Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 12/6/18

We have a tiny Thursday prime time slate, and it's actually sort of a brutal one. Devin Booker and TJ Warren are out, but how predictable will the Suns be without their two leading scorers? Going position by position won't do it justice, so we're going to need to break this down on a game by game basis.

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New York Knicks at the Boston Celtics
Celtics are favored by 12 in a game with a 217.5 total
Right off the rip we have a game with a double digit spread, a low total, and two teams with unreliable minutes. We having fun yet?

Emmanuel MudiayEmmanuel Mudiay FD - $5100 DK - $5700
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 32.27 DK - 32.92
All that being said, there are some reasonable plays in this game relative to this slate. With Trey Burke's MCL sprain, Emmanuel Mudiay has played 36 minutes in back to back games. The Knicks are fresh out of ball handlers, and Mudiay is still cheap enough that he should be able to hit value regardless of the game script. Noah Vonleh plays 32+ minutes in close games, and his minutes can go if the game script goes against him, but you're going to want to take a long look at your other power forward options before overlooking him.

On the Celtics side, it mostly comes down to whether you think these guys play the minutes. The Cs are deep enough that they can really spread minutes around on you if the game gets remotely out of hand. Al Horford and Jayson Tatum have a solid match-up with a rather anemic NY front-court, but are two of the first guys to get pulled in a blowout. Marcus Smart randomly played fewer minutes last game, or you'd likely want to play him as well. Hell, you might need to regardless.

Can't say I'm thrilled about any of these options, though.

Phoenix Suns at the Portland Trailblazers

The Trail Blazers are favored by 14 in a game with a 216 total
We move from a game with a 12 point spread to a game with a 14 point spread. Yeah, now we're officially having fun. The Suns head into this game without Devin Booker and TJ Warren, which should be pretty exciting given how much of the usage they account for, but did you watch that Sacramento game? The first quarter looked like one of those high school girl's basketball games where the one team has someone who is 6'4'' and the other team never scores. And the Blazers are probably a tougher match-up.

Josh Jackson, Elie Okobo, and Mikal Bridges are all great plays if you think they play their minutes, and you might need to play some combination of them regardless just to make a lineup. Jackson and Okobo seem to lose their minutes more readily than Bridges does, for what that's worth. Still, you're seriously rolling the dice by introducing any of these guys into your squad.

On the Portland side you're in a similar boat. You don't get the huge value of any missing players, but you do get plenty of value from a great match-up with an awful Phoenix team. I've been high on CJ McCollum on these prices all season, and even though he's 10% more expensive than he has been, he could still easily go off here. Just understand that the blowout risk is real here as well.

A quick note about blowout risk on a slate like this. With 2 of the 3 games in serious blowout territory, I generally recommend that you just ignore the potential for blowouts. You aren't going to make a complete lineup with just the Houston/Utah game, so I think you just need to bite the bullet here.

Houston Rockets at the Utah Jazz

The Jazz are favored by 2 in a game with a 217 total.
Hey, we have a close game! You also have two teams that play bottom 10 paces in the league.

If you're playing this game, you're just trying to absorb as much floor as you can. Our system is bearish on the Jazz, which I found surprising, because while Houston plays slow, they have played exceedingly bad defense this year. I still have to think guys like Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are reasonable options.

On the Houston side, daily cheap high floor guy PJ Tucker will be a huge start today. I also think Chris Paul is under-priced - while Harden is very ball dominant, CP3 has still had a top 10 time of possession this season. Our system thinks you can stretch for Clint Capela, which is honestly a little troubling against Rudy Gobert.

Honestly? This slate is sort of a nightmare. But it's also a nightmare for everyone, so there might just be an edge in hoping people pick even worse plays than you do!


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