DraftKings NBA Picks May 1: Should we play Curry in his return?
Get used to these unbalanced slates now that the playoffs are here. Tonight we have Game 1 between Toronto and Cleveland, and Game 2 between the Pelicans and Warriors. Who can we ride to victory?
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The money line on Sunday was at 255.75, which is about average here in the playoffs. My lineup was hosed because of bad nights from the value picks.
The winning lineup was way down to 318.5 DraftKings points. He built around LeBron like most of us, but he also used Oladipo and got good value out of Tristan Thompson, Thad Young, and Ingles.
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Stephen Curry ($8,500): Curry is projected to return without a minutes restriction for Game 2. This is huge! Curry averaged 49.3 DraftKings points over three games with New Orleans this season. There is a ton of upside for Curry at this price. We should get clarification before lineups lock, so I’m not nervous to use Curry here.
Kyle Lowry ($7,700): Lowry turned in his fifth straight game of more than 40 DraftKings points in the clincher against Washington. Despite the great matchup on paper. Lowry only averaged 29.6 DraftKings points in two games against the Cavs this season. I expect Lowry to show up and come in a ways above that tonight.
Rajon Rondo ($7,300): Just about the entire New Orleans team laid an egg in Game 1 with the exception of Rondo. Rondo still put up 38.5 DraftKings points, which gives him plenty of upside here. Rondo has been very good in the playoffs so far. The return of Curry shouldn’t affect that.
Delon Wright ($4,700): Wright was the preferred bench play for the Raptors in the Washington series. He averaged 20 DraftKings points per game against Cleveland this year, which would put him a little under value. I am less enthused about Wright with VanVleet fully healthy. I think I want to wait and see how Game 1 goes.
George Hill ($4,200): Hill returned for Game 7 against Indiana, and did exactly what Cleveland expected him to do when they traded for him. Hill came up big for Cleveland in that clincher, putting up 24.25 DraftKings points. I could see Hill carrying good minutes so long as he keeps playing like he did in Game 7.
My pick: Rondo(PG), Curry(G)
DeMar DeRozan ($7,800): DeRozan is about as inconsistent as they come. He will be a popular pick due to Cleveland’s issues defending the perimeter, but DeRozan only averaged 32.4 DraftKings points per game in three games against Cleveland this season. I understand the upside here, but it is not without risk.
Jrue Holiday ($7,500): Holiday had a rough game one, hitting just 4 or 14 shots and spending much of the game in foul trouble. You know what? Holiday is still averaging above 5x value against the Warriors this season. He should be able to rebound in Game 2.
Klay Thompson ($6,600): Thompson was huge in Game 1, putting up 42.5 DraftKings points. His output may take a little bit of a hit with Curry returning, but considering what Thompson has done to the Pelicans this year, I’m not all that worried about it. Thompson carries a 37.5 DraftKings points per game average against them this year.
E’Twaun Moore ($4,400): Moore only played 22 minutes in Game 1, but he still finished second on the team in scoring. The Pelicans are going to need everything they can get from Moore to try and keep up tonight. He could be a decent value pick tonight.
J.R. Smith ($4,000): Smith is pretty much all or nothing in the playoffs. He is still running with the starters for now, but he is pretty much only a scorer. There is risk here, but Smith is a nice GPP target because he is capable of going way above value tonight. Or he could get you 3x.
My pick: Thompson(SG), Smith(SF), Holiday(UTIL)
LeBron James ($11,900): LeBron was huge in Game 7, putting up over 70 DraftKings points for the third time in the Indiana series. His upside is higher than anyone else’s, but LeBron only averaged 52.8 DraftKings points per game in three games against Toronto this year. He isn’t a lock like he was during the Pacers, but can you really fade the King in the playoffs?
Kevin Durant ($9,700): Durant put up another 50+ DraftKings point game in Game 1. Will the return of Curry affect KD’s output? Probably. It caused a bit of a price dip for Durant, but probably not enough for me to be tempted to use him.
Andre Iguodala ($4,500): I’m not sure that we are going to see a huge downtick in production from Iggy with Curry back. Iguodala was playing about as many minutes as he did in Game 1 before Curry went down. He is still a decent value pick tonight, but Iguodala has very little upside with Curry back.
Kyle Korver ($4,300): Korver was cold from the floor in Game 7, so that resulted in him playing less minutes. With George Hill fully healthy and J.R. Smith still eating a ton of minutes, there is less court time available for Korver. However, if he hits shots, Korver is easy value. That said, he is just 3-11 from the field in the last two games. That isn’t good enough.
C.J. Miles ($3,400): Miles was a big scorer off the bench in the Washington series, but since Miles wont play more than half the game, he is always a risk and has very little upside. Still, there are very few viable options for under $5,000. Miles could come in handy if you need to go really cheap.
My pick: N/A
Draymond Green ($8,100): Green was huge in Game 1, posting a triple double in just 30 minutes of court time. Green can’t be relied on this for every game, especially now that Curry is back. However, it reiterates just how huge Green’s upside is. That makes him a very popular GPP pick.
Nikola Mirotic ($6,900): A poor Game 1 has depressed the price of MIrotic, which only makes him more tempting. The Pelicans aren’t going to bench MIrotic or give him fewer chances because of one bad game. He is a huge reason why the Pelicans are where they are. I like Mirotic to rebound tonight.
Kevin Love ($6,400): It seems ridiculous to not mention Love at this price, especailly consdering his 38.8 DraftKings points per game average against Toronto this year. Love had an awful series against Indiana. Can he rebound here?
Darius Miller ($3,200): There is a steep drop at the position after Love, and everyone down in this area carries some risk. However, Miller has played at least 22 minutes in each of the last three games. Miller has been very good off the bench for the Pelicans. They should continue to play him as long as Miller remains productive.
My pick: Love(PF)
Anthony Davis ($10,700): The Warriors shut down Davis in Game 1, which is something that they couldn’t do at all during the regular season. If his teammates can help keep it close, Davis will see a big uptick in numbers. After all, his 34 minutes in Game 1 were the fewest since April 4th.
Jonas Valanciunas ($6,200): Valanciunas was impressive in the last two games of the Washington series. Toronto is playing him more than Ibaka right now because the production has been that much better. Valanciunas averaged 33.7 DraftKings points per game in three games with Cleveland this year. I’m a big fan of Jonas in this series.
Tristan Thompson ($4,600): The Cavs finally game Thompson a start in Game 7, and he came up huge against the Pacers. Tristan went for 33 DraftKings points in the series clincher. I would think that Cleveland would start Thompson again, but keep an eye on the starting lineups before rolling Thompson out there. The upside is non existent if he’s not starting.
Jakob Poeltl ($3,400): Poeltl has put up three straight games of more than 17 DraftKings points. Toronto is still playing a lot of players, so the rotations aren’t the same from game to game. There is risk here, but the upside for Poeltl is pretty good here.
My pick: Valanciunas(C), Poeltl(F)
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