Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DFS NBA Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 5/17/22 Eastern Conference Finals
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Celtics (2) vs. Heat (-2)
This series could very much be a rock fight throughout with both teams bringing in some of the best defensive schemes and personnel in the business. There’s a reason this game’s 204 total is a full 10 points lower than the Dallas Mavericks - Golden State Warriors first game. Regardless, Boston is -175 to win the series though they don’t have home-court advantage here.
Also, Miami has an extra few days of rest, not having played since they closed things out last Thursday against the 76ers. Meanwhile, Boston had to bang it out all the way through seven games which only just wrapped up on Sunday. I like Boston in this series, but not by a ton and not by as much as the odds would suggest either. Let’s take a look at some key plays from these two teams.
With Kyle Lowry still out, the offense will have to continue running primarily through Butler for this series and he’s going to have an uphill battle. This matchup isn’t like the first two rounds against the Hawks and 76ers with the Celtics able to throw a lot more size and defensive capability his way. But he’s also going to have to play almost all of these games simply because of how much Miami needs him. Even though those matchups were easier, Butler still averaged 28 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists last round against the 76ers and is coming off a 29-shot closeout game in which he put up 32 points. I really like the DraftKings’ price.
Meanwhile, Tatum had a significantly more difficult matchup against the Bucks last series and still found a way to put up 28 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.4 assists while throwing in some defensive stats as well. It’s tough to pick between Tatum and Butler in this tier and remember Tatum will see a lot of PJ Tucker in this series, making his life very tough. I’m going to side on Butler just because he means slightly more to the team without Lowry, but this one is close for sure.
Outside of the top two guys, it’s tough to find real *value* in the middle tier here. I’m a little worried about Bam Adebayo (FD 7500 DK 7100) in this series after he struggled, from a fantasy perspective, in the last series against Philly. The Celtics have a lot of big bodies and they rebound well. Bam hasn’t put up the assist numbers I thought we would see without Lowry on the court either.
And then there is Al Horford (FD 7000 DK 6900) who lit the Bucks up in Game 4 only to basically die the final three games of the series. In that stretch, he averaged just five points, though he was good for 10 rebounds, and five assists in that stretch. It’s a closer call on him because he definitely has it in him. I’ll side with Bam considering they are in similar tiers.
Max Strus FD - $5200 DK - $5600
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 25.57 DK - 29.07
Holy Max Strus last series. The guy who basically (totally) took Duncan Robsinon’s role on this team was a revelation, putting up 20 and 19 points respectively in the final two games and shooting 40% from three on double-digit attempts per game. He could be in line for a lot of minutes in close games simply because he can stretch the floor in a way the Heat desperately need and he’ll try to not get run over on defense. He’s cheap enough to take the risk.
Grant Williams FD - $4700 DK - $4600
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 21.02 DK - 22.83
Is he ever going to take 22 shots and make 7-18 from three again for the rest of his life? No, probably not. But there should be a decent number of minutes for him in this matchup considering the Celtics will want to switch everything 1-5 and he’s able to hold up against almost anyone coming the other way. It’s a bit of an overpay here, but I think the minutes will be there.
Gabe Vincent FD - $4500 DK - $4300
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 20.91 DK - 23.31
He’ll start again for Kyle Lowry just like he did for the final two games of the last series. And in those, he put up 11 points, 3.5 rebounds, and four assists though it wasn’t consistent in each of those categories across the games. Regardless, the price didn’t move all that much and we will need to hunt out any kind of savings on these slates in order to pay up for the superstars.
Tyler Herro (FD 5300 DK 5500) has his price in the tank after being mostly taken out of the 76ers series. Can he hold up against this much bigger Celtics teams? They will really pick on him on defense, though Miami is going to need some of his scoring, maybe in a really bad way.
Look out for Victor Oladipo (FD 4500 DK 5300) possibly getting more run in this series. He’s a bit bigger than some of the other guard options and the Heat might need him to score a bit more off the bench. He’s a flyer.