Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Thursday 9/3/20

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Celtics Celtics (1) vs. Raptors Raptors (-1)

On to game three for the Celtics and Raptors after the Raps lost a heartbreaker in game two. Fred Vanvleet and Kyle Lowry literally can't shoot any worse, and watching Marcus Smart do his best Jason McElwain impersonation had to have been simply brutal. Vegas still has the Raptors as 1 point favorites here, so at the very least we can count on this one to be competitive enough that the starters from both sides play their minutes.

Our system thinks the Raptors are largely in play as a squad, but it really is honing in on Pascal Siakam (FD $8200 DK $7900). Siakam played 43 minutes and contributed across the board in game two, going for 17/8/6 with four defensive stats to boot.OG Anunoby (FD $5300 DK $5100) ranks closely behind him, though, after seeing a huge minutes bump to 38 minutes in game two. He is an easy 5x points per dollar on lock at these prices. The guards are looking like reasonable values as well, with both Kyle Lowry (FD $7800 DK $7500) and Fred Vanvleet (FD $7700 DK $7700) running terribly from the field so far. I haven't loved VanVleet's looks so far, so if I had to leave one of these Raptors out it might be him.

On the Celtics side of the ball, our system loves all five starters. We'll continue to ride Marcus Smart (FD $5700 DK $6300), who we've been running for the entire playoffs so far. He won't always be lights out from deep, but as we've seen in other games he can contribute across multiple categories. If I had to pick two other Celtics (and again, I'm fine with any of them), I'd just go with the high usage guys in Kemba Walker (FD $7600 DK $7700) and Jayson Tatum (FD $9200 DK $9200). Tatum getting to the line 14 times shows you well enough that this Raptors team just can't guard him, and I'm ready to double down on him once again.

Look for Kemba to bounce back after an off night from the field.

Clippers Clippers (-8.5)

vs. Nuggets Nuggets (+8.5)
Round two begins for the 2nd and 3rd seeds in the West, though Vegas doesn't see this as a particularly competitive series. The Clippers will get Patrick Beverley back for game 1, who should give Jamal Murray a tougher time than Mike Conley and company. The Denver wings should have a hell of a time scoring at all, and they also should have a tough time matching up with the Clippers' length on the wings. These two teams split their season series, but the Clippers won by 28 with PG and Kawhi healthy and lost by 10 with George sidelined. All that's probably reflected in the spread here, though, so let's take a look and see what the system is seeing here.

In an absolute sense the system really dislikes the Nuggets out of all four teams on this slate. As 8.5 point dogs there are game scripts that take key pieces like Nikola Jokic out of the picture. That being said, center is rough enough that maybe you consider it. Jamal Murray just looks overpriced after an absurd series against the Jazz, and he'll have a much stouter defensive match-up with Beverley returning.

The one Nugget I can see being in cash game lineups is Jerami Grant (FD $4800 DK $4900), whose corner threes and length will be absolutely mandatory for Denver regardless of the direction this game takes. He's cheap at a shallow position, and an easy call in my opinion.

Much like the Celtics, our system loves the Clippers tonight. Interestingly, Ivica Zubac (FD $4900 DK $4800) leads our system in points per dollar for the team and his position today after a double double in 33 minutes against the Mavs in game six. He can theoretically stay on the floor given that Denver is not a team that can go small and run him away, though it's worth noting that he did play just 17 minutes against them the one time these teams played a close game.

I'm not overly interested in the Clippers' back court with the return of Beverley, but any of Paul George (FD $7700 DK $8200, Marcus Morris (FD $4800 DK $5400), and Kawhi Leonard (FD $10500 DK $10300) are fine cash game inclusions. Morris is another great value PF like Grant, and George's minutes likely mean we'll see him pay these prices over time. Leonard is a little bit on the expensive side, but might be the big money guy with the highest floor.

All in all it's a fun day of basketball - let's enjoy it!





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