DraftKings NBA Picks April 15: LeBron + Pacers = money
Now, the second part of the NBA season starts. The two month section of the schedule where 16 teams battle for the championship. DraftKings still has their tournaments going, but many opt to sit this out due to the lack of late swap. We have four games on Sunday to start the playoffs. The late game tips a full eight hours after the full lineups lock. How dumb is that?
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Fortunately, during the playoffs, the starting lineups are pretty easy to figure out. The tanking teams are gone. The resting starters are gone. Now we get to see the fruits of the Spurs’ labor of resting most of the team down the stretch.
Last night the money line was at 273.25 DraftKings points. My lineup fell flat because of the subpar games from Quinn Cook and Aminu.
The winning lineup was a stout 348.5 points. He built around Wall and Ben Simmons and got huge value from Markieff and Belinelli.
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Russell Westbrook ($11,200): Most players struggle against Utah’s defense. Westbrook wasn’t one of them. Russ averaged 57.9 DraftKiings points against the Jazz this season. Westbrook was money down the stretch, and he should be in the playoffs too. This is what the Thunder were working for all year. Let’s see how this all plays out. The only thing I know for sure is that Westbrook is going to at least be close to 5x value.
Chris Paul ($8,100): The Timberwolves didn’t defend the point well all season. This is one of the few teams that Paul played all four games against. He put up a 41.8 DraftKings points per game average on Minnesota this year. A well rested Paul and company could make short work of the Timberwolves.
Jeff Teague ($6,500): Teague averaged 35.9 DraftKings points per game on the Rockets this year, so he is a strong play in the playoffs as well. I don’t trust Rozier or Bledsoe. They both struggled against each other all season. It makes more sense to drop down to Teague. His track record this year against Houston is much better.
Darren Collison ($5,200): Collison averaged a huge 36 DraftKings points per game in four games against Cleveland this year. He struggled down the stretch, but Indiana has been limiting the starters minutes for at least a week now. Collison should be good to go, and he could have a huge game if Oladipo can’t play.
Malcolm Brogdon ($4,100): The Bucks are going to cap Brogdon’s minutes in Game 1, but have not released officially what that cap is. My guess would be around 20-24 minutes. However, at this price, Brogdon could still be a nice value play. Boston is a little more healthy right now, but they are still without Irving and Smart. There is potential here.
Alec Burks ($2,700): The good news here is that Utah was fighting for a playoff spot until the very end. Burks had two solid games to close the season, and with his price this low, Burks is almost guaranteed 5x value. I would imagine that the Jazz still need his scoring off the bench, so if you need to go really cheap, Burks is not a horrible option.
My pick: Collison(PG)
James Harden ($11,100): Harden only averaged 52.9 DraftKings points against Minnesota this season. That would put him well under value for this price. However, this is the playoffs. Guys like Harden step up in the playoffs. With Paul playing so well against Minnesota, Harden wasn’t needed as much. That could change in the playoffs.
Victor Oladipo ($8,600): Oladipo averaged 41.7 DraftKings points per game on Cleveland this season. The Pacers held Oladipo out in the regular season finale, but it doesn’t seem to be anything that would affect his status in the series. The guards will have to carry the Pacers here, or they have no chance.
Jimmy Butler ($7,800): Butler was huge against Denver to vault the Timberwolves into the playoffs. He played 42 minutes and put up 47.75 DraftKings points. Butler could be a huge bargain here. This is not an easy matchup with Houston, but any doubts about whether Butler is back should have been alleviated on Wednesday. Butler could be huge in this series.
Donovan Mitchell ($7,400): Mitchell has been more consistent than any rookie should be allowed to be. Mitchell has not been under 30 DraftKings points since the end of February and not under 25 since mid January. The floor here is great, but he doesn’t have the ceiling that Butler does. That means Mitchell is better suited for cash games, but he is also a suitable contrarian play if you’re moving off of Butler.
Khris Middleton ($6,800): Middleton put up 37.9 DraftKings points per game on Boston this year. That would put him well over value at this price. I have a feeling that ownership on Middleton could be fairly low with all of the other great options out there. That makes Middleton an intriguing GPP play.
Jaylen Brown ($5,600): This is what you would expect from a rookie. Brown has grown into a role on this team thanks the absence of Marcus Smart. However, Brown’s production is not all that consistent. Still, Brown is a good play at this price point. He averaged 27.7 DraftKings points per game against the Bucks this year, which is almost exactly 5x value.
Lance Stephenson ($4,500): Stephenson was so big down the stretch for Indiana that he may end up with an expanded role in the playoffs. The Pacers could really use the veteran leadership that Stephenson can offer in this series. The cautious will wait to see how this plays out before diving in on Stephenson. The savvy may jump on him right now while the ownership is still low.
My pick: Butler(SG), Stephenson(G)
LeBron James ($11,500): There is one place to build here. LeBron against the Pacers is money in the bank. The King has averaged 61.6 DraftKings points in four games against Indiana this season. Westbrook and Harden are solid options, but are a little more risky.
Paul George ($7,700): George carried a healthy 38.4 DraftKings point average against Utah this season. However, I’m not in any big hurry to stack anyone against Utah. The Jazz are going to try, and likely succeed, in slowing these games down. George is still a solid play because he is going to get his shots no matter what. There just isn’t a lot of upside here.
Joe Ingles ($6,100): Ingles has been a steady hand since Rodney Hood was dealt. That kind of consistency really helped stabilize the team as a whole. There isn’t a ton of upside here, but this is the playoffs. The matchups are tougher. The stakes are higher. Value is harder to come by. You take 5x where you can get it.
Andrew Wiggins ($5,800): Wiggins had a solid game even with Butler having a huge game against Denver. The efficiency is back, so there could be value here for Wiggins. The fact is that we don’t really know who Minnesota will ride aside from Butler and maybe Towns. The rest areÂ a pretty solid risk.
Jabari Parker ($5,500): Parker’s output has been steadily going up as he is getting more comfortable with his new teammates. This is a pretty solid matchup for the Bucks here. Parker is still priced too low for what he is capable of. There are a lot of mouths to feed, and the Celtics thrive on taking away spoons. Giannis will get his, but the rest of the team is risky. That said, Parker’s lower price makes him very appealing.
Jae Crowder ($4,200): Crowder has been putting up right around 25 DraftKings points per game for much of the last month. His defense makes him a big part of the Utah rotation. We saw Crowder come up big in the playoffs last year. He is going to provide some much needed leadership in a tough series here for the Jazz.
My pick: James(SF), Parker(PF), Crowder(F)
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,200): Giannis averaged 58.7 DraftKings points on Boston this season. The fact remains that Boston really doesn’t have anyone at the four than can handle Giannis. Monroe may help, but aside from LeBron, Giannis is the best bet of the night.
Kevin Love ($7,600): Love put up 38.3 DraftKings points this year against the Pacers. That would leave him above value at this price. Love was key down the stretch for Cleveland, and could come up big against a weaker Indiana frontcourt.
Al Horford ($6,000): Horford put up an impressive 40.3 DraftKings points on the Bucks this year, but he was mostly playing center then. There is a good chance that Horford will have to tangle with Giannis, which could cramp his production. Still, Horford should see enough time in the middle to help him hit value.
Carmelo Anthony ($5,300): Anthony averaged a cool 32.4 DraftKings points per game against Utah this season. That is an impressive number from a player that was a rather disappointing fantasy commodity this year. Still, Melo is a scorer with a good track record against the Jazz. He looks like a pretty solid value play today.
Domantas Sabonis ($4,800): Sabonis put up an impressive 34.1 DraftKings points against the Cavs this year. He was huge off the bench for Indiana down the stretch. It would seem that Sabonis is going to be in heavy rotation for the playoff run as well. Sabonis has a pretty high upside at a very low price. He looks like GPP gold here.
Jerami Grant ($3,700): Grant has shown the ability to put up big numbers in little minutes. There is almost no upside since Grant isn’t going to magically enter the starting lineup barring an injury. Still, there are so many great options worth paying for tonight that you will need to find value somewhere. Grant is a great place to get it.
My pick: N/A
Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,600): Towns was a monster against Houston this year. He averaged 54.2 DraftKings points per game in four tries against the Rockets. With so many other great options out there, ownership on Towns could be pretty low. The question is, who do we fade to do it?
Clint Capela ($6,400): Towns may have taken it to Capela, but Capela returned the favor. Capela put up an average of 38.1 DraftKings points on Minnesota this year. For the price, Capela offers a whole lot of potential here. The question becomes how much will Harden’s extra production cut into Capela’s?
Myles Turner ($5,300): Turner came up big in the only game that he played against Cleveland this year. Injuries took the other games against the Cavs away from him. However, Turner’s inconsistency makes him nearly impossible to run with for DFS purposes, but the upside is clear. Is the risk worth it?
Greg Monroe ($4,900): This is why the Celtics got Monroe. In preparation for the bigs in the East. Monroe finds himself in a great situation here. The Bucks are one of the worst teams in the league defending centers. If Boston gives Monroe the run that they did at the end of the year, there is huge potential here.
Aron Baynes ($3,600): Baynes went berserk in the season finale, but that had a lot to do with the lack of other playmakers and the weakness of the Brooklyn frontcourt. Milwaukee is almost as weak up front as Brooklyn is, and Baynes is still on paper as the starter. There is potential here, but the risk is palpable as well.
My pick: Capela(C), Monroe(UTIL)
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