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NBA Betting, Fantasy Advice: DraftKings Basketball DFS Picks, Predictions, Odds for March 11

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 $350K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]


Top Scoring Game Environments on DraftKings Sportsbook

Timberwolves @ Magic – 233.5 total
Wizards @ Lakers – 229.5 total
Knicks @ Grizzlies – 228.5 total

Friday’s slate doesn’t feature many games with massive totals. None of the 10 games are approaching the 240 range, and only one game is above 230.

The top mark belongs to the Timberwolves and Magic, which is not all that surprising. The Timberwolves have played at the fastest pace in the league over their past 10 games, while the Magic rank second. The Timberwolves have also been excellent offensively over that time frame, averaging the sixth-most points per 100 possessions. They should be able to pile up points vs. the Magic, who rank 20th in defensive efficiency this season.

Wizards-Lakers is another game that should provide some value. Neither of these teams plays much defense, with both squads ranking 18th or worse in defensive efficiency over their past 10 games. The Lakers have also played at the fifth-fastest pace this season, although they have played a bit slower of late.

Finally, it’s weird to see a game featuring the Knicks with the third-highest total, but that’s the case on Friday. The Knicks have played at the third-slowest pace this season, and they rank just 23rd in offensive efficiency. Add those factors together, and the Knicks rank just 27th in points per game.

That said, the Grizzlies are polar opposites. They’ve averaged the third-most points per game this season thanks to their potent offense and fast pace. They’re expected to do most of the damage in this matchup – their 119.0 implied team total is the second-highest mark on the slate – but it will be interesting to see if the Knicks can hold up their end of the bargain.


Scheduling Notes

3rd game in 4th night

Hornets, Clippers, Pelicans, Magic

First leg of back-to-back

Cavaliers, Heat, Timberwolves, Spurs, Raptors, Jazz, Wizards

Second leg of back-to-back

None


Key Injuries to Monitor

Heat SF/PF Jimmy Butler ($8,700) vs. Cavaliers

As usual, Butler finds himself on the injury report for Friday’s matchup vs. the Cavaliers. He’s spent most of the season listed as questionable with various maladies, and he’s currently dealing with a non-COVID-related illness.

Tyler Herro ($7,300) would be the biggest beneficiary if Butler is ruled out. He’s increased his usage rate by 2.1 percentage points in that situation, resulting in an average of 1.08 DraftKings points per minute. Herro is coming off a poor performance in his last outing, finishing with just 23.5 DKFP over 30.7 minutes, but he scored at least 33.25 DKFP in each of his previous seven games. The Cavaliers aren’t an exciting matchup, but Herro would warrant some consideration if Butler is unavailable.

Timberwolves SG/SF Anthony Edwards ($7,700) at Magic

Edwards returned to the lineup in the Timberwolves last game, but he’s still listed as questionable vs. the Magic. He’s currently dealing with a knee injury, and he was limited to just 25.5 minutes in his last outing.

If Edwards is unable to suit up, Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,700) would become an appealing stud option. He’s been dominant in seven games without Edwards this season, increasing his usage rate by 3.3 percentage points and averaging 1.64 DKFP per minute. The Magic are also an elite matchup, and the Timberwolves’ implied team total of 120.75 is the top mark on the slate.

Rockets C Christian Wood ($8,000) vs. Mavericks

Wood has missed each of the past two games for the Rockets due to an illness, and he’s questionable once again vs. the Mavericks.

If Wood is ruled out, it will give us another opportunity to fire up talented rookie Alperen Sengun ($6,200). He’s struggled to find consistent playing time behind Wood this season, but he’s averaged a stout 1.13 DKFP per minute. He’s increased his production to 1.20 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he’s coming off 50.0 DKFP vs. the Lakers on Wednesday. His price has increased significantly, but he still has the potential to deliver massive value sans Wood.


Favorite Pick Against the Spread

Timberwolves -7.5 at Magic

Betting on the NBA can be difficult, but sometimes, the simple answer is the correct one. This is especially true late in the season. Some teams are pushing hard for playoff spots, while others are fighting for improved draft position. That means one team is actively trying to win while the other benefits from losing. That dynamic is at play in Friday’s matchup between the Timberwolves and Magic.

Historically, fading the team that has nothing to play for has been a wise decision. Specifically, home underdogs with a winning percentage below 40% have gone just 326-434-14 against the spread late in the season.

The Timberwolves are also playing some of their best basketball of the season. They’ve won nine of their past 11 games, including each of their past six. They’ve also been crushing teams, winning each of their past five games by at least 15 points. They’ve feasted on weak competition over that stretch, and the Magic shouldn’t present a huge step up in competition.


Favorite Player Prop

Kyle Kuzma Under 21.5 Points

Kuzma enjoyed a nice stretch as the Wizards’ unquestioned top scorer, but those days are coming to a close. Kristaps Porzingis has suited up in the past two games, and he’s coming off nearly 26 minutes in his last outing. He’ll likely still be limited Friday vs. the Lakers, but his role with the team is growing.

Kuzma’s usage rate has dipped to 26.0% in his two games with Porzingis this season. In the 14 games prior, Kuzma’s usage rate was closer to 29%. That’s going to have an impact on his scoring numbers, and Kuzma managed just 17 points in his last outing despite shooting 50% from the field. The Lakers are a strong matchup, but this is the right time to sell high.


Favorite Stud

Lakers PF/C LeBron James ($11,800) vs. Wizards

Deciding between James and Luka Doncic ($12,000) is going to be a tough call. Doncic has one of the best possible matchups vs. the Rockets, but I’m still giving a slight edge to The King. The Lakers are desperate for wins, so they have no choice but to push James extremely hard down the stretch. He’s coming off nearly 45.3 minutes in their overtime loss to the Rockets on Wednesday, which means he has the potential to play more than 40 minutes in this matchup. James has averaged 1.53 DKFP per minute in games without Anthony Davis this season, so he has massive upside with that much playing time.


Favorite Value Play

Pelicans PG Devonte’ Graham ($4,300) vs. Hornets

The Pelicans are trying to catch the Lakers in the Western Conference standings, but they’re going to be without two key contributors on Friday. CJ McCollum is out due to health and safety protocols, while Brandon Ingram will miss the next 7-10 days with a hamstring strain.

Graham figures to be one of the biggest beneficiaries. Since McCollum joined the team on February 10, Graham has increased his usage rate by 5.6 percentage points with McCollum and Ingram off the floor. He’s increased his production to 0.97 DKFP per minute in that situation, and he should see a significant boost in playing time as well. He can do some serious damage vs. the Hornets, who rank third in pace and 22nd in defensive efficiency this season.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $350K 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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