Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Playoff picks for 4/15/19

The opening weekend of the NBA playoffs is in the books and it didn't disappoint. We had some upsets, some blowouts, ejections, and much more. Now we start on the second game in every series with plenty of questions to answer.

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Nets Nets (8) vs. 76ers 76ers (-8)

Vegas Projected Score: Nets: 108.75 - 76ers: 116.75
: Nets 1-0

The Sixers came out and laid an egg in Game 1, struggling in ever aspect of the game (including health) and allowing the Nets to basically dominate them en route to 111-102 Brooklyn victory. There were a couple of main story lines. The primary one (and it will be the same going into Game 2) being the status of Joel Embiid. Philly waited until the last possible second to clear their superstar and he came out clearly looking less than 100%. He wasn’t able to play the full game and there is speculation he won’t be able to play Game 2.

The Nets played some of their bench heavy rotations, but it’s always so hard to project minutes on a game-to-game basis for this group. They play matchups and hot-hands as much as anyone in the league and could do so again depending on what Embiid’s status is on Monday.

Nets Value

Spencer DinwiddieSpencer Dinwiddie FD - $4900 DK - $5000
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 28.62 DK - 29.79
Dinwiddie was one of the bench stars for Brooklyn, playing 32 minutes off the pine (including crunch time) and finishing with 18 points on 6-14 shooting (2-5 from three). He’s still coming priced at a value if you think this is the Nets’ plan going forward with their backup point guard. They can run him and D'Angelo Russell together so the latter’s minutes don’t necessarily cut into the former’s. Dinwiddie is still a solid middle tier play on a tightly-priced two-game slate.

Jarrett AllenJarrett Allen FD - $6000 DK - $4500
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 28.61 DK - 27.73
Allen played only 10 minutes in Game 1 mostly because he was an epic foul box every time Embiid was on the court. If the latter sits then I think Allen becomes one of the very best value plays on the slate. He’d look even better on a minutes trajectory if Ed Davis were forced to sit after tweaking an ankle. This is one that will require keeping an ear out for news leading into lock because there are some moving parts.

DeMarre CarrollDeMarre Carroll FD - $4000 DK - $4400
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 27.15 DK - 28.49 Carroll was one of the few *value* plays on Saturday, starting at small forward and running 34 minutes at near-punt prices. He was solid from a fantasy perspective, scoring 11 points, grabbing six boards and adding three steals. The price hasn’t moved all that much and I expect him to be one of the higher-owned plays on this smaller Monday slate.

76ers Value

Look, this situation is simply too difficult to discern because it almost 100% relies on the status of Embiid and who Philly chooses to start in his place (if he even sits). If Embiid plays and is labeled healthy (a big *if* and incredibly unlikely in my opinion) then he is the top play of the slate easily. Even in 24 hobbled minutes, the dude posted 22 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and five blocks. I mean, come on.

If he sits, either Jonah Bolden or Boban Marjanovic would vault to the top of the value plays depending on who started.

We’d also see requisite usage bumps from Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons. The latter had a train wreck of a Game 1, posting single-digit stats across the board and looking quite lost for stretches.

Butler meanwhile did his best to keep Philly in the game going for 36 points on 11-22 shooting in 39 minutes. He is one of the biggest beneficiaries in usage rate with Embiid off the court this season and would likely be chalk if the big man sat.

Clippers Clippers (13.5) vs. Warriors Warriors (-13.5)

Vegas Projected Score: Clippers: 108.75 - Warriors: 122.25
: Warriors 1-0

The Warriors won Game 1 going away 121-104 doing what they do best: hitting threes (47%) and taking away your will to live because you have no answer for them on defense. Such was the case here and the Clippers showed they had very few options in terms of stopping Golden State and were also going to struggle to score on the offensive end.

The Warriors open as a -14 favorite for Game 2 (-12 in Game 1) and should be able to dispatch of the Clippers rather easily again. The home crowd was feeling it in the first game and you can tell this squad is hunting a sweep.

Warriors Value

Stephen CurryStephen Curry FD - $9800 DK - $8800
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 47.74 DK - 50.56
Curry went lights out in Game 1, finishing with 38 points on 11-16 shooting (8-12 from three) and a crazy 15 rebounds. He and Klay both saw 37 minutes and if their rotations are going to finish them with that kind of run even in a blowout then I think it’s more than safe running him again in cash games.

Klay ThompsonKlay Thompson FD - $5800 DK - $5800
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 35.98 DK - 36.64
Thompson underperformed even in those 37 minutes thanks to a 5-14 (1-6 from three) shooting performance. I’m happy to go back to Thompson in Game 2 seeing as how the price helps fit some other pieces in lineups. You will always be at the mercy of him catching fire from three to pay even these mid-tier prices but he can definitely do it.

Kevin DurantKevin Durant FD - $9600 DK - $8000
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 46.18 DK - 46.85
Even though Durant played only 32 minutes on Saturday, I do think we are still getting him at a solid price. He went 8-16 from the field and 6-6 from the line finishing with 23 points, four rebounds and three assists. It’s the other, non-scoring stats that have been lacking for Durant with the Warriors playing at full strength, but it’s also what’s kept his price in check.

Clippers Value

Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderShai Gilgeous-Alexander FD - $6000 DK - $5500
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 28.56 DK - 28.26 SGA was one of the few starters Doc Rivers felt comfortable keeping on the floor for max minutes in Game 1. His length and quickness keep him versatile on the defensive end and he can guard multiple positions. He was also effective on the offensive end, taking the second-most shots on the team (16) and finishing with 18 points and five rebounds. I’m comfortable running him again mostly because I think his opportunity is secure.

Montrezl HarrellMontrezl Harrell FD - $6700 DK - $5900
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 32.26 DK - 31.41
Lou WilliamsLou Williams FD - $6700 DK - $6800
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 33.71 DK - 34.91

The two *sixth men* combined to score 51 of the Clippers’ 104 points. The Warriors had few answers for these two guys as both were able to get the basket over and over. It mattered little because they got shredded on defense and despite the heavy scoring they finished -18 and -13 respectively in +/-. The offensive upside probably sees them play a lot again in Game 2 considering how difficult it is for LAC to create shots. But I wouldn’t be shocked to see Doc dial the minutes back some in favor of slightly better defense.


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