Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Playoff Picks - Friday 4/19/19
The first round shifts away from home court as the lower seeds finally get a chance to play in front of friendly crowds. Let's take a look at how a three-game Friday slate breaks down.
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Celtics (3) vs. Pacers (-3)
Vegas Implied Score: Indiana 103.25 - Boston 100.25
Over/ Under: 203.5
Series: Boston 2-0
Boston mounted a dominating fourth quarter en route to a comeback win over the Pacers in Game 2. Entering the 4th they were down 79-68 but Kyrie Irving and company took over and the Celtics won in somewhat convincing fashion late. The series shifts back to Indiana is a borderline must-win game for the Pacers if they want to stay alive in this one. In some ways, it does feel like Game 2 was their best credible shot at true series disruption, but the late collapse accentuated some of their core issues. Namely, they struggle to score when it really counts because they lack credible players who can create their own shot.
Boston ValueKyrie Irving FD - $9000 DK - $8900
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 43.65 DK - 44.22
The Pacers had no answer for Kyrie in this game. He finished with 37 points in 39 minutes on 15-26 shooting (6-10 from three) with a majority of his shots coming as he took his man off the dribble and just punished the Pacers over and over. If the minutes’ upside is closing in on 40 with the Celtics wanting to essentially put the series away then it’s hard to argue with him as a top big-money play. You are going to somewhat live and die by the scoring which isn’t the case with some other players in his price range on this slate.
Jayson Tatum FD - $6800 DK - $6100
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 33.61 DK - 33.46
Tatum started rounding back into last season’s playoff form with a fantastic Game 2. He took the second-most shots on the team and finished with 26 points on 11-20 shooting (3-6 from three). Tatum looked aggressive in a way we haven’t seen all that much this season and the most encouraging piece was the 39 minutes Brad Stevens ran him out there. In another close game he’s a candidate to see similar run.
Jaylen Brown FD - $4400 DK - $4800
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 23.29 DK - 23.4
He didn’t play crunch time, but still grabbed the start for the injured Marcus Smart and wasn’t a total disaster from a fantasy perspective. He picked up six points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes and that looks like around what he’ll play in this role unless the Celtics see something they like and extend the run just a tad. On a slate that isn’t exactly brimming with cheap value we might just need to stomach a Brown play knowing he isn’t going to go crazy on minutes.
Indiana ValueDarren Collison FD - $4500 DK - $4600
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 30 DK - 29.96
Kyrie shredded him in Game 2 in the fourth quarter, but Collison still managed to pick up 33 minutes. And honestly, it’s not like the Pacers have a lot of different ways to turn at this point. He managed 10 shots, the third-most on the team and finished with 13 points and three assists. He’s as close as you’re going to get to a punt play who actually plays minutes on this slate and isn’t likely to totally dust you at these prices.
Bojan Bogdanovic FD - $6500 DK - $6000
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 29.25 DK - 30.52
We said before last game that the Pacers would need Bojan's scoring and minutes in order to stay in the series. It was mostly correct. He finsihed with an excellent game, putting up 25 points, eight rebounds and four steals. He led the team with 21 shots and that will likely be the case again on Friday.
Raptors (-4.5) vs. Magic (+4.5)
Vegas Implied Score: Toronto 107 - Orlando 103
Over/ Under: 210
Toronto took care of business in Game 2, beating Orlando by 29 in a game that never seemed in doubt really at any stage. The Raptors’ defense was relentless, constantly moving, pressuring and disrupting the Magic on basically every possession. Honestly, it looked like they were playing 6-5 with their ability to double, get in passing lanes and make every shot contested. It was truly a wakeup call game for a team that had been stunned at home in Game 1. While it’s folly to ever overreact to one game, If they keep this kind of intensity, it’s tough to imagine Orlando getting back into the series.
Toronto ValueKawhi Leonard FD - $9300 DK - $8200
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 45.51 DK - 45.72
We loved Kawhi’s DraftKings’ price going into last game and he didn’t disappoint. Dude was an assassin and the Magic had no answer for him at all on the defensive end. Leonard finished with 37 points on 15-22 shooting (4-8 from three) and threw in four assists and rebounds each. It stands to reason the Raptors will continue with this approach, getting him as many looks as possible considering the Magic just have no one that can handle him when he gets into the half court.
Also strongly consider Kyle Lowry (FD $7800 DK $6800) on DraftKings after a bounce-back performance that helped wash away the stink of Game 1. Lowry put up a 22 point, seven assist line that had to feel good after being maligned so much for his recent playoff performance.
And finally, Pascal Siakam (FD $8500 DK $7300) has 40 minute upside if the game stays close. That’s enough to really think about the DraftKings’ price and to maybe even just bite the bullet on FanDuel.
Orlando ValueAaron Gordon FD - $6700 DK - $6200
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 32.24 DK - 33.15
Evan Fournier FD - $5100 DK - $5400
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 28.5 DK - 29.69
The Magic got their doors blown and these two guys still kind of played a lot of minutes. They ran 33 and 32 respectively despite losing by about 30. That’s an encouraging sign for their fantasy prospects that you might not completely lose the production if the game got out of hand again. And you might have fantastic upside if it stays close.
Look, neither were all that good in Game 2 which make sense considering how the game went. But Gordon did manage 20 points and has shot the ball well this series when given the chance. He also pulled down 10 boards in the first game. If he puts it all together then he’d be a bargain in the $6K range.
Like I said before the last game, Fournier’s defensive ability and relative length does give him the chance to stay on the court longer and he tied for the most shots on the team last game with 12.
Trail Blazers (8) vs. Thunder (-8)
Vegas Implied Score: Oklahoma City 114.75 - Portland 107.25
Over/ Under: 222
Series: Portland 2-0
Portland shredded OKC in Game 2, 114-94 thanks to the guard play of their two best players Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. The Thunder simply had no answer around the perimeter for these two who combined to go 22-43 from the field and 7-15 from three, accounting for 54% of Portland’s scoring in the win.
With the series shifting back to Oklahoma City one can envision a renewed intensity around the defense from the Thunder side and I do think this series is still far from a foregone conclusion despite the Blazers two-game lead.
Portland ValueIt’s a little tough to know the Portland plan after their blowout win in Game 2. Damian Lillard (FD $10300 DK $9100) and C.J. McCollum (FD $8000 DK $6900) are obviously both safe on their minutes but neither is exactly a *value* at this point. I’m inclined to give McCollum’s DraftKings’ price a run mostly because it’s still on the lower end. Dame on the other hand is priced a bit out of contention.
Meanwhile, Enes Kanter (FD $7300 DK $6500) got hurt last game and sat for a bit, finishing with only 20 minutes and a disappointing six point, five rebound line. We could see a bounce back to the 30+ minute Game 1 run and he’s for sure going to be lower-owned this time around.
And because power forward is so thin, Al-Farouq Aminu (FD $5400 DK $4900) should stand to see minutes closer to, or over 30 in this game. He’s versatile on defense and leaving him out on the court isn’t a liability. He grabbed three steals in Game 2 which helped save his overall line.
Oklahoma City ValueRussell Westbrook FD - $11800 DK - $10200
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 59.88 DK - 62.73
This sounds crazy to say, but I think we can still very much buy on Westbrook even at these top tier prices on a short slate. I get that he was horrible in Game 2, going 5-20 from the field and looking every bit frustrated and even out of control at times. But coming back home, in a borderline must-win game could bring out 40+ minutes of triple-double Russ. The DraftKings’ price seems almost like a must considering how he can pile on the production and in a close game we might really be able to pay off the fact that the price hasn’t moved after the first two games.
Consider Jerami Grant (FD $5500 DK $5200) who’s in the Aminu-mold for me though he has more minutes’ upside if the game stays close. He was horrendous in Game 2, but that’s not moving the needle much for me.
- Thunder Lakers Basketball: (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)