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High-Upside NBA DFS Picks: Kevin Durant Has One More Game Without Kyrie Irving

Tyler Schmidt



High-Upside NBA DFS Picks: Kevin Durant, Ivica Zubac

Thursday features a small three-game slate that starts extremely late at 10 p.m. ET. This will be a late night, but luckily all three games tip off within a half hour of each other. News will likely be quiet, but make sure to follow Stokastic’s starting lineups page to make sure who is in and out of the lineup tonight. This article features two boom candidates and one bust/fade option. These plays below are driven by Stokastic’s NBA DFS Boom/Bust Tool. Let’s take a look at some of the best NBA DFS picks for the big slate, prioritizing Nets superstar Kevin Durant.

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NBA DFS Boom: Kevin Durant: $11,600 DraftKings/$11,500 FanDuel

14.9% DraftKings Boom/15.2% FanDuel Boom

This may be the last game Kevin Durant plays in the near future without Kyrie Irving, as Irving is expected back from his suspension as soon as Sunday. Durant’s salary has risen to $11,600 on DraftKings and $11,500 on FanDuel, and he is by far the highest-priced player on the slate. He played a season-low 31 minutes in Brooklyn’s 32-point blowout loss last game but was able to extend his streak of over 25 points to 15 straight games. If value trickles in throughout the day, Durant is the obvious pay-up option on the slate, especially if Paul George gets ruled out.

Durant’s boom percentages are pretty low for a stud of his caliber, but there aren’t many options on this slate to choose from. Raw points matter more on a small three-game slate than a normal, bigger slate. It will be difficult to avoid Durant when Stokastic’s NBA DFS projections are so high on Durant compared to any other player on the slate. With Irving off the floor, Durant is actually shooting and scoring a little less, but his peripherals have risen considerably. Expect a bounce-back performance from Durant and the Nets in this road matchup against the Trail Blazers.

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NBA DFS Boom: Ivica Zubac: $6,400 DraftKings/$6,000 FanDuel

18.1% DraftKings Boom/27.9% FanDuel Boom

The center position is low-key loaded with options in every pricing tier on this three-game slate. Six of the top nine players in boom percentage on DraftKings are all center-only players. Deciding what to do at this position will be critical on tonight’s slate. Ivica Zubac has the highest boom percentage on FanDuel by a comfortable margin. The last two games haven’t been pretty, but Zubac is averaging a double-double for the first time in his career. He also has block upside, as he is averaging 2.1 per game, which ranks as the second most in the league.

Zubac will get a great matchup against the Pistons, who like to play a bigger lineup. Isaiah Stewart may be out, but they just got Marvin Bagley back from injury. The Pistons have allowed the fifth-most points in the paint this season at 53.3 per game. With how much Zubac has dominated the paint this season, tonight should be no different. They are also a below-average rebounding team, so another double-double seems likely for Zubac in this spot. The Clippers are nearly double-digit favorites despite Paul George being questionable. Prioritize Zubac on FanDuel, but he is a great mid-range value option.

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NBA DFS Bust: Damian Lillard: $10,000 DraftKings/$9,000 FanDuel

72.0% DraftKings Bust/66.1% FanDuel Bust

There are quite a few players with high bust percentages on this three-game slate, but none higher than Damian Lillard. Sitting at 10-4, the Trail Blazers have the best record in the Western Conference. That is a very surprising start, and they are 2.5-point favorites over the Nets tonight, who just gave up a league-high 153 points to the Kings last game. Lillard has back-to-back double-doubles, but he is shooting just 41.6% from the field and 36.2% from behind the arc. At this salary, especially on DraftKings, Lillard will likely need to go close to shot for shot with Kevin Durant.

The Nets have lost back-to-back games against the Kings and Lakers, and those games were not even that close. Brooklyn ranks 21st in defensive rating (112.7), entering tonight’s game. This is a matchup that Lillard can exploit, but Stokastic’s NBA DFS projections have him listed as the worst value on the slate in this pricing tier. Lillard is the only player relevant who has an E value on DraftKings and a D value on FanDuel in Stokastic’s NBA DFS rankings. With the salary increase, it will be tough to get to Lillard on this slate. Prioritize Durant and then sneak down to the value options.

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