What’s up everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for March 12th, 2018. Tonight, we get a smaller slate of only four games. Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 8:00PM 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.
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PG: Damian Lillard: (9,300) Dame Dolla has been on a tear since returning from The All-Star Break, averaging 48.2 DK PPG and leading The Blazers to nine straight wins. He has averaged a 33% usage rate in these last eight contests and he is scoring 1.27 DK PPM. It may not have the highest total of the slate, but this Blazers Heat game is arguably the best one to target, with this being a matchup of two playoff teams, who are both fighting for seeding, with a single digit spread (-6.5 POR), compared to the two other games that have higher totals, but large spreads, both over double digits.
Lillard should see his normal 35-40 minute role and should be able to approach five times value, even if this isn’t a very strong matchup. (0.84 opponent +/-) As of right now, he has an implied score of 42.72 DK points based on his Vegas props. His price tag is reasonable at the moment and I think his combination of safety and upside, is something you should take advantage of on Monday night.
PF/C: Pau Gasol: (5,700) Even with blowout concerns vs The NBA’s best on their home floor, in The Rockets (-12 HOU), Gasol is a value that must be utilized for Monday night’s small slate. The Spurs will continue to be without SF Kawhi Leonard and now, PF LaMarcus Aldridge (knee) and SF Manu Ginobli. (rest) Gasol will start at center and in the five other games this season that he has started with both Leonard and Aldridge out, Gasol saw a 4.2% usage increase and averaged 34.2 DK PPG. He scores 1.19 DK PPM when all three of these players are off the court and even if this game becomes a blowout, Gasol should play 25+ minutes, with the upside of 30-35, if The Spurs can keep this game somewhat close, as they are still fighting for their playoff lives, sitting as the seventh seed, only a half-game ahead of The Clippers, Jazz, and Nuggets.
Even though a win is very unlikely, this game is very important for The Spurs and Gasol should be a huge part of the game plan, with his team shorthanded. He may be a liability on the defensive end, but even at 37 years old, Gasol is still a threat on offense and he should be able to score 30+ DK points, playing up in pace vs this Rockets team, that is a currently a decent matchup for centers. (2.87 opponent +/-) To no surprise, his current Vegas score based on his props are very strong for his price, sitting at 36.05 points. He is easily the best point per dollar play of this slate and is someone who needs to be considered in all formats.
C: Bam Adebayo: (3,800) In the start for Hassan Whiteside (hip) on Saturday night, Adebayo didn’t have to play much, with The Heat blowing out The Wizards by 27 points, but he was effective in the minutes he saw, scoring 16.5 DK points in 17.42 minutes of action, which is a solid 0.95 DK PPM. Whiteside will be out again, so Bam will draw another start and should play more in an expected competitive road game vs The Blazers. (-6.5 POR) Veteran SG Dwayne Wade will also be sitting with a hamstring injury and in the two other games that Whiteside, Wade, and Dion Waiters (ankle) missed, Adebayo scored 18.25 DK PPG. His 18.25 average isn’t eye popping, but that’s right around what we need for him to get value at his current salary.
Also, if he is playing 25+ minutes, which he should, I think we see him beat this average and top 20 DK points in this positive matchup, with The Blazers allowing the 11th most DK points to centers this season and rating as a 3.93 opponent +/-. He is a fine value play in all formats, in my opinion, that might get overlooked after not smashing value on Saturday night. (9-12% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs) Backup center, Kelly Olynyk is also very viable at $5,600. He put up a double double of 36.25 DK points in only 22 minutes on Saturday night sans Whiteside. In those other two full games without Waiters, Wade, and Whiteside, Olynyk was great scoring 31.5 DK PPG. Adebayo is the better value, but Olynyk has much higher upside and I don’t mind using both in the same lineup tonight, given the size of this slate.
SG/SF: Ben McLemore: (5,300) McLemore has seen a much bigger workload with The Grizzlies down their top four guards (Conley, Evans, Harrison, Chalmers), averaging 29.9 DK PPG and 33.6 MPG. He has scored double digit real points in all of these games and he has been a solid rebounder (5.4 RPG), while also being a pest on defense, averaging 2.6 defensive stats per game. Tonight, him and The Grizzlies are at home taking on The Bucks, who are a far superior club than them (-7.5 MIL), but it really doesn’t matter the outcome of the game, as McLemore should play high minutes regardless of the score.
As I said above, he is averaging 33.6 MPG during this span and just on Saturday night we saw he will play high minutes, even in a blowout, with him logging 35 minutes in the 24 point loss to The Mavs. This matchup vs The Bucks is okay (2.14 opponent +/-), but the minutes outweigh any matchup for McLemore, with him averaging 0.87 DK PPM in these last five games. With a projection of 35 minutes, he should score 25+ DK points and has a ceiling around 40 DK points, with The Bucks allowing 9.3 steals per game over their last three.
Also Consider: Kelly Olynyk (above), CJ McCollum (simply is too cheap. He is averaging 40 DK PPG in his last five and only costs $6,600. Just like with Lillard, targeting The Blazers makes sense with that game being the most competitive and meaningful contest of this four game slate), Buddy Hield (better for GPPs, but this a nice matchup with The Thunder sitting at a 3.8 opponent +/-), Chris Paul (40 DK PPG in two games vs The Spurs this season), Clint Capela (this man is so hard to predict sometimes, but he should benefit with Harden being back. Also, with no Aldridge, this matchup vs Gasol and The Spurs is a very strong spot for Capela), Jabari Parker (minutes haven’t gone up anymore, but he should approach value, with his 22.3 DK implied score via his Vegas props), Eric Bledsoe, Dillon Brooks (him and McLemore will play no matter the score of the game. He is averaging 28.75 DK PPG in his last four), James Johnson, Josh Richardson, P.J. Tucker (decent punt that could get you 20 DK points), David Bertans (should start and play 30+. He scored 24.5 DK PPG in first five that Leonard and Aldridge missed), and Dejounte Murray. (back to playing 29+ minutes in his last two. He should benefit from playing up in pace vs The Rockets)