Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday 9/2/20
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Heat (4.5) vs. Bucks (-4.5)
The Bucks came into the playoffs with questions on how Giannis’s game and their overall scheme would lend itself to closing in close games. Game one did nothing to dispel any of those concerns. The Bucks struggled to find non-contested shots late in the game and ultimately lost to Miami. Going into game two, they face another tough one against a team that clearly came to play.
The question on DraftKings will be Giannis Antetokounmpo (FD $11500 DK $11400) or James Harden, I don’t think you are fitting both. On FanDuel I think there will be a path to playing both big money superstars considering the softer pricing over there. Giannis played an uncharacteristic 37 minutes in game one though was “ineffective” by his standards with *only* 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. He also turned the ball over six times. The Bucks will have to run him a lot again to make sure this is a series. I still think he’s a cash game play despite the first game’s results.
Khris Middleton (FD $7500 DK $8100) picked up the scoring slack, taking a team-high 24 shots and finishing with 28 points. Some of his ticked up usage relied on Eric Bledsoe missing the first game. If the latter was back, I might not be as bullish on Middleton again, though I think the minutes will still be there.
Speaking of Bledsoe, George Hill (FD $4400 DK $4300) got the start in his place though struggled to find much production in his 36 minutes. He got up only five total shots. That being said, if Bledsoe sat again, Hill strikes me as a near must-play at these prices on a two-game slate.
On the Miami side, I think the temptation will be to play Jimmy Butler (FD $9000 DK $8300) in cash after his 40-point game one though I’d caution that at least on his FanDuel price. He’s a bit better value on DraftKings. His production was almost all through the scoring and I just am not sure the floor is high enough against a, still, very good defensive Milwaukee team.
For Miami, in cash I’d much rather play Bam Adebayo (FD $8000 DK $7900) and Goran Dragic (FD $6800 DK $6900) at their respective prices. Bam was awesome in game one with 12 points, 17 rebounds and six assists in 38 minutes. Miami needs so much of him at the defensive end as well that the minutes are safe and he stayed out of foul trouble in the first one.
Dragic had a well-rounded line with 27 points, five assists and six rebounds. The price ticked up some so he isn’t as clear cut a play in this one, but he did take the second-most shots on the team.
And finally, it’s worth noting that Jae Crowder (FD $4700 DK $4600) played 35 minutes and was tasked with guarding Giannis on a number of possessions. The nine points and nine rebounds aren’t amazing, but the minutes are at these prices.
Thunder (5) vs. Rockets (-5)
Another night, another game seven. What a time to be alive! This series has had a little bit of everything, and really maybe should already be over in favor of the Rockets, but they’ve found new and creative was to blow close games in the series. In game six it was Russell Westbrook all but handing the game to OKC with a run that included a turnover, a layup, an airball, and a turnover to essentially seal the game for the Thunder. It was a total mess. One of Houston’s biggest issues was that James Harden (FD $11400 DK $11200) took exactly one meaningful shot over the last four minutes of the game. That’s simply unacceptable for this team. He’s averaged 32 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds per game in this series and has tremendous minutes upside in a win-or-go-home game. It might even make him “safer” than Giannis though it’s pretty darn close. You won’t be able to fit both into lineups with the lack of savings in other spots.
Robert Covington (FD $6300 DK $5900) and P.J. Tucker (FD $4800 DK $4500) are the other two starters who should see 40+ minutes in this game as long at it stays close. Covington piled on the defensive stats in game six with five steals and three blocks. He’s not likely to recreate that obviously, but he also got up 11 shots and went 4-6 from three.
Chris Paul (FD $8200 DK $8200) willed the Thunder to a game six victory with 28 points and seven assists. He led the team with 20 shots in 40 minutes. The Thunder are going to pull out all the stops here and he’s a candidate to play almost the entire game. The price is a little weird if you want to play the Giannis and Harden, but a more mid-tier build would have to include Paul.
Dennis Schroder (FD $6000 DK $6400) is a relatively strong value on both sites. He’s still coming off the bench but ran 37 minutes last game after getting ejected on a rip move through PJ Tucker’s groin in game five. Schroder took 16 shots though struggled hitting only five and going 0-5 from the field. But he’s going to play a lot again the Thunder need his scoring. He’s definitely a cash game play.
Though he’s playing a lot of minutes, I’m very concerned about the production from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (FD $7100 DK $7100). He’s been entirely ineffective from a fantasy standpoint over the last three games.
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