What’s up guys. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for April 4th, 2018. Tonight, we get a solid slate with six games to target. Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 7:00PM EST lock, to see if any new injury news comes up. As always if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
PF/C: LaMarcus Aldridge: (9,300)
The Spurs are currently in The Playoffs, as the fifth seed, but the race is so tight, that they could easily fall out of the picture, with them only being two games ahead of the nine seeded Nuggets. Every game is a must win and Aldridge has been a beast leading this team, averaging 51.3 DK PPG in his past three starts. His minutes have been higher at 35.6 MPG and his usage is up all the way to 30%. He should continue to see this type of role Wednesday night, on the road vs The Lakers. (-6.5 SA)
On top this game expected to stay close, the matchup is tremendous, with this being a big 5.5 possession increase for The Spurs and with this Lakers’ defense presenting an opponent +/- of 4.83 points. In the last two games he faced an opponent +/- of at least 4.0 points, he scored 48.5 DK PPG and this is the type of performance I am expecting tonight. Coming off a loss, The Spurs need this win and I think relying on their most important player in this plus matchup is a smart choice.
PG/SG: J.J. Barea: (5,300)
Tonight, The Mavs are going to be extremely thin. They will be without PG Dennis Smith Jr. (knee), SF Harrison Barnes (rest), SF Wesley Matthews (leg) PF Dirk Nowitzki (ankle), and PF Dwight Powell (knee). Backup center Salah Mejri knee may also sit this one out with a knee injury, as he is listed as questionable. Barea should start at the one and take on a much higher rates in this situation. He hasn’t logged a single minute this year with all of these players off the court, but this will be the third full game that The Mavs have played with both Matthews and DSJ out, and in the first two, Barea scored 30.75 DK PPG and played 28.3 MPG.
He scored 1.09 DK PPM in these contests and with around 30 minutes of work, Barea should get us 30+ DK points, with very nice upside, in this gorgeous matchup vs The Magic, which is currently rating as a 6.11 opponent +/-, which is the best matchup for any player suiting up tonight. He has already played well vs them in their first meeting of the season, scoring 28 DK points in only 24.5 minutes off the bench, which is 1.2 DK PPM when you do the math. His price tag doesn’t in anyway reflect the role he will have tonight and Barea is a very strong value play, that I will be deploying in all formats.
SF/PF: Ersan Ilysaova: (5,600)
Sova went out and did his job for us last night, putting up 32.75 DK points vs The Nets. Even though he produced 5.8 times value, his price hasn’t budged at all and he is a great target once again tonight. His matchup isn’t as good as the one he had vs The Nets, but Dario Saric will be out again, keeping Ilyasova as the starting PF, and this game vs The Pistons should stay closer than last night’s 26 point blowout win, with Vegas only favoring The Sixers by 2.5 points. Ilyasova should approach 30 minutes and score 30+ DK points vs this Pistons defense that is a solid unit overall, but they will still be without their starting PF Blake Griffin (ankle). (2.32 opponent +/-)
Also, there isn’t any bad blood, but Ilyasova played one season with The Pistons, back in 2015, and I’m sure he would like to have a good outing in a win vs his former club. At the same price as last night, Sova remains a fine mid-tier option, that has a steady floor and decent ceiling.
PG: Isaiah Taylor: (5,200)
After a slow 18 DK point game vs The Magic on Sunday, Taylor bounced back with a 29.5 DK points vs The Heat last night. He is now averaging 28.6 DK PPG in these last five starts for Dennis Schorder. (ankle) He played a season high 38 minutes on in this game, which is a very encouraging sign for tonight. Even with this game on the road, The Hawks managed to keep this game close vs The Heat and tonight, in a rematch with The Heat, they should be able to keep it close enough on their home floor, that Taylor should play 35+ minutes.
His usage has been over 30% in each of these last five games and with the type of playing time I am expecting, Taylor should score 25-30 DK points. Even though he was great last night, in the same matchup, DraftKings has cut Taylor’s price a sizeable $600. There really isn’t much logic to it, but I’m not going to complain, because Taylor is now a very nice value play that I will be using with confidence.
Ivan Rabb: 22.5 DK points in 24 minutes last game vs The Blazers, with JaMychal Green out for The Grizzlies due to a knee injury. Green, along with many other Grizzlies will be out, and Rabb should play 20+ minutes again, with room for more, as he would play in a blowout situation. The Grizzlies are currently 14.5 point underdogs.
Dillon Brooks: Despite losing by 15 points to The Blazers, Brooks played 38 minutes and scored 47.5 DK points vs this tough defense. He is clearly the guard they want to play the most and develop, so his minutes should remain very high, no matter the outcome of the game. Furthermore, this is a nice spot, as The Pelicans are a large 5.5 pace bump and 3.54 +/- for Brooks.
Amir Johnson: Not the most exciting play, but viable at his price. He is scoring 18.75 DK PPG in these last two without Embiid and Saric is still out, making his minutes somewhat stable.
Tyler Dorsey: 35 DK points and 38.3 minutes last time out vs The Heat. Same matchup tonight, but I wouldn’t expect this kind of score. 20+ DK points is a fair expectation.
Damion Lee: Just like with Taylor and Dorsey, Lee’s minutes rose last game. He went off for 39.75 DK points in 37 minutes. He should see 30+ minutes again and has a chance to out produce his salary vs this same Heat team, but I think he is safer if Dwayne Dedmon is out again, as it forces The Hawks to play more small ball, creating more opportunities for Lee.
John Collins/Mike Muscala: Better if Dedmon is out. Both players smashed value last game with him out and they both remain underpriced. Collins has the better upside, but Muscala would be the better value, sans Dedmon.
Maxi Kleber: Would likely start if Mejri was out, is viable either way. He played 31 minutes and scored 25.5 DK points in their last game. He scores a shaky 0.73 DK PPM this season, but he has to play 30+ tonight and the matchup vs strong vs The Magic.
Doug McDermott: Will have to play a ton and is viable given his price, but he lacks upside and the floor is low for a player who relies so much on shooting.
Terry Rozier: If he is active, he should get back to his normal role with Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart out. He scored 37.75 DK points vs The Raptors in the win on Saturday and gets them again tonight, in a pivotal, must win for The Celtics, if they want to keep their hopes alive of stealing the one seed away from The Raptors.
Al Horford: Viable if Rozier plays or not, but would obviously see bump if the PG sat. He scored 34.75 DK points last night without Rozier and this game is a huge tilt for both clubs.
Jayson Tatum/Jaylen Brown: As I keep saying, this a huge game for The Celtics. Tatum has scored 30+ DK points in four straight games and Brown has topped 35 DK points in two of his last three. Both would see small bumps if Rozier is out again.
Hassan Whiteside: The Heat need wins to stay as the six seed and Whiteside is in a very strong spot vs this Hawks club that is a high 4.76 opponent +/-. He scored 40 DK points in 28 minutes on them last night.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram will be out again. He scored 41.75 DK points and played 40 minutes vs The Jazz last night with both players sitting. Matchup isnt much better tonight vs The Spurs, but if he is viable given the playing time he should see.