There are four games for Thursday’s main DraftKings NBA slate, with one game tipping off at 7:30 p.m. ET — the Milwaukee Bucks at the Atlanta Hawks. There is one game at 8:00 p.m. ET — the Golden State Warriors at the Cleveland Cavaliers. The late-night hammers are the Boston Celtics at the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings at the Phoenix Suns, which both start at 10:00 p.m. ET.
DraftKings Sportsbook has one game with a double-digit spread — PHO (-12.5). There are two games with an O/U of at least 230 — MIL/ATL (230.5) and SAC/PHO (234).
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
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Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers, $10,600 – It’s close between Curry and De’Aaron Fox ($9,700). Both are coming off 60+ DKFP performances over their last two games and both are playing the second leg of a back-to-back. Both of their opponents are in the bottom third for offensive pace. I will side with Curry because the Cavs are 22nd in defensive efficiency while the Suns are 5th. In addition, Curry is averaging 1.48 DKFP per minute on the season while Fox is at 1.24.
Other Options – De’Aaron Fox ($9,700)
Brandon Goodwin, Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $4,500 – This is predicated on the health of Trae Young ($9,100), who is questionable due to a calf injury. In two prior starts with Young out, Goodwin played 37 minutes in each game and put up 32.25 and 35.75 DKFP. The usage rate was 24% and 15%. While the Bucks are 8th in defensive efficiency, they are third in pace and boost the FPPM to point guards by 8.23% above league average.
Other Options – Cameron Payne ($3,500)
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns vs. Sacramento Kings, $8,700 – Booker is coming off a game in which he shot 4-for-16 from the field and put up 21.75 DKFP in only 23 minutes. And the Suns won! So there’s always risk with Booker because they play at a slow pace, have multiple weapons on offense, and play good defense which contributes to wins, so the formula isn’t going to change. With that said, Booker is averaging 1.17 DKFP per minute and 33.8 minutes per game on the season. He garners a usage rate of 33% and is in a pace up spot tonight as the Kings play at the 9th-fastest pace and are dead-last in defensive efficiency.
Other Options – Bogdan Bogdanovic ($7,200)
Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings at Phoenix Suns, $6,100 – There’s no crazy value at the position so I’ll go with Hield. I know, ringing endorsement. These teams played two games in the first week of the season and Hield went for 21.5 and 26.5 DKFP. On the season, he’s averaging only 0.88 DKFP per minute. Boy, I’m really selling this one. With that said, Phoenix does boost the FPPM to shooting guards by 15.08% above league average, tops in the league. In addition, he chucks up 14 shots per game, so the opportunities will always be there. Hield has gone for at least 40 DKFP seven times this season with two of those over 50.
Other Options – Marcus Smart ($6,100)
Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers, $8,100 – It’s close between Brown and Khris Middleton ($8,300). Both are fine options. Brown averages 1.18 DKFP per minute while Middleton is at 1.15. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,800) may return today which is the main reason I’ll side with Brown because the usage is split primarily between he and Jayson Tatum ($9,400), while Middleton may have Giannis and Jrue Holiday ($8,400) to contend with. Over the last four games, Brown has put up 35, 39.5, 44.25, and 58 DKFP while garnering a usage rate of 26%, 20%, 21%, and 36%.
Other Options – Khris Middleton ($8,300)
Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns vs. Sacramento Kings, $5,000 – Like Booker, Bridges is coming off his worst performance of the season, shooting 0-for-3 from the field and grabbing only one rebound for a grand total of 1.25 DKFP in 20 minutes. That was an outlier game all around as the Suns won by 20 points with the bench doing most of the heavy lifting. Bridges should bounce back in this one as the Kings play fast, eschew defense, and boost the FPPM to small forwards by 4.36% above league average. On the season, Bridges is averaging 0.81 DKFP per minute.
Other Options – Isaac Okoro ($4,100)
Editor’s Note: Bucks PF/C Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) is available tonight vs. the Hawks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Atlanta Hawks, $10,800 – Giannis has missed the last six games and is officially listed as questionable, but I think he plays in this one. He was a full participant in practice on Tuesday and he sat out the first leg of the back-to-back. On the season, he averages a ridiculous 1.64 DKFP per minute. He’s scored at least 60 DKFP in 23 games with nine of those over 70 DKFP. Atlanta boosts the FPPM to power forwards by 6.5% above league average, as if he needed any more help.
Other Options – Jayson Tatum ($9,400)
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors, $6,200 – Over the last two games, Love has played 27 and 31 minutes, contributing 39.25 and 33.75 DKFP. Do we fall for the banana in the tailpipe again? On a small slate like this, we don’t have much choice, especially since the Warriors boost the FPPM to power forwards by a league-leading 12.74% above league average. We ride Love’s 1.15 DKFP per minute production until Love breaks our heart once again.
Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors, $7,700 – After missing eight games, Allen returned to action on Wednesday and played 31 minutes while contributing 30 DKFP. He now faces a Warriors team that boosts the FPPM to centers by 8.27% above league average and plays at the second-fastest pace in the league. On the season, Allen is averaging 1.09 DKFP per minute.
Other Option – Draymond Green ($7,100)
Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers, $3,800 – Looney has started the last two games and played 31 and 22 minutes as James Wiseman has been shut down for the remainder of the year. He only averages 0.81 DKFP per minute and contributed 21.75 and 19.75 DKFP the last two games, but he should be on the floor plenty. Minutes are half the battle. Yo, Joe!
Other Option – Robert Williams ($5,800)
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