The 2018 NBA Finals continue on Wednesday night, when the series shifts to Cleveland with the Cavs in a 2-0 hole. Many will assume the Cavaliers will wave the white flag and give up, but I think there is a very real chance they put up a fight and try to make this a series.
Game one saw real life in Cleveland, so if they can get that fire back and lean on their home crowd, they’re worth rallying behind. That applies to NBA betting circles, but it could also help you gauge which players to use in FanDuel’s daily fantasy basketball contest.
Personally, I’m just piecing my favorite squad together and entering it in their free “hims” contest, but they have a crazy game ($15 entry) that is giving away a $200,000 top prize.
It won’t be easy to nail that, but I do like the team I’ve pieced together and considering most of these rosters will be pretty similar, I think it does enough to really give you a shot.
Take my advice as you see fit or enter this team as it stands into a GPP. Either way, let’s break down my favorite NBA DFS picks for tonight’s tense game three showdown:
MVP: LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers ($22k)
It all starts with King James, who has completely wrecked in the first two games of this series and has honestly been unstoppable throughout these playoffs. If you think KD or Curry can match him, then you can save serious coin and fade him at a very steep $22k price tag.
If not, you probably need to eat the chalk and roster James and then just hope he goes nuts like he has for much of the year. If he can drop a 70-burger that turns into 140 fantasy points and very much makes him worth this price.
Star: Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors ($15k)
I love Curry’s game in these Finals, as he’s been red hot through the first two games. Someone asked him ahead of the series if he cared about not winning Finals MVP in the past and he shrugged it off. The way he’s playing suggests he badly wants another title, but he also may want that MVP.
If Golden State ends up winning the title again, he feels like a lock for it. While James is going to end up putting up better stats, Curry is very close behind and win or lose, I expect his hot tear to continue tonight in Cleveland.
He and Durant are so close in fantasy points per game that I see no reason to force KD. If anything, I’d consider playing KD over James to potentially be contrarian.
Pro: Kevin Love – Cleveland Cavaliers ($12k)
I like the Cavs to keep it close and even win tonight, so naturally I’m down for rostering Cleveland players. Their role players are so touch and go, though, so I’ll pick my spots. I have to assume Love’s star power shines through in a big way at some point in this series, too.
If it’s going to happen, I think it happens tonight. Love hasn’t really exploded yet in this series, so look for him to get hot and have a huge game in a potential win at home.
The only guy I like more in this price range might be Draymond Green, but Love is at home in a must-win game. He gets the nod for me here.
Util: JaVale McGee – Golden State Warriors ($3k)
McGee is getting some run because the Cavs roll out some big bodies and he’s a high energy guy. That can change from game to game, but he can rack up easy buckets, rebounds and blocks in a hurry. That puts less emphasis on his actual minute count, so at $3k he’s possibly the best bargain buy on the board.
There is also an argument for using a punt play (there are guys who cost literally nothing), but you better nail your other four picks right since those guys don’t see the floor at all. McGee has a good shot at 10-15 minutes, though, and at this cheap price doesn’t need to do too much to work out.
Util: Kyle Korver – Cleveland Cavaliers ($7k)
I’ll cap things off with Korver, who has not yet been a factor in this series. We saw him catch fire once the Eastern Conference Finals shifted back to Cleveland, so I think he and other Cavs role players have a real shot at popping off in this one.
The minutes need to climb for Korver to pan out, but hot shooting can easily make that happen. He’s a high level floor spacer that the Cavs need to give a chance to make a positive impact in this series. If they do that, he could have a big game and help you (and the Cavs) win tonight.
There is just the one game to work with, so your options are limited and a lot of the NBA DFS rosters are going to end up being very similar. That should get you to take a few chances on players that will be low-owned, which can help differentiate your squad and give you a chance to climb the ladder.
To get a good idea as to the edge you need to get, just look at the last winner of previous GPPs you played. For me, the top team finished with 293 fantasy points and edged mine out by 36 fantasy points.
That team used a very simple daily fantasy basketball strategy by stacking the three best options – James/Curry/KD – and filling the last two slots with JaVale McGee and David West. Both of those guys were just $3k in price and 14.7% owned or lower. That still went for a tie up top, so you really need to work hard to be the stand alone top roster in these types of contests.
I think fading the right stud is a great way to try to do that. In the last contest, stacking Curry/James/KD worked out to tie for first, but each of those three guys were 60% owned or higher. They’re way too popular and while they crushed, it may have made some sense to fade KD to try to balance out the rest of the roster.
That’s my move for tonight’s contest and hopefully it works out. Whether you decide to roll with me or not, I wish you luck. Enjoy the game!