Friday’s fantasy basketball slate has 10 NBA games. The biggest favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook are the Raptors, who are 8.5-point favorites over the Nets in Brooklyn.
The highest point total is in Milwaukee, where the Warriors and Bucks have a massive 239.5 over/under, easily the highest on the slate. The Warriors and Bucks faced each other back on Nov. 8, and it is the game where Steph Curry injured his groin. Prior to his injury, Curry shot just 5-14 (36 percent) from the field and 0-4 from 3 as the Bucks did an excellent job limiting Curry’s shot quality. Only one of Curry’s shots in that game was classified as wide-open by the league’s player tracking system, which measures the closest defender to the shooter.
Notable players whose statuses will need to be monitored during the day include Khris Middleton (personal), Goran Dragic (knee), Kris Dunn (knee) and Bobby Portis (knee).
For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app, as NBA news, injury reports and betting lines can change throughout the day. Value can also unexpectedly open up due to late lineup changes. We will keep you up to the minute on the DK Live app.
Let’s take a look at some plays fantasy owners can consider using on DraftKings.
Russell Westbrook, OKC at CHI, $11,400 — Westbrook has a soft matchup against the Bulls, who are poor defensively and poor on the glass. The Bulls rank in the bottom third of the league in points allowed per game and assists allowed per game and rank as the fourth-worst rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots they rebound. Westbrook should be in good position for points, rebounds and assists for as long as he is on the court, although the risk is Westbrook could have his minutes cut due to a blowout.
Other Options — Stephen Curry ($10,000), Mike Conley ($8,400), Kemba Walker ($8,000)
Collin Sexton, CLE vs. SAC, $4,900 — The Cavs have a good matchup against the Kings, who rank second in the league and pace and rank in the bottom third in team defense. The Kings have been poor at contesting shots, allowing the fourth-most wide-open shots per game based on the league’s player tracking system, so Sexton is a candidate to get some open looks. The Kings have allowed the third-most points to opponents, ninth-most assists to opponents and have allowed the second-most field goals at the rim per game. Sexton has been given strong minute totals as the rebuilding Cavs look to give him as much development time as possible.
Other Options — Lonzo Ball ($5,700)
DeMar DeRozan, SA vs. LAL, $8,900 — DeRozan has had huge fantasy success in three games against the Lakers this year, averaging 59 DKFP and most recently scoring 48 DKFP against the Lakers on Wednesday. The Lakers’ fast pace has helped DeRozan get more shots off. DeRozan is averaging a heavy 26 field goal attempts per game in three games vs. the Lakers this year and took 27 shots against the Lakers on Wednesday, above his season average of 19 field goal attempts per game.
Other Options — Eric Bledsoe ($7,200), Jamal Murray ($7,100)
De’Anthony Melton, PHO vs. MIA, $4,200 — Melton has been given an expanded role recently for a thin Suns backcourt, playing 23 and 26 minutes over his past two games while scoring 34 and 23 DKFP, respectively, and taking 12 field goals in each. Melton is a candidate to continue playing expanded minutes Friday with Devin Booker (hamstring) expected to remain out. Melton is second on the Suns with a 22 percent usage rate over their past two games.
Other Options — Klay Thompson ($6,500), Rodney Hood ($4,300)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. GSW, $11,100 — The Bucks have a matchup with a Warriors team that ranks below average defensively and ranks in the bottom third in contesting shots, allowing the ninth-most wide-open shots per game based on the league’s player tracking system. The Warriors also are allowing opponents to shoot a very efficient 64.5 percent within five feet of the basket — third highest in the league — and that is the zone Giannis takes most of his shots in. As mentioned in the opening paragraph, the game has a huge point total, so getting some exposure in this game is a good idea.
Other Options — Kevin Durant ($10,300), Kawhi Leonard ($9,700)
Cedi Osman, CLE vs. SAC, $4,600 — For reasons similar to Sexton, Osman has a good matchup against a Kings team that has been poor defensively and poor on the glass. The Kings are allowing the third-most points to opponents and rank as the sixth-worst rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots they grab. Osman is a steady source of minutes for a rebuilding Cavs team.
Other Options — Josh Jackson ($5,500)
LeBron James, LAL at SA, $10,800 — The Lakers are playing on the second half of a home-and-home in San Antonio on Friday after playing in Los Angeles against the Spurs on Wednesday. The Spurs have been poor defensively this season, allowing the seventh-most points to opponents while ranking as the second-worst pace-adjusted team defense. James has faced the Spurs three times this season and is averaging 63 DKFP in those three matchups, most recently scoring 62 DKFP on Wednesday after dropping 42 points.
Blake Griffin, DET vs. PHI, $9,400 — Griffin is averaging an explosive 74 DKFP in two games against the Sixers this season, scoring 82 DKFP in his first game and 66 DKFP in his second game.
Other Options — Anthony Davis ($11,000), Paul George ($9,100)
Jaren Jackson Jr., MEM at NO, $6,100 — Jackson has flashed tremendous upside in his rookie season and has a good matchup against a Pelicans team that has been poor defensively, allowing the fourth-most points to opponents. The Pelicans are allowing the most wide-open shots per game based on the league’s player tracking system and rank third in pace, increasing possessions for fantasy scoring.
James Johnson, MIA at PHO, $3,700 — The Heat are missing two of their starters, including center Hassan Whiteside (personal), leaving their rotation thinner Friday, which could give Johnson more minutes. Kelly Olynyk ($4,000) is also a candidate for a boost in role. The Heat have a good matchup against a Suns team playing on the second night of a back-to-back and rank as the second-worst rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots they rebound. The Suns also have been very poor defensively, allowing the sixth-most points to opponents and ranking as the third-worst pace-adjusted team defense.
Other Options — Rudy Gay ($5,900)
Joel Embiid, PHI at DET, $10,100 — Embiid has a revenge game of sorts against Andre Drummond and the Pistons, who Embiid has engaged in a rivalry with. The Pistons have been poor at defending centers, and Embiid has produced very well in two previous matchups vs. the Pistons this year, averaging 65 DKFP on 36 points and 14 rebounds per game. The Pistons have allowed opponents to shoot an elevated 66 percent within five feet of the basket, second highest in the league in that zone. Embiid’s price tag is the lowest it’s been in more than three weeks.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Embiid (rest) will not play tonight
Other Options — Nikola Jokic ($9,300), Steven Adams ($7,000)
Bam Adebayo, MIA at PHO, $4,200 — With Whiteside out, Adebayo will be a candidate to start at center for the Heat against the Suns, who as mentioned above are playing on the second night of a back-to-back and rank poorly defensively and on the glass. Adebayo played 29 minutes in his other start this season — a 10-minute boost from his average off the bench — and will be in good position for rebounds and points if he’s given an expanded minute total.
Other Options — Kelly Olynyk ($4,000)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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