Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Playoff Picks - Sunday PreviewTwo game sevens in one day! What more could a hardcore NBA fan ask for? Can the Sixers upset the Raptors? Is the Denver/Portland series all of a sudden insanely relevant given Durant's injury? It's the final two game slate of NBA, friends, so let's enjoy it.
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Trail Blazers (5.5) vs. Nuggets (-5.5)
Vegas Projected Score: Denver: 109 Portland: 104.5
Series: Tied 3-3
Six games later, and at least we know what these teams want to do by now. Denver jumped out to an 8 point lead after the first quarter in game one, but Portland has shown as much battle as anyone in the entire postseason so far. Both teams seem to be setting down the gimmicks and letting their best five decide this series, and game seven could be a classic. Let's look at the individual teams more closely.
Jamal Murray FD - $8500 DK - $7200
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 42.52 DK - 43.92
Denver has decided that only two guards should play in this series, with Murray and Harris combining for 86 of the 96 guard minutes. You're paying peak prices for both of them, but both of them were handily worth these prices in game 6. There's really not much else to say - if these are the only two guards playing for Denver you're going to play them in cash games on a two game slate.
Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap are obviously established as the other two pieces that Denver will be relying on, and it's not terrible to run them out there against Portland's hobbled front-court. The Trail Blazers can not seem to decide what they want to do down low, with the Enes Kanter plan sort of fizzling out and them getting away from Aminu altogether. You have to think that this pair can punish Collins and Kanter, and the floor seems to be plenty high.
Now here's a team with some intrigue. The Trail Blazers decided they had seen enough of Moe Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu in game 6, and wound up giving extended run to the hot Rodney Hood and Zach Collins. It's hard to say if this is officially the plan going forward, but after Hood's game 4 heroics and a more than solid 25 points on 8-12 shooting I can't imagine they'll just scrap the whole plan. Hood in particular seems like an excellent cash game play, though I personally think that Collins will go back down to the low 20s in minutes for game seven.
Our system thinks the rest of the starters are all just a hair expensive right now, though if you think CJ McCollum is going to play 42 minutes a game he's a totally reasonable cash game play as well. I am not sure what to make of Enes Kanter. The plan early in the series was very obviously to go after Jokic and wear him out, but when they started switching Millsap onto Kanter that plan seems to have lost its luster. I think Kanter is playable (just based on price and the other options today) but I wouldn't prioritize him.
76ers (6) vs. Raptors (-6)
Vegas Projected Score: Toronto: 107.75 Philadelphia: 105.75
Series: Tied 3-3
Philly can't seem to decide if they are terrible or amazing, and Vegas is having a tough time figuring this one out as well. Game six saw everything go against Toronto, as they were out-rebounded 52-34, shot 25% from three, and even Kawhi seemed to struggle a bit. The game was over after the third quarter, and only a big fourth quarter run by the Raptors brought this game near a single digit spread. We didn't see a whole lot of new looks from these teams in game six, so let's just look at the plays, shall we?
Our system essentially thinks that Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and JJ Redick are great plays, where Embiid and Simmons are looking pretty mediocre. The Sixers and Brett Brown have been pretty creative in their use of Simmons in this series, converting him into a defensive stopper on Kawhi and a rim crasher on the other end. He snagged 4 offensive rebounds that he turned into four put backs, and he really used his length to his advantage. That's all well and good, but you're not going to pay "triple double" Ben Simmons prices for that.
As for Embiid, it's not that he doesn't have big games in him, it's just that we've seen that 35+ minutes out of Marc Gasol and this knee soreness is enough to cause him issues. I'm not going to play him at center tonight.
On the Raptors end, we're probably looking at playing four starters in Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, and Marc Gasol. I am still feeling bearish on Siakam, who just doesn't really look right to me. I think we can go cheaper and safer elsewhere, and I'll probably do just that. I can't say I'm thrilled about playing Danny Green and Kyle Lowry in their "also ran" capacity right now, but at this stage in the season we have two game slates and great defenses, so you're taking what you can get.