Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 12/20/18

Well, well, well. If it isn't a 2 game Thursday NBA slate. I'd be lying if I said I was over the moon about this one. We have the Rockets on the second half of a back to back, and a battle for maximum mediocrity between the Mavs and Clippers. Let's do this?

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The Houston Rockets at the Miami Heat

The Rockets are favored by 3 in a game with a 208.5 total

So our first game tonight features a solid team that's on a second half of a back to back and a crazy team that plays all of their players seemingly random minutes. We excited yet?

On the Rockets side, they certainly have the makeup of a team that would like to rest its veterans on the second half of a back to back. Paul and Harden are both logging serious miles this season, and on paper this looks like a reasonable night for a breather. Unfortunately, we don't have an excellent comp for this situation. The last time the Rockets had a back to back saw the starters playing reduced minutes, but that was likely because of playing in two games that were decided by 47 total points.

Still, the Chicago game was one where the starters really could have played more. The Rockets were up 12 going into the fourth quarter, though the game had that "blowout feel" thanks to Houston jumping out to a 16 point lead after the fourth.

And frankly, our system really doesn't like many of these guys anyway! We don't have a single player projected for more than 5 fantasy points per dollar on FanDuel, though the big three of Capela/CP3/Harden are all above 4.8. At this point I'm squarely in "waiting for news" territory, and will likely be bearish in their minutes if I can afford to be.

Josh RichardsonJosh Richardson FD - $7500 DK - $6800
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 32.85 DK - 33.42
Now here's a confusing team. With Dragic out, the only reliable source of minutes has seemed to be Josh Richardson. Richardson is now fairly expensive for his regular production, but a plus match-up against the Gordon/Harden combo should help matters.

Tyler Johnson could also be an interesting option here, but he missed Wednesday's practice with a migraine and his status is still uncertain. Hassan Whiteside is back, but playing 22 minutes a game. D-Wade just played 23 minutes in a close game. People are going to talk themselves into Kelly Olynyk based on the recent gamelog, but do you really trust him with Adebayo, Johnson, and Whiteside all healthy? This game is just a yikes from me at the moment.

The Dallas Mavericks at the Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers are favored by 3.5 in a game with a 221.5 total

And you thought the Houston vs. Miami game was exciting! Whew, here's one to take your breath away. If you've listened to our DFS NBA Podcasts recently you've probably heard us describe these two teams the same way: boring DFS teams that you only play in great match-ups or when injuries create opportunity. Today we sort of have neither.

DeAndre JordanDeAndre Jordan FD - $7200 DK - $7400
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 34.91 DK - 36.4
That being said, this is a fairly juicy revenge game situation. I'd normally be saying that ironically, but in the case of DJ this is a great match-up for him AND a spot where the Mavs could easily give him an extra 3 minutes. This slate is devoid of good center plays, and he should be the overwhelming chalk.

Our system is always going to want to play guys like Harrison Barnes n these terrible slates as a high floor option who should play his minutes.

Right now Dennis Smith Jr. is listed as questionable, and his absence could open up some speculative value. Jalen Brunson got the start last game, but didn't do much with it. JJ Barea and Dorian Finney-Smith might be better plays in his absence.

Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderShai Gilgeous-Alexander FD - $5600 DK - $5200
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 27.78 DK - 27.28
The Clippers side is kind of a mess. If you trust SGA's minutes, he is an excellent play. But we've seen the minutes come and go. Avery Bradley might be a must-play on the basis of him being cheap and droppable on FanDuel. Tobias Harris and Danilo Gallinari both would be easy to pass up on at their current prices on a normal slate, but could find themselves in "necessary evil" territory depending on how the money all comes together.


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