Welcome back everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA Playoff picks for April 24th, 2018. Tonight, we get three playoff games to attack. 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.
SF/PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo: (9,900)
The Greek Freak didn’t explode in Sunday’s game four win over The Celtics (42.25 DK points), but tonight he is priced at under $10,000 on DraftKings for the first time this season. He has been producing 1.34 DK PPM and averaging 52 DK PPG this series, and if he can maintain this average tonight, that would be a 5.25 value return at this season low price tag. If you exclude the game three blowout win, Giannis has been playing very heavy minutes, averaging 42.6 MPG and he should play over 40 again in game five, with The Celtics only favored by 3.5 points.
He is a better overall player at home, but his best two games of this series came in Boston, with him scoring 61.5 DK PPG through games one and two. He is also averaging 55.3 DK PPG vs The Celtics this season, in a total of eight games and is currently rating as a very strong value in terms of his Vegas props, with an implied DK score of 52.48 points. (via Fantasy Labs) At this salary, Giannis is a tough player to fade for this three game slate.
SF/PF: Jayson Tatum: (6,000)
Tatum really struggled in the first half of game three, but he was tremendous in the second half, helping this Celtics team come back from a 20 point deficit. He scored over 25 DK points in the second half alone and finished this game with 33.75 DK points, helping him to average 32.1 DK PPG in this first round series vs The Bucks. His minutes have been high at 34.7, if you don’t include the game three blowout and the five extra minutes of overtime he saw in game one. PG Marcus Smart (thumb) is expected to play tonight, but I don’t think this effects Tatum’s playing time, as Smart will mostly take all of PG Shane Larkin and SG Semi Ojeleye’s minutes.
The rookie should play over 35 minutes, assuming this game stays tight, like Vegas is predicting (-3.5 BOS) and be able to score 30-35 DK points, with him averaging 0.93 DK PPM this series. This is the cheapest he has been in The Playoffs and is actually the lowest he has been priced on DraftKings in over a month. He is a flexible option with his multiple position eligibility and is a viable option in all formats.
C: Aaron Baynes: (3,900)
Over these last three games vs The Bucks, Baynes has been a solid contributor for The Celtics, averaging 22.25 DK PPG. Bucks’ starting center John Henson has missed the last two with a back injury and Baynes has taken advantage of the weak Tyler Zeller, scoring over 20 DK points in each game. Henson has already been ruled out for tonight and this matchup is sitting at a very high opponent +/- of 5.58 points, which is the best overall matchup for any player suiting up this evening.
Plus, he is a better player at home this year, scoring 2.9 more DK PPG. He lacks upside, because he is never going to play very high minutes, but at only $3,900, Baynes is a solid punt, that should be able to eclipse 20 DK points for the third straight game.
PG: Goran Dragic: (6,100)
On Saturday, Dragic did his best to help this Heat team, scoring 31.75 DK points in the game four loss. He is now averaging 35.8 DK PPG in these past two losses to The Sixers. With Saturday’s game being extremely important, Heat Head Coach Eric Spoelstra relied on Dragic more, playing him 37.21 minutes. Now, with them on the brink of elimination, down three games to one, Dragic should play 35-40 minutes again. The Sixers should win and end this series (-10.5 PHI), but The Heat are a well-coached group who aren’t going to go down without a fight.
He scores 1.0 DK PPM this season and in this high of playing time, as one of The Heat’s main leaders, I think Dragic approaches 35 DK points, with 40-45 DK point upside. This is the lowest he has priced in over three months and I think is a good time to attack Dragic, with everything on the line. He has a current Vegas prop score of 29.45 DK points. (via Fantasy Labs) Lastly, I think he plays, but it’s worth mentioning that SG Josh Richardson is questionable to play tonight with a shoulder injury. The current report is there is a “60%” he plays, but if he was out, Dragic’s rates and minutes would see a further bump. In all the time he has played without Richardson and Dion Waiters (ankle) this season, Dragic’s usage has gone up 1.5% and his assist percentage has increased 1.7%.
Ben Simmons: He has scored 50+ DK points in all four games vs The Heat. Even if the game ends up being a blowout, he is playing very high minutes and we should see another 50-55 DK point game from Simmons.
Joel Embiid: He failed to reach value on Saturday, but $8,900 is simply too cheap for Embiid at home. He averages 45.5 DK PPG in Philly this season.
Draymond Green: 40+ in three of these four games. He has a Vegas prop score of 39.07 DK points. (via Fantasy Labs), which is right at five times value.
Al Horford: 33.25 DK points in 37 minutes Sunday. This is just a nice price for him in this huge home game.
Rudy Gay: 28.25 DK PPG in this round. Played 37 minutes in the win on Sunday and should log similar minutes tonight. I don’t like his ceiling, but 30+ DK points is possible.
Hassan Whiteside: Had his best game of the series on Saturday, with 30.75 DK points in 26 minutes, but I still believe there is risk here, especially on the road. Whiteside is always a foul trouble liability and the risk becomes even bigger going against Embiid on his home floor. If he doesn’t make dumb mistakes that cost him significant playing time, Whiteside should score 30+ DK points.
Kelly Olynyk: Nobody is going to want to touch Olynyk after what he did on Saturday. He was a decently popular play for this slate and let everyone down, only scoring 2.0 DK points in nine minutes of play. This obviously shows you the floor he has, but if Whiteside does indeed get in foul trouble, it will be mostly Kelly at center for The Heat. Before this game he was scoring 33.4 DK PPG. He is the perfect pivot off Whiteside in GPPs.
Marcus Smart: Should be active after being cleared to play this AM. Hard to say what his minutes will be like, but he is coming off a thumb injury, so I would expect at least 20 minutes. He is obviously better for GPPs in his first game back, but Smart has been dying to play and he should be inspired to play well for his mother, who just got diagnosed with cancer last week. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he put up 25-30 DK points off the bench tonight.
Tony Parker: Cant expect much, but he is averaging 17.6 DK PPG in these last two. At this price, all you really want is double digit DK points, which is certainly possible for Parker in a closeout situation.
Shaun Livingston: Floor is low, but he has scored 19+ DK points in three of these four games and is only $3,300. He also scores 2.4 more DK PPG at home.