Let me introduce myself before we get into this slate of NBA gambling. I’m Tim Decandia and I have been playing daily fantasy sports, like DraftKings, for over 7 years. I focused on the NBA, NFL and dabbled in a little MLB. I mainly play cash games but have also had success in GPP as well. With that being said, let’s get down to business.
To start, we’ve got two red hot teams colliding as the Raptors play the Celtics. The Mavericks and Clippers are keeping it surprisingly competitive. Lastly, we have what should be a tight game between the Jazz and Nuggets.
With there being only 3 games to choose from, having one or two players exceed expectations will separate you from the field. I am going to be mainly targeting the Jazz/Nuggets game as we have Utah only favored by 2.5 points. Be careful with the Mavs/Clippers players in a game with high blowout potential.
I am going to provide the best plays at high, mid and low prices on DraftKings. These plays will be ideal for Cash games with a few GPP options as well.
Nikola Jokic – $9,500
You can expect the Nuggets to play Jokic close to 40 minutes a game. Plus, he’s stepped it up the last 2 games, dropping 31 and 29.
If Jokic plays aggressively, he will easily pay off his $9,500 salary on DraftKings. We have yet to see Jokic play his usual high upside game. An elimination game is the best time for one.
Pascal Siakam – $8,100
There is a good chance the Raptors will make the NBA Finals this year. Defensive genius Nick Nurse leads the deepest roster in the league. This will be a tough series for Boston.
The offense will flow through Siakam, who has to be a near lock at this price. What I really like is the increase in offensive aggressiveness the last 2 games against the Nets. He put up over 20 shots in each game. I think Siakam puts up at least 25 points and 10 rebounds against a Celtics team that won’t have an answer defensively for him.
Kawhi Leonard – $10,100
If DraftKings isn’t going to increase the price for Kawhi, then I am going to keep playing him. He has a likely floor of 50 fantasy points.
Leonard has been unstoppable this series and the only reason I have him below Jokic and Siakam is the blowout potential of this game. If this game stays close, it would not be a surprise to see him exceed 60 fantasy points here.
Writer’s Note: Luka Doncic is always in play but with the blowout potential I cannot pay DraftKings’s steep price of $11,200. A great GPP option if you believe in Dallas competing.
Serge Ibaka – $6,200
Ibaka has quietly been a dominating force for the Raptors. With an aging Gasol, he will always be locked into at least 24 minutes in a competitive game.
Ibaka could easily grab 10 boards and could torch the Celtics inside the paint. Let’s not forget, he can hit open jumpers as well. At only $6,200, he can easily exceed value in this spot. Plug him in and move on.
Michael Porter Jr. – $5,500
This play definitely carries some risk, but the Nuggets need scoring to keep up. I really like the minutes I saw from him last game.
MAGA Porter might be the worst defender in the bubble right now. So if his shot isn’t falling, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get benched quickly. Play at your own risk, but $5,500 for a player who can easily drop 30 points could separate you from the pack.
Mike Conley – $6,600
I haven’t seen this version of Mike Conley in YEARS. He is making smart plays, and has a first step burst that we simply have not seen pre-bubble. While DraftKings is charging a steep $6,600, Conley has been extremely efficient in this series. There is no reason he can’t continue these consistent numbers.
This is a low-risk play here. You can expect 35 minutes from Conley with the chance to send the Nuggets home.
Ivica Zubac – $4,600
On a slate with few low-priced building blocks, Zubac is a safe option with a high ceiling. You can’t get much better at this price.
Doc Rivers has been giving me headaches with playing the undersized Harrell too many minutes in this series. But, I think he has finally figured out that Zubac needs to be the primary big man against the Mavs. Expect a solid all around game and an easy lock to exceed value.
Jerami Grant – $4,800
He played more than 40 minutes last game. That stands out. Millsap just doesn’t have it anymore and his minutes went to Grant in the second half of Game 5.
Grant is safe and low-priced. He also has a sneaky upside of 40 fantasy points. We’ve seen it in the regular season, Grant has big games when you play him.
And just a quick piece of advice: watch out for injury news from the Mavericks. Multiple players are questionable. This may open up some huge value if anyone is out.