What’s up everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA Playoff Picks for May 7th, 2017. Sunday’s slate is the usual playoff slate with three games to target. Be sure to still follow all the injury news up until the 3:30 PM 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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SG: Demar DeRozan: (8,000) As he has all season, DeRozan took over this Raptors’ offense with PG Kyle Lowry out (ankle), putting up 50 DK points on a team high 34.6% usage rate, in Friday night’s game three loss to The Cavs. He is now averaging a 34.8% usage rate and 40.7 DK points in the 23 games Lowry has been out this year. The Raptors PG apparently made his ankle injury worse when he was warming up Friday and Lowry has now called himself “probably doubtful” for game four. If he is indeed out as expected, DeRozan is going to have to do everything possible in this win or go home situation, with The Raptors trailing The Cavs in this series 3-0. In game three, he logged a high 40 minutes and with the whole season on the line, DeRozan should play 40+ minutes on Sunday.
Realistically if The Raptors want any shot of beating this Cavs team, DeRozan shouldn’t sit a single minute in game four, and I am expecting him to crush value and produce 50+ DK points against this Cavs defense that has allowed the 6th most DK points to SGs this season, with a positive current opponent +/- of 1.98 points. Another obvious plus for DeRozan is that this game is at home in Toronto, where he is averaging 6.4 more DK points a game this postseason. There is no denying it, this whole Raptors team has been a huge disappointment vs The Cavs and there is no chance they can come back and win this series, but even if it is in a losing effort, I think we see DeRozan step up and have a big game on Sunday in front of his home crowd. For the usage he should handle, DeRozan is very underpriced at $8,000, and is a player I will be building around for Sunday’s slate.
SG/SF: Bojan Bogdanovic: (4,100) After SF Kelly Oubre was ejected from game three, Bogdanovic was great leading this Wizards second team, putting up 19 points, ten rebounds, and two assists in the win on Thursday night. (38 DK points) Oubre’s flagrant two on Celtics PF Kelly Olynyk was extremely unnecessary and he has now been suspended by the NBA and will be inactive for Sunday’s pivotal game four. We can’t expect Bogadanovic to record another double double in Oubre’s absence, but I think he has a nice shot of returning value with the way he has played all season with Oubre off the court.
In game three, he saw a 21.5% usage rate in the minutes Oubre was off the floor, which is a 2.9% increase from his playoff average, and in the one regular season game he played without Oubre this year, he posted a 24.2% usage rate and scored 23.5 DK points in 24.4 minutes. On Sunday with Oubre out of the picture he should play around 25 minutes and score 20+ DK points vs this Celtics defense he is averaging 23.8 DK points against this year.
C: Pau Gasol: (5,400) Gasol has been excellent as a starter in these last two wins over The Rockets, with 36.75 DK points in game two and 31.75 DK points in game three. His minutes have been much better as a starter, with him averaging 30 minutes in these two games, compared to the 23 minutes a game he was averaging as a bench player in these playoffs. This new first unit has clearly been working as The Spurs have won back to back games vs this Rockets team that embarrassed on their home floor in game one, and Gasol should play close to 30 minutes again Sunday night.
With his new starting role, he has been scoring 1.14 DK points per minute and barring any bad foul trouble, Gasol should have no problems meeting five times value vs this Rockets defense. (1.6 opponent +/-) His salary is slowly creeping up to where it should be, but Gasol is still too cheap right now, and is a nice value play that I am comfortable with in all formats.
PG/SG: Cory Joseph: (4,000) Assuming Lowry is out again, Joseph is still a core value play even after his subpar game on Friday. (20 DK points) He was very ineffective from the field in the loss, shooting 2-13, and I think we see him play a better game offensively in game four. The minutes were high at 33 minutes and if Lowry remains out, he should see around 35 minutes in this must win game. For the season, he is averaging 24.7 DK points a game without Lowry and is scoring 0.77 DK points per minute.
With a projection of 35 minutes, Joseph should exceed value at his current price, with 25-30 DK point upside vs this Cavs defense that has a current opponent +/- of 2.33 points, which is the best matchup based on opponent +/- for any of the starting PGs active in this slate. I’m sure his ownership will be very high, but you really can’t worry about that here, because at only $4,000, Joseph is one of the best overall values of this three game slate.
Also Consider: Clint Capela (a strong value at only 5,100. He is averaging 39 DK points over the first three games of this series and averages 5.4 more DK points in home games), Delon Wright (viable full punt if Lowry is out), Marcus Smart (he should bounce back after his awful eight turnover performance in game three. He would also become a much better play if he started, which is a possibility with both of The Celtics’ new starting fives not being effective in their last two games), Jonas Valancuinas (started last game and played 33 minutes), Patty Mills, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Trevor Ariza, Jonathan Simmons, Jaylen Brown (he is also a player who could potentially start if Brad Stevens shakes up his starting lineup again), and Danny Green.