Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/18/17

Happy Tax Day everyone! You can take the pain of it all away by playing DFS NBA Playoff basketball. No better way to celebrate this special day than getting in on a three game slate. There's plenty to dive into here with the first games of each series giving us a solid window into what teams plan to do in round one.

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Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors

The Bucks pulled off a huge win in Toronto in Game One, made even more impressive by the rowdy nature of that crowd and the fact that they won the game going away. The Bucks gave the Raptors fits with their length and shot 40% from beyond the arc. What's even more impressive about this win is they got the line only 15 times as compared to the Raptors' 33. Again, it was an impressive win and has to have Toronto more than a little worried going forward. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 28 points and was able to get the rim early and often against a variety of Toronto defensive looks. He played close to 40 minutes and remains a solid cash game play again tonight. I love Khris Middleton tonight as he played over 40 minutes and actually ran a little bad from the field. There's upside for sure on his prices.

I wondered if Greg Monroe would see increased minutes in this series and he did in the first game, going 26 on his way to a 14/15 line. He makes a solid C play at a tough position.

The Raptors had all sorts of issues on the offensive end against the Bucks. Kyle Lowry couldn't get anything going as Milwaukee contained him to the perimeter for much of the game. Demar Derozan was able to score and I still think he's a decent play in the mid 8000's on FD. The fantasy goodness came from Serge Ibaka who went 19/14 in 36 minutes. He'll be a chalk cash play tonight after that performance and it's probably correct. The GPP play here would be Lowry who, after struggling in the first game, will be underowned and still has upside if he can get it going from beyond the arc.


Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics

The Bulls took the first game in Boston and (at least for one game) proved why it might be important to have the best player in the series. That was clearly Jimmy Butler who put up a 30/9 line in 41 minutes and was solid on the defensive end as well. He's the second most expensive player on the slate after Giannis and I have to imagine the Celtics work to game plan more for how much of a one-man team Butler is for the Bulls. After Buckets, I don't trust much with the Bulls. Sure Robin Lopez played a ton of minutes in Game One but it's hard to imagine that continuing going forward. And the Bulls have played fast and loose with rotations all season long. You simply can't trust what they do in one game will be what they do in the next.

The Celtics have to be a little concerned here after being dealt that initial loss. Isaiah Thomas was able to overcome (from a basketball perspective) an emotional tragedy and delivered a solid performance. He's set to play in Game Two though you have to feel for the guy. I still think he's at solid prices on both sites and should continue to see plenty of Celtics' usage. He led the team in shots and went for a game best 33/6/5. He's one of the best PG values on this short slate.

After seeing 33 minutes almost on lock during the season, Al Horford played 40 minutes in the first game and put up an excellent 19/8/7 line. If this is Brad Stevens' plan for him for the series then he's the best center play and it isn't particularly close.

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Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers

The Jazz were dealt a huge blow in Game One when they lost Rudy Gobert on the very first play of the game. Watching his leg buckle on the knee-to-knee with Mbah a Moute gave me many of the sads. And yet the Jazz were able to forge ahead without their defensive rock and actually pull out the buzzer beater win over the Clippers. I'm not sure if that says more about the Jazz resiliency or the Clippers lack of depth and options come playoff time. This second game will tell us a lot either way. Utah will still be without Gobert who's sprained MCL will keep him out of Game Two. I like Gordon Hayward's mid tier value going into the game and I think it only gets better here considering he should be in line for another 40 minutes. Hayward led the team in shots and really picked up the rebounding without Gobert. He finished with a 19/10 line and I love his minutes floor.

George Hill will continue to see plenty of CP3 D but he played 37 minutes in the first tilt and is coming cheaper on both sites. Joe Ingles is an interesting punt-ish play though doesn't have much of a ceiling. The real question, from DFS purposes, is if we see 30+ minutes from both Derrick Favors and Joe Johnson. If so then the latter makes for close to a must play on FD.

Blake Griffin played a whopping 43 minutes in the first game and it's clear they need his size and athleticism to dictate the flow of the Clippers' play on both ends. He took a team high 21 shots and led the team in scoring with 26. If the minutes are going to be the norm then he's the PF play tonight going away. He's also helped with no Gobert on the court. I see Chris Paul as the very best PG value (the same we thought going into the first game) and he should continue to take on more of the scoring burden as we progress through the playoffs. He's just mispriced on both sites and should be a staple of your cash games. I'm fine stacking this game again as both FanDuel and DraftKings shifted their pricing because of the defensive matchups. We can target it again tonight.



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image sources

  • Celtics Suns Basketball: (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

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