There are nine games for Thursday’s main DraftKings NBA slate, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET. There are three teams (the Hawks, Trail Blazers, and Spurs) playing the second leg of a back-to-back. DraftKings Sportsbook has two games with a double-digit spread, the Magic (+14) at the Hawks and the Raptors (+10) at the Bulls. There are three games with an O/U of at least 230: Bucks-Pacers (244), Nuggets-Timberwolves (233), and Trail Blazers-Suns (234.5).
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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Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks vs. Orlando Magic, $9,100 – Young has been on a heater lately. Over the last three games, he scored at least 30 points in each contest and converted 52%, 50%, and 48% of his 19, 22, and 25 field goal attempts. Hucking and chucking at its finest. The usage rate has been 32%, 37%, and 38%. This has translated to 55, 54.5, and 52.5 DKFP. The Magic are 24th in defensive efficiency and boost the FPPM to point guards by 3.1% above league average. In two prior meetings with Orlando, he put up 42.25 and 54 DKFP.
Other Options – Ja Morant ($8,200), Delon Wright ($8,100)
Tyler Herro, Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers, $5,500 – This solely depends on the health of Jimmy Butler ($8,800), as he left Wednesday’s game after getting poked in the eye. If he’s out, then Herro could start, but at worst will see a significant increase in usage and playing time. On Wednesday, Herro played 35 minutes, attempted 15 shots, and put up 46.25 DKFP. On the season, Herro averages 0.93 DKFP.
Other Options – Malachi Flynn ($5,700), Facundo Campazzo ($5,800)
Caris LeVert, Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $8,900 – LeVert is currently listed as questionable, but Malcolm Brogdon will miss his eighth straight, so fire up LeVert if he ends up playing. With Brogdon out of the lineup, LeVert slides down to point guard and works with the ball in his hands more often. The assists have spiked up by over two per game while the usage rate has gone up three percentage points. LeVert has produced at least 40 DKFP in six of the last seven games with one over 50 and two over 60. This game should have a ton of fantasy goodies as both teams are top five in offensive pace and the O/U is a whopping 244 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Other Options – Zach LaVine ($9,300), Khris Middleton ($8,400), Delon Wright ($8,100)
Austin Rivers, Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves, $4,400 – Since arriving in Denver, Rivers has averaged 27.4 minutes and 7.3 shots per game. Over the last two contests, though, he’s started both and played 36 and 32 minutes. He’s only produced 24.25 and 19.75 DKFP but he’s going to play a ton of minutes for as long as Will Barton is out and has a high of 41.75 DKFP, so there is a chance for ceiling games if things break right. The game environment and matchup could help as the Timberwolves are 4th in pace and 26th in defensive efficiency.
Other Options – Tyler Herro ($5,500), Facundo Campazzo ($5,800)
Editor’s note: Michael Porter Jr. (rest) has been ruled out tonight.
Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves , $8,600 – Looks like I’m going to have plenty of Nuggets on my rosters today. The DraftKings Sportsbook spread is only 4.5 points and the total is a healthy 233. Plus, the Timberwolves play fast and eschew defense. Against power forwards, they boost the FPPM by 9.59% above league average. Over the last three games, Porter has played 35, 34, and 38 minutes and attempted 18, 17, and 19 shots with 10, 10, and 9 from downtown. That’s translated to 30, 28, and 31 points and over 40 DKFP in each contest.
Other Options – Khris Middleton ($8,400), Jimmy Butler ($8,800)
Doug McDermott, Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $4,500 – McDermott has started the last seven games and averaged 25.8 minutes and 11 shot attempts, with 4.6 of those from downtown. He’s put up 15.7 points and 20.8 DKFP per game. This game is going to be an up-and-down affair with plenty of possessions, so McDermott should have plenty of chances for fantasy goodies. The Bucks boost three-point production to small forwards by 5.5% above league average and McDermott has put up 25 and 22.75 DKFP in two prior meetings with the Bucks.
Other Options – Moe Harkless ($4,600), Danny Green ($4,500)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers, $10,900 – Giannis averages 1.65 DKFP per minute. The Pacers play at the fifth-fastest pace and boost the FPPM to power forwards by 12.68% above league average. This game has the highest DraftKings Sportsbook total on the slate. In the prior meeting against the Pacers, Giannis went for 62 DKFP. 1 + 1 = 2.
Other Options – Domantas Sabonis ($10,700)
Ignas Brazdeikis, Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks, $3,700 – Brazdeikis had been one of my favorite value plays recently because he was playing over 30 minutes and attempting double-digit shots. He had scored at least 20 DKFP in three of four games. Last game out, though, he only played 21 minutes and went 1-for-5 from the field, so there’s some concern with this play. For now, I’m going to view it as an aberration and think he goes back to getting close to 30 minutes because James Ennis, Otto Porter, and Terrence Ross are still out and the Magic signed Brazdeikis to a contract for the remainder of the season.
Other Options – Yuta Watanabe ($3,900), Chimezie Metu ($4,100), Doug McDermott ($4,500)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves, $11,000 – Jokic is a threat to triple-double on any given night and is averaging a ridiculous 1.6 DKFP per minute. The Timberwolves play fast and don’t perform their defensive duties, so there should be plenty of opportunities for fantasy goodies. Over the last three games, he’s “only” gone for 53.25, 44.25, and 56.75 DKFP. He can go for 70 on any given night, though, as he’s accomplished that feat nine times this season with a high of 88.5 DKFP.
Other Option – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,900), Domantas Sabonis ($10,700), Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,000)
Chimezie Metu, Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies, $4,100 – Marvin Bagley ($6,200) is doubtful for today and could miss his second consecutive game. On Tuesday, Metu stepped into the starting lineup for Bagley and played 30 minutes, contributing 26.25 DKFP. On the season, Metu is averaging 1 DKFP per minute and the Grizzlies are 8th in pace, so the environment is a good one.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sontzu) 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 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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