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NBA Betting, Fantasy Advice: DraftKings Basketball DFS Picks, Predictions, Odds for February 25

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 $500K Friday Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]


Top Scoring Game Environments on DraftKings Sportsbook

Rockets @ Magic – 228.5
76ers @ Timberwolves – 228.0
Raptors @ Hornets – 225.5

Friday’s slate is expected to be on the lower-scoring side, with zero games owning a total above 230. The top mark belongs to the Rockets and Magic at 228.5 points. The Rockets are routinely featured in this section, which makes sense: They rank first in pace and dead last in defensive efficiency. It doesn’t get any better from a scoring perspective. That gives the Magic a massive boost in value. Their current implied team total of 116.25 represents a drastic increase from their regular-season average of 103.3. The Rockets should also have opportunities to score, with the Magic ranking just 24th in defensive efficiency.

The game between the Timberwolves and 76ers checks in second, and the Timberwolves have played at the fastest pace in the league over their past 10 games. They’ve also done plenty of scoring over that time frame, ranking sixth in offensive efficiency. The 76ers are a more defensively oriented team, but things could change with James Harden now in the fold.

The Hornets are another team that routinely plays in high-scoring games. They’re second in pace for the season, and they’re also 23rd in defensive efficiency. That’s a stark contrast from how the Raptors typically play. They rank just 26th in pace, so this is a massive pace-up spot for them. Their players see a significant boost in this spot.


Scheduling Notes

3rd game in 4th night

None

First leg of back-to-back

Heat, Spurs, Raptors, Wizards

Second leg of back-to-back

Timberwolves, Thunder, Suns


Key Injuries to Monitor

Lakers SF LeBron James ($10,600) vs. Clippers

James is currently questionable vs. the Clippers, which has become the norm for him in his 19th season. However, a knee injury didn’t stop LeBron from logging 36 minutes during the All-Star Game, so hopefully, it’s just precautionary. Anthony Davis is already out of the lineup, so LeBron is going to have to do some heavy lifting for the Lakers down the stretch of the regular season.

Raptors PG/SG Fred VanVleet ($8,800) @ Hornets

VanVleet is another player who suited up during the All-Star game but is questionable for his first game back. However, head coach Nick Nurse told reporters on Thursday that VanVleet should be good to go, so he should be in the lineup barring a setback.

Like most of the Raptors’ starters, VanVleet has been logging massive minutes of late. He’s played at least 37.4 minutes in seven of his past nine games, and he’s averaged 1.12 DraftKings points per minute this season.

If VanVleet is surprisingly ruled out, Gary Trent Jr. ($6,500) would be the biggest beneficiary. He’s increased his usage rate by 8.1 percentage points in six games without VanVleet this season, resulting in an average of 1.11 DraftKings points per minute.

Knicks SF R.J. Barrett ($6,700) vs. Heat

The Knicks have announced that they’re shutting down Kemba Walker for the rest of the season, and Barrett is also questionable vs. the Heat. His absence would open up plenty of minutes in the backcourt. Quentin Grimes ($4,100) has already been playing large minutes for the Knicks recently, logging at least 31 in four straight games, but Immanuel Quickley ($4,300) and Alec Burks ($4,900) could also see a boost in value.


Favorite Pick Against the Spread

Heat -5.0 at Knicks

The Heat have quietly been one of the best teams in basketball this season, and they enter Friday just 0.5 games behind the Bulls for the top mark in the Eastern Conference. They also rank fifth in the league in Net Rating, outscoring their opponents by an average of 4.5 points per 100 possessions.

They haven’t been a great road team this season, but they should be able to beat up on the Knicks. They rank just 21st in Net Rating, and they’ve been even worse when playing without Derrick Rose. Their Net Rating dips by 11.0 points with Rose off the floor, and they’ve been outscored by 4.1 points per 100 possessions in that situation. The Knicks are just 14-19 against the spread at home, including just 3-5 as a home underdog.


Favorite Player Prop

Luka Doncic Over 7.5 Assists

You have to pay a bit of a premium for the over on 7.5 assists, but this number is simply too low. Doncic has been a playmaking machine of late, handing out at least eight assists in nine of his past 11 games. Doncic has averaged a sparkling 9.0 assists per game this season, and he’s handed out at least eight dimes in 28 of 44 games.


Favorite Stud

Lakers SF LeBron James ($10,600) vs. Clippers

Sometimes, the easiest answer is the simplest one. There are plenty of studs to consider on Friday’s slate, but it’s hard to look past LeBron. Not only is he still one of the best players in the league, but the absence of Davis gives him added upside. He’s increased his usage rate by 2.0 percentage points in 19 games without Davis this season, resulting in an average of 1.58 DraftKings points per minute. LeBron’s price tag got as high as $12,000 during Davis’ last stretch on the sidelines, so $10,600 is a bargain.


Favorite Value Play

Magic C Mo Bamba ($4,500) vs. Rockets

The Magic stand out as one of the strongest teams to target on Friday, and Bamba is one of their best options. His minutes have been sporadic recently – he’s played as many as 31.2 and as few as 11.2 in his past four games – but he continues to produce on a per-minute basis. He’s averaged 1.00 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so he doesn’t need a ton of playing time to potentially pay off his reduced price tag.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $500K Friday Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]


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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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