DraftKings NBA: Thursday Picks

DraftKings NBA: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview

CHI (-2.5) vs. CHA, O/U: 218.5

BKN (-3.5) vs. DAL, O/U: 233.5

WAS vs. TOR (-1.5), O/U: 233.5

ATL (-5.5) vs. IND, O/U: 239.5

MEM (-10.5) vs. DET, O/U: 220.5

LAL vs. LAC (-7.5), O/U: 212.5

OKC vs. GS (-13.5), O/U: 228.5

The BKN-DAL matchup will be a popular target, as it features three of the top spend-up options in Luka Doncic, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and there are value options on the Mavericks side as well. It's become increasingly important to target games that project to be competitive as the season winds down and both teams still have something to play for. 

The Washington game is always in consideration with the way Russell Westbrook has been playing. Their fast-paced style and lack of defense is a plus matchup for any opponent, and tonight's game against the Raptors has the closest spread on the slate. 

The Pistons are short on bodies again and should be the source of some relatively popular value.

Injuries to Monitor

LeBron James (ankle): OUT

James will miss the next two games to rest his sore ankle. Kyle Kuzma is expected to start at small forward in his place. 

Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE

Brogdon has missed three consecutive games due to a hamstring injury and is listed as questionable for tonight. Aaron Holiday got the start alongside Caris LeVert last time out.

Kristaps Porzingis (knee): OUT

Porzingis will be out for the seventh time in eight games as he recovers from a knee injury. Willie Cauley-Stein got the start at center on Tuesday.

Miles Bridges (COVID-19 protocols): OUT

Bridges entered the league's health and safety protocols on Tuesday and will miss 10-14 days. Caleb Martin started at small forward last time out. 

OG Anunoby (calf): DOUBTFUL

Anunoby is likely to miss a third consecutive game tonight due to a calf injury. Stanley Johnson has been starting in his absence.

Dennis Schroder (COVID-19 protocols): OUT

Schroder is out for at least a week after being placed in the league's health and safety protocols. Alex Caruso has been starting at point guard in his place. 

Luguentz Dort (hip): QUESTIONABLE

Dort started the past two games and could be rested tonight as he recovers from a hip injury. Kenrich Williams and Svi Mykhailiuk would be in line for extra minutes. 

Kelly Oubre (wrist): QUESTIONABLE

Oubre hasn't played since April 27th due to a wrist injury and is listed as questionable for tonight. Kent Bazemore has been starting at small forward. 

Rui Hachimura (illness): DOUBTFUL

Hachimura missed yesterday's game due to an illness and is unlikely to play tonight. Anthony Gill started at power forward while Davis Bertans saw extended run off the bench. 

Detroit Pistons

The Pistons will be without Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee, Josh Jackson, Cory Joseph and Hamidou Diallo, while Wayne Ellington is questionable. Killian Hayes, Sekou Doumbouya and Isaiah Stewart are likely to start, while Frank Jackson should see extended run whether he starts at shooting guard or not. 

Elite Players

Guard: 

Russell Westbrook ($11,000)

What else is there to say about Westbrook? He's put up a whopping 81, 81.75 and 74 DK points in his last three games. For whatever reason, his salary is still $11,000 when it should be around 13K. If you're looking for a reason to fade, the Wizards are playing the second half of a back-to-back tonight against the Raptors. But keep in mind that he's routinely less popular than he should be. I heard two popular shows recommend a fade last night.

Kyrie Irving ($9,700)

Irving is coming off 60.75 DK points last time out – his third game of 60+ in the last seven. The Nets have a marquee matchup against the Mavericks tonight, and Kyrie will be somewhat overlooked with Westbrook, Doncic and Durant expected to be popular.

Center: 

Domantas Sabonis ($10,400)

Sabonis scored 48.75 DK points in a disappointing loss to the Kings yesterday. His salary is elevated after topping 70 fantasy points in his previous two games, and the Pacers are playing the second half of a back-to-back tonight. The center position isn't great tonight, especially up top. I'd rather spend elsewhere than pay five figures for Sabonis against Clint Capela

Forward:

Luka Doncic ($10,700)

Doncic has put up 60+ DK points in five of his last 10 games, as he's seen a bump in usage in the absence of Kristaps Porzingis. The Mavericks are in a nice spot tonight against the Nets in a game that should be fast-paced and competitive. 

Kevin Durant ($9,900)

Durant has scored at least 58 DK points in three consecutive games, and he's played 40 minutes in each of the last two. His salary should be closer to 11K based on that type of run and the continued absence of James Harden. I'd expect him to be popular, and rightfully so.

Expected Chalk

Caleb Martin ($3,900)

The Hornets will be short on bodies again tonight with Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, Devonte' Graham and Cody Martin out. Caleb Martin started at small forward last time out and put up 32.75 DK points in 34 minutes. His salary is still very affordable, and I'd expect him to be popular. Keep in mind that we've had unexpected value open up in the 3K range on just about every slate in recent weeks. 

Value Picks

Fred VanVleet ($8,000) and Kyle Lowry ($7,700)

VanVleet has scored 50+ DK points in consecutive games, while Lowry is coming off 63 DK points on Sunday. It's been a few games since they've started together, but the Raptors are in a nice spot tonight against the Wizards, and both salaries are still a bit depressed.

LaMelo Ball ($7,900)

Ball put up 46.25 DK points in 31 minutes last time out. The Hornets are still missing key players, and he should get all the usage he wants tonight in what should be a competitive game against the Bulls.

P.J. Washington ($6,600)

Washington is another Hornet who stands to benefit from the absence of Miles Bridges. We've seen him go for 50+ fantasy points in similar spots this season. He should be a bargain based on projected minutes and usage. 

Saddiq Bey ($6,300)

The short-handed Pistons will be a popular source of value again tonight. Bey has topped 40 DK points in two of his last three games and has the safest minutes and highest upside of their starters. 

Sekou Doumbouya ($3,500)

Doumbouya is coming off 35.5 DK points last time out. He's seen low 30s minutes in consecutive games, and the salary is still very affordable.

Dwight Powell ($3,500)

Powell has topped 30 DK points in back-to-back games. He should see extended minutes whether he starts or not, as the Mavericks are still missing Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber.  

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Belongia
Ryan has a background in accounting, finance and poker. He's been playing DFS full-time since 2018. A multiple-time King of the Pitch finalist, Ryan's been ranked inside the Top 5 on the RG Soccer Leaderboard for three years running. Originally from Wisconsin, he moved to London in 2019 for the futbol.
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