Welcome back everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for March 15th, 2018. Tonight, we get back to a full slate with nine games on tap. 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.
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PG: Damian Lillard: (9,600) Lillard is doing everything he can right now to keep The Blazers at the three seed in The West and I think we need to keep attacking him until his price goes over 10,000. He has now lead them to ten straight wins, while scoring 50.6 DK PPG. His rates have been elevated during this stretch, seeing a team high 32.2% usage rate and a team high 29.9% assist percentage. He is scoring 1.32 DK PPM right now compared to his 1.19 DK PPM average for the season. Tonight, he is competing in the best game of the night to target with this Blazers vs Cavs game having a small spread of 5.5 points and an O/U game total of 221 points.
In the four other games he has played in that have had a total of at least 220 points this season, Lillard has been awesome, averaging 58.75 DK PPG. Not only is this game important for both teams and expected to be high scoring, but the matchup is very strong for him, with The Cavs rating as a 4.43 opponent +/- for starting PGs. He should approach 50 DK points in this situation with a ceiling around 60 DK points. The price tag keeps rising, but he still rates a great value and is very strong option to build around on Thursday night.
PF/C: Noah Vonleh: (3,800) With starting PF Lauri Markkanen out due to a back injury, Vonleh drew the start at PF on Wednesday night vs The Clippers and scored 21.25 DK points in 27 minutes of action. Markkanen will sit another one out tonight and Vonleh will start again and should see 25-30 minutes vs The Grizzlies. At a first glance this matchup is tough vs Marc Gasol, but this defense is a shell of itself right now, ranking as the fifth worst defense in the league over their last three games. (2.09 opponent +/-)
With Markkanen off the floor, Vonleh scores 1.02 DK PPM and with this type of playing time, he should get us at least five times value again. No doubt he will be a chalky play and is a reasonable fade in GPPs (41%+ ownership via Fantasy Labs), but for cash games, Vonleh is a value play that needs to be utilized.
PF/C: Blake Griffin: (7,800) Before the ugly 21 point loss to The Jazz on the road Tuesday night, Griffin was playing very well, scoring 40+ DK points in five straight games. His usage has been high at 32.42% in his last five starts. Tonight, his matchup isn’t the best vs The Nuggets (1.7 opponent +/-), but it is better than the one he saw vs The Jazz on Tuesday night.
He also hasn’t played in two days and has no game tomorrow. He should bounce back in this spot, with him scoring 42.5 DK points in his first game vs The Nuggets this season. He has a current Vegas implied score of 38.9 points based on his props, which is right at where he needs to score to meet value. As expected, his price has dropped since his bad outing on Tuesday and at $7,800, Griffin is a very nice value play that can be used in all formats for this nine game slate.
PG/SG: Jrue Holiday: (8,000) Outside of the one game he has played without Anthony Davis recently, Holiday has been tremendous as The Pelicans fight for a playoff spot, averaging 48.7 DK PPG over the last week and a half. His minutes have been very high in these last two, at 38.8 MPG and they should stay this high with The Pelicans barley hanging on to a playoff spot at the moment. His matchup could be better, with The Spurs presenting an opponent +/- of 1.16 points, but the high minutes and the higher usage he has been seeing (25% over L2) out trump this matchup right now. The Pelicans have been playing at a much faster pace, ranking as the fastest team in The NBA this season and the third fastest over their last three.
This game should still be high scoring, even though The Spurs are a strong defensive group, and Vegas certainly agrees with this, giving this contest and O/U game total of 219.5 points. The spread is also a plus, with The Spurs only favored by 4.5 points. I am projecting another 40+ DK point game from Holiday and he is currently the best value available based on his Vegas props, with a DK implied score of 41.5 points. Having exposure to teams that are still playing for things at this point of this season is a smart move in my opinion and Holiday at $8,000 seems like one of the better high end targets of the night, even with this not being a perfect matchup.
Also Consider: Kyle Korver (started last game in front of J.R. Smith and is expected to stay in the starting five for the foreseeable future. He is a better play if Rodney Hood sits out. Last game with Hood out and as a starter, Korver scored 30 DK points vs The Suns. His matchup tonight vs The Blazers doesn’t compared to that one vs The Suns, but at only $4,000, Korver is a viable way of getting more shares of this game), Larry Nance Jr. (large $600 price cut since his last game. He got hurt in that game, but is listed as questionable for tonight. This is something to watch, because if he is a full go, he is way too cheap vs this Blazers inside defense that is currently presenting an opponent +/- of 3.23 points), Ante Zizic (nice punt if Nance was out, as he would start at center in this great matchup. He averages 1.1 DK PPM this season), Ricky Rubio (perfect bounce back spot tonight vs The Suns who are a current opponent +/- of 3.9 points), Clint Capela (GPP play only right now, but this is a matchup they will need his size vs Deandre Jordan and The Clippers, who have struggled vs centers all season, sitting at a high 5.6 opponent +/-), Donovan Mitchell (elite matchup vs The Suns who are a 3.98 opponent +/- and huge pace increase for him), Rudy Gobert (40+ DK points in six of his last seven games and he is playing The Suns), Rajon Rondo (tough spot vs The Spurs, but he is viable at this price), Dwight Howard (minutes are back up to 35.5 MPG in these last two, helping him to 51.1 DK PPG. He is also in a revenge game vs his old team in The Hawks, who are bad vs centers, at a 4.76 opponent +/-), Dejounte Murray (should be able to get over 30 DK points playing up in pace vs this Pelicans team he is averaging 35.5 DK PPG against this season), and Luke Kennard. (if Reggie Bullock is out. Is averaging 25.1 DK PPG in last three and played 36 minutes last game with Bullock sitting)