lakers are without their “Big Three” once again. Malik Monk ($5,600), Stanley Johnson ($3,700), and Wenyen Gabriel ($3,600) would also warrant heavy consideration in that scenario.

Bulls SG/SF Zach LaVine ($7,700) vs. Hornets

LaVine has been dealing with a knee injury, which caused him to miss the front end of a back-to-back Tuesday vs. the Bucks. However, he returned to the lineup on Wednesday, and he’s probable for Friday’s matchup vs. the Hornets. Alex Caruso ($4,400) missed Wednesday’s contest with a back injury, and he’s officially listed as questionable on the injury report.

If either LaVine or Caruso sits, it would result in a boost in value for Patrick Williams ($3,700). He’s started each of the past two games – one for LaVine, one for Caruso – and he would likely draw another start if either player is sidelined vs. the Hornets. Williams was limited to just 10.25 DKFP in his last outing, but he had scored at least 26.0 DKFP in each of his previous three games. Ayo Dosunmu ($3,800) and Coby White ($3,900) would also see a boost in value if LaVine or Caruso is out.

Cavaliers PF/C Evan Mobley ($7,600) at Nets

Mobley has missed the past five games for the Cavaliers due to an ankle injury, but he is probable to return to the lineup on Friday. However, Jarrett Allen and Dean Wade both remain out of the lineup.

Mobley will likely be limited in his first game back, but his return will impact the rest of the rotation. Guys like Lauri Markkanen ($6,000) and Kevin Love ($5,800) will likely see fewer minutes, which is a negative for their fantasy value.

Favorite Pick Against the Spread

Bucks -5.0 at Pistons

This line makes zero sense at the moment. There’s a chance that the Bucks rest a few of their key players, but none of Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,800), Jrue Holiday ($8,600), or Khris Middleton ($8,200) are currently on the injury report. The Bucks also still have something to play for, as they control their own destiny for the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks own a record of 27-14 at home this season, so getting as many home games as possible during the postseason could be a priority.

If the Bucks are at full strength, there is no reason this line should be this low. I’m locking in a wager now, and there’s always a chance to hedge out if things change in the future.

Favorite Player Prop

Hornets PG LaMelo Ball over 5.5 rebounds (-115)

I played this prop on Thursday, and Ball came through with eight boards vs. the Magic. I see no reason not to go right back to the well on Friday. Ball has averaged 6.7 rebounds per game this season, and he’s pulled down at least six boards in 42 of his 73 games (57.5%). The Bulls are a subpar rebounding team, ranking 19th in team rebound rate, and Ball has averaged 8.0 rebounds in two previous meetings vs. the Bulls.

Favorite Stud

Nets SF/PF Kevin Durant ($11,600) vs. Cavaliers

While Friday’s slate has a bunch of strong options at the top, most are dealing with question marks. The Mavericks are basically locked into a top four spot in the West, so they may look to get Luka Doncic a bit of rest down the stretch. Antetokounmpo may not suit up. Same goes for LeBron.

That leaves Durant as the safest option in the stud tier. The Nets control their own fate for the No. 8 spot in the East, but they need to continue to win ball games. That means Durant should continue to carry a massive workload. He’s racked up at least 42.3 minutes in three of his past four games, and he’s scored at least 70.5 DKFP in three of his past five. Durant has averaged 1.50 DKFP per minute over the past month, so it’s hard to pass up on him with so much projected playing time.

Favorite Value Play

Lakers SG/SF Talen Horton-Tucker ($3,800) vs. Thunder

I’m operating under the assumption that James, Davis, and Westbrook will sit once again on Friday, making Horton-Tucker an absolute steal at just $3,800. He’s seen a team-high 11.4 percentage point usage bump with all three players off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.02 DKFP per minute. He likely won’t repeat his success from Thursday, but he doesn’t need to at his current salary.

The Thunder also have plenty of value options to consider in this matchup. Jaylen Hoard ($5,600) has been a monster for the tanking Thunder of late, scoring at least 39.75 in all three games where he’s played at least 36 minutes. Zavier Simpson ($3,900) and Georgios Kalaitzakis ($3,600) should also provide value at their current price tags, so expect this game to feature heavy ownership on both sides.

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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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