Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy NBA Playoff Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - Round 1 4/27/18

Friday in the NBA has some series on the brink. The Cavaliers, Raptors, and Utah all lead their series 3-2 with only Utah playing at home. It is going to be an interesting night of basketball, to say the least.

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Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards

Raptors lead series tied 3-2
This is as close as a 1 vs. 8 series as you’ll ever see and watching the games it sure doesn’t look like these teams were separated by seven slots in the standings. But alas, here we are with the Raptors’ fans living and dying game-by-game. On a short slate, I think I prefer Kyle Lowry (FD 8300 DK 8000) to DeMar DeRozan (FD 8600 DK 8300) because he’s just a tick less and isn’t so scoring dependent to hit his value. I also think there are just other SG values on the slate.

Jonas Valanciunas (FD 5800 DK 6200) is playing crunch time folks and all bets are off. After spending a season (or three) basically relegated to the bench come the fourth quarter, he’s actually playing with the closing unit. If the 30 minutes are a new truth then he’s a wild value. He went for 14 points and 13 rebounds and Game 5. It’s actually close between him and Marcin Gortat (FD 4100 DK 4700) who, because Jonas played so much, went for 10 points and 12 rebounds in 32 minutes. Gortat is probably the cash game play simply because of the price saving. But both a strong DraftKings plays if you stack them together.

John Wall (FD 10700 DK 10400) has played well in this series, but he’s getting very expensive. If you are prioritizing Lebron James on this slate then I think it’s tough to play Wall here. The same can be said for Bradley Beal (FD 7800 DK 7200) who’s had too much trouble scoring at times in this series to be anything close to safe.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers

Cavaliers lead series 3-2
Lebron James has a lot of career highlights, so putting them into some sort of “ranked” order is likely folly. But no matter which way you sort it, this sequence in the last six seconds of Game 5 will surely be near the top of the list.

To get the chase down the block (goaltend, but whatever) and then dagger the three at the buzzer on the final possession had me whooping out loud while I sat alone watching the game (the true testament to a great moment). The series now shifts back to Indiana with the Cavaliers looking to close things out. For all the end-game heroics, they did overshadow what was almost an epic Cleveland fourth-quarter collapse. Despite Lebron finishing with 44 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists, the Cavs could only muster 17 final period points. When James isn’t carrying the full (and I mean full) load then this team has major warts. He’s still the easy cash game play on these small slates and you can expect another mid-40’s minutes night from him.

But like I said before Game 5, the rest of the team is very difficult to trust from a DFS perspective. Kevin Love (FD 7700 DK 6800) still looks very much hampered by the thumb injury. He’s barely shooting (poorly when he does) and is even tentative on the glass. Kyle Korver (FD 4300 DK 4600) remains a salary relief option, but you aren’t getting a ton from him besides the scoring. He’s really only FanDuel viable for me. And if you trust J.R. Smith (FD 3600 DK 4100) can get the shot going early then he’s cheap as well but is coming off an abysmal 0-8 Game 5 performance.

It’s a bad sign for Cleveland that Victor Oladipo (FD 9200 DK 7900) shot horribly from the field (2-15) and Cleveland still barely eked out a win. I still think Oladipo is one of the better bargains on the slate because of his usage, minutes-floor and the fact that Cleveland still remains the worst defense going on Friday. Dipo is a little expensive on FanDuel, but completely in play for cash on DraftKings.

We, rather begrudgingly, played Domantas Sabonis (FD 4000 DK 4800) in cash on Wednesday and it worked out thanks to Myles Turner’s (FD 5800 DK 4900) early foul trouble. I’m not expecting the same kinds of minutes out of either side but still think both are actually bargains for their prices. Turner will almost surely play more and Sabonis doesn’t need anything like 30 minutes to be a value at his prices.


Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz

Utah lead series 3-2

You have to hand it to the Thunder for rallying in Game 5 and forcing this game back to Utah. I kind of thought they were close to packing it in. But the Russell Westbrook (FD 10600 DK 11200) and Paul George (FD 8100 DK 8700) combination basically willed them to victory. The two combined for 79 points and 23 rebounds. Two guys accounting for 75% of a team’s scoring in the playoffs seems absurd, but such was the case. They put up a combined 65 shots and if you think this is anything close to realistic usage for Game 6 then they are near must plays. I’m dubious though. It’s hard to imagine Utah allowing that again. But both should play minutes in the mid 40’s and are the most viable fantasy options from this game as a whole.

Because it’s the most defensively sound matchup on the slate (and maybe for the whole playoffs) this is not the game we are looking to target in DFS. At their price points, I don’t like of anything on the Utah side of things. That isn’t a cop-out necessarily, it’s just the starters A: don’t all play enough minutes and B: don’t go nuts with the periphery stats. I don’t mind Derrick Favors (FD 6000 DK 5700) who got into foul trouble in Game 5, limiting his minutes. He’s the one *bargain* play on the Jazz I’d consider in cash because I think his implied minutes are more in the 32 range. Other than that, Rubio has come down to Earth, I’d take Oladipo over Mitchell at the same price and the rest of the guys don’t totally rate.


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