Today is probably a great day to take a break from NBA betting and daily fantasy basketball. There is just one game on the schedule, which means you need to find a betting angle you love in the Bulls vs. Lakers showdown and the lone game takes away traditional NBA DFS contests.
There is still a way you can get in on the action, of course. FanDuel and DraftKings are both offering a two-day contest, which includes Tuesday’s game and three games from Wednesday’s absurd 14-game slate. The two sites are picking different slates, however, as DK is combining three early games with Tuesday’s contest and FD is adding Tuesday’s tilt to what amounts to an Express slate.
These are very different slates, but if you plan on taking part in the two-day fiesta, I’ve got a team you can look at for some NBA DFS picks:
PG: Eric Bledsoe – Phoenix Suns ($6.4k)
Bledsoe returns to Phoenix to take on a Suns team that traded him away just weeks ago. It was his decision to leave town, but things didn’t end well between him and his former franchise. You can get Bleddy at a solid price in an amazing revenge spot, while the Suns are one of the worst defending teams in the league, revenge aside.
PG: Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder ($10k)
I don’t really trust Lonzo Ball, CP3 is still on a mild minutes cap and PG doesn’t offer much elite value. The other point guard spot is down to Russ or Stephen Curry and the guy with the upside (and home court advantage) is clearly Westbrook.
Westbrook has not been the machine this year that he was last season, but he finally popped off in his last contest (65 fantasy points) and will undoubtedly get up to battle Kevin Durant and the Dubs.
Westbrook averaged 27 points, 10 rebounds and 9.5 dimes across four meetings with Golden State last year, so you know he can excel in this matchup. With help via Paul George and Melo this time around, it’s possible he’s more efficient and has a huge game.
The skinny is this; Curry is just $500 cheaper and Westbrook showed again in his last game that he has more upside than any other point guard in the game. I can’t fade him in this spot and the beauty is, as I go through the rest of the roster, he’s not even that hard to fit into my lineup.
SG: Justin Holiday – Chicago Bulls ($5.3k)
Everyone will be playing Tuesday’s Lakers vs. Bulls game just because it’s the first game on the slate, but I don’t think you should let that keep you from joining in on the fun. This game has a nice 211 Total and the Lakers rank 3rd in pace. That’s all going to mean for an up tempo game and potentially a lot of points on both ends of the floor.
Holiday should benefit from that and you can get a solid scorer with 30+ fantasy point upside at a discount. Devin Booker and Klay Thompson are tempting, but Holiday can match or best them if he’s dialed in.
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Los Angeles Lakers ($5.6k)
It’s always tough to fade James Harden, but CP3’s presence has me souring on him at a steep $11.6k. Harden is always worth using, but I’m diving at shooting guard and KCP is another guy who can potentially match most of the other SG options.
KCP gets heavy run and will be at home in a nice matchup with a bad Bulls defense. You’re getting stability here, as well, as KCP has posted 30+ fantasy points in three of his last four outings.
SF: Denzel Valentine – Chicago Bulls ($5.1k)
I’m down for another Bull, as this game could be fast and high-scoring. Valentine has carved out a solid role with Chicago and considering he’s logged 27+ minutes in 6 of his last 7 contests, I doubt that ends abruptly tonight. David Nwaba is also listed as doubtful for tonight’s tilt, so that frees up plenty of minutes on the wing.
Chicago leans on this guy for some scoring and playmaking, so he brings a versatile skill-set at a cheap price. I think you need to dive at one SF spot on this slate and then decide which SF you want to pay up for.
SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($10k)
Durant sat out of his last game to nurse an ankle injury, but I can’t see him missing a chance to battle his former Thunder teammates. Durant went nuts last year in this matchup, averaging a staggering 37.7 actual points across four meetings against Russell Westbrook and company.
That has me on Durant, as well as the possibility that many DFS players will be off of him due to his recent injury and no late swap in the main tournaments. If people are concerned he might not play, that will steer ownership to Giannis Antetokounmpo or some may just punt both SF spots.
Durant’s ankle issue is not expected to be serious, though, so I doubt he sits and if you can get a motivated KD on the cheap at low ownership, that could be a massive key to taking down a tourney.
PF: Lauri Markkanen – Chicago Bulls ($6.2k)
Draymond Green is the top power forward option for this slate, but I don’t see him as being necessary to build a winning team. He should be plenty of fun, but there is a trio of solid value picks in Markkanen, Carmelo Anthony and Kyle Kuzma to consider.
Lauri ends up being my favorite of the three, as he can really stroke it and is back to his usual role with 30+ minutes logged in his last three games. He also could be busting with confidence, seeing as he poured in a career-high 26 points with 13 rebounds in his last game. It’s not that crazy to hope for something similar against the Lakers.
PF: Kyle Kuzma – Los Angeles Lakers ($6.5k)
Melo is my second favorite power forward after Lauri, but I like Kuzma just fine and he helps make this roster work. Kuzma has been shooting well from the field and also can get his hands on some rebounds. He’s got a great matchup at home against a bad Bulls defense, so there’s certainly a chance he pops off and is a nice piece to a GPP-winning puzzle.
C: Robin Lopez – Chicago Bulls ($4.8k)
Center is going to end up deciding the direction a lot of people go in. Obviously I want Nikola Jokic, but he’s $9.3k and I don’t see a realistic path to cramming him into this lineup.
I’d be punting at too many spots and taking risks I really don’t feel comfortable with. That could require sacrificing the Russ vs. KD pairing and that’s also not something I want to do.
Clint Capela is worth a look, but I’m not sure going up against Jokic is necessarily ideal. I’m not enamored with Steven Adams or Book Lopez right now, either. The return of Tyson Chandler makes minutes for Chandler, Greg Monroe and Alex Len a major problem, as well.
Normally I’d be all over Moose’s revenge spot against his former Bucks squad, but I’m not sure I trust his run for Wednesday. Instead, I’ll roll the dice with Robin Lopez, who really gets up for games against his brother Brook and always brings double-double upside to the table.
Lopez is a better player than people think and he tends to get solid run (27+ minutes in 7 of his last 9 games). That’s even more so the case when he needs to defend a talented post scorer like his brother. Brook Lopez probably carries more upside, but Robin is the better defender and could nullify his brother’s production. Robin may not wreck, but he’s cheap and has a solid shot at notching a respectable 25-30 fantasy points.
Rostering four Bulls players will hopefully be a contrarian play, while this up tempo matchup actually makes it a logical one. Durant having the “out” tag on FD hopefully scares people away, while I’m also hoping huge games from Curry and Ball recently lower Westbrook’s ownership. If that all happens and the Bulls don’t disappoint, I could have a big GPP team on my hands.