12 teams entered the Olympic gauntlet. Only four teams remain. Team USA is favored by 12.5 points over Australia on DraftKings Sportsbook, with an implied total of 97.25. Slovenia is favored by 2.5 points over France, with an implied total of 88.75. To HalleLuka or not? That is the question once again. Luka Doncic ($13,400) is far and away the most expensive player on the slate and he has the highest floor/ceiling combo, but there are a few players who could come close to his output. It all comes down to the value pieces and projected ownership.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays at each position on DraftKings.
Luka Doncic, Slovenia vs. France ($13,400) – Doncic has gone for 76.75, 53.25, 45 and 50.5 DKFP in these Olympics. He has played over 30 minutes in three of four games and the only reason he didn’t reach the threshold in the other was due to a blowout. He garners a ton of usage and is a threat to triple-double on any given night. Now, France is a good defensive team with Rudy Gobert ($8,600) patrolling the middle. France plays at a methodical pace and has held every opponent under 80 points in this tournament, including 76 to a high-powered Team USA. Doncic can go bonkers against any player, team, or scheme as he’s shown many times in the NBA. Unless the ownership is lowered (which I highly doubt) or there’s a ton of cheap value options, I’m inclined to fade Doncic but he’s always in consideration due to his massive upside.
Other Options – Patty Mills ($10,600), Jrue Holiday ($8,400)
Thomas Heurtel, France vs. Slovenia ($4,300) – Heurtel isn’t an exciting option since he’s played fewer than 20 minutes in two of four games and has attempted double-digit shots only once. He doesn’t contribute much in the defensive stats as well but he does dish out assists and shoots from downtown. Heurtel has produced 25, 20.75 and 17.75 DKFP in the last three games and the game environment should be a good one as Slovenia likes to get up and down the court. They’ve scored 94, 95, 116 and 118 points in these Olympics. France will likely hold them down from their tournament average, but it’s still a pace-up spot for France and Heurtel is the best option below $5,000.
Evan Fournier, France vs. Slovenia ($8,200) – Fournier is the class of the shooting guard position tonight once again. He’s the only one who will likely play over 30 minutes and he garners a massive usage rate. As mentioned in the Heurtel blurb, this is a pace-up spot for France, which should provide plenty of opportunities for Fournier to produce fantasy goodies. Outside of the game against Iran, Fournier has attempted 22, 13 and 18 shots and scored over 20 points in each of those contests.
Other Options – Devin Booker ($6,900)
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, France vs. Slovenia ($4,500) – Has it become apparent yet that I am defaulting to French players over Slovenian ones? Many of the Slovenian options at shooting guard seem overpriced for their projected output and defensive matchup. Luwawu-Cabarrot isn’t an exciting option by any means and has a low ceiling. That said, he has played over 20 minutes in each of the last three games and put up 19.75, 27.25 and 10.5 DKFP. He’s attempted at least three shots from downtown in each of those contests and will contribute a little in rebounds, assists and steals.
Other Options – Dante Exum ($4,800)
Kevin Durant, USA vs. Australia ($9,700) – Durant may be my favorite play on the slate as he may be the only player to be able to come closest to Doncic’s output, and he’s over $3,000 cheaper. During pool play, Durant did not play 30 minutes in any game. Once winning time commenced, he played 31 minutes and attempted 17 shots. He rebounds, dishes out assists and contributes in the defensive categories. He may not have the triple-double upside of Doncic, but Durant can stuff the stat sheet. Australia defeated USA, 91-83, in an exhibition a month ago so this game should be highly competitive with Durant assuming the alpha role.
Other Options – Matisse Thybulle ($7,000)
Nicolas Batum, France vs. Slovenia ($5,600) – Batum put up 49 DKFP last game. Woo hoo. Now, that is not why I’m recommending Batum as that was an outlier game that will probably never be replicated. He played 38 minutes, attempted 12 shots and grabbed 14 rebounds. Batum is not a high-usage player on offense as he hoisted four, six and five shots in the prior three games. He also grabbed a total of 11 rebounds. Batum is a jack-of-all-trades player who is a master of none. That said, the 38 minutes was certainly encouraging and minutes are half the battle. Yo, Joe! It’s winning time and there should be more possessions for France in this one, so here’s hoping that the elevated playing time is here to stay since it’s win-or-go-home.
Draymond Green, USA vs. Australia ($6,500) – It is often debated what the better situation is: being a big fish in a small pond or a little fish in a big ocean? What if you are the only fish on Earth? That’s Green tonight. There are only four players listed at power forward and he is the only one priced above $3,400. Green has played 21, 15, 15 and 21 minutes in these Olympics. He’s a low-usage player but he grabs rebounds, dishes out assists and gets some defensive stats. He has scored double-digit DKFP in every game, so there’s that. There’s little probability that he pays off his salary so it’s tough to go here.
Guerschon Yabusele, France vs. Slovenia ($3,400) – Yabusele is one of three fish in the value section at power forward but the other two are tadpoles. He has scored at least 12 DKFP in three of the four games but the playing time has been sporadic. He’s played 18, six, 19 and 11 minutes. Against Italy, he shot 0-for-1, grabbed three rebounds and dished out an assist for 4.25 DKFP, so the floor is low. That said, he’s only $3,400 and has the best chance of paying off his salary. He could match or exceed the production of Green at a $3,000 discount.
Rudy Gobert, France vs. Slovenia ($8,600) – Gobert and Mike Tobey ($8,800) are the class of the center position. While Tobey is more of an offensive threat and has been more consistent in terms of DKFP production, I will side with Gobert here since he doesn’t have to go up against himself. He’s only blocked one shot this entire tournament so that should pick up at some point. In addition, he’s grabbed at least nine rebounds in three of four games. He can reach a ceiling outcome if he attempts 13 shots like he did against Italy and scored 22 points.
Other Options – Mike Tobey ($8,800)
Nicholas Kay, Australia vs. USA ($5,300) – Both Kay and Jock Landale ($4,900) have stepped up in the absence of Aron Baynes. Kay has scored 29.5, 29.5, 29.25 and 28 DKFP in these Olympics and played at least 26 minutes in every game. Is there a glitch in the Matrix? That is absurd consistency. Landale has played 24, 25 and 26 minutes in the last three games and attempted 11, 10 and 10 shots. What is going on Down Under? Landale has more range from downtown as he’s attempted five, two and two shots from beyond the arc. Both grab rebounds and dish out their fair amount of assists. They do not lack in the defensive production as well. I’m inclined to fit in both if possible.
Other Options – Jock Landale ($4,700), Bam Adebayo ($6,600)
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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 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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