NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Always the Bridesmaid, Never the McBride! (May 17)

Friday’s NBA action begins at 8:30 p.m. ET for Game 6, with elimination on the line for the Indiana and giant featured tournaments on DraftKings and FanDuel. There are several options in the player pool worth analyzing to find the top NBA DFS building blocks and NBA DFS picks. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays like Miles McBride and Pascal Siakam as the postseason rolls onward.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Friday, May 17

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Miles McBride: Knicks at Pacers

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 25.54 | FanDuel: 25.27
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 48.9% | FanDuel: 29.9%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $4,800 | FanDuel: $9,500

Miles McBride joined the first five on Tuesday, helping the Knicks win Game 5 in Madison Square Garden. There is a good chance the reserve guard will be in the starting lineup again, with New York needing more scoring punch than Precious Achiuwa can provide.

O.G. Anunoby and Mitchell Robinson remain out, so the fifth starting slot is really the only variable for the Knickerbockers tonight.

McBride performed well, logging a tick shy of 40 minutes and providing 17 points, making 7 of 15 (46.7%) from the field and 3 of 7 (42.9%) from downtown. This halted a two-game surge from the Pacers, so expect more of the same tonight.

Coach Tom Thibodeau played Achiuwa for 23 minutes off the bench, so he is still a viable play in the single-game contests, as any foul trouble or in-game injuries to Isaiah Hartenstein are a path to additional run. Alec Burks was the only other reserve who saw action while the game was close, so it looks like the rotation has been tightened in the absence of Anunoby.

Hartenstein joins the Villanova trio of Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo as the other key Knicks. The 72 hours between games should give DiVincenzo a literal lift, which should help his jumper, as he was a paltry 7-of-27 (25.9%) over the last two games. Hart should be back above 40 minutes again, and he was back to double-digit rebounds after corralling just three caroms in Game 4.

Finally, Brunson should see the biggest benefit of the break, having been banged up and also dealing with foot soreness. The Knicks will need him firing on all cylinders if they want to end the series tonight as 5.5-point road dogs. Brunson is the most popular player on the main DFS sites tonight, and a 40-point game is definitely on the table.

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Pascal Siakam: Pacers vs. Knicks

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 39.26 | FanDuel: 38.03
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 62.6% | FanDuel: 43.7%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $8,600 | FanDuel: $13,500

Pascal Siakam is the third-most popular option on FanDuel, and the Cameroonian is projecting to be the second-most rostered player on DraftKings.

He continues to be a solid foundational play, with contributions across the stat sheet. Look to him to be more active on the boards after the Pacers were outrebounded 53-29 in Game 5.

Myles Turner had a paltry five rebounds for the second consecutive game, which is dismal. On the positive side, in these two games he had three steals and five blocks, so his fantasy production has held steady. Typically offensive volume, or the lack thereof, is what holds him back. If he has more than 12 field goal attempts tonight, we will wish we had rostered him; if he falls below that, he is less likely to be a necessary piece of the puzzle. Sadly, we will not have this information in advance of tipoff.

Tyrese Haliburton is similar to Turner in that his offensive volume has been all over the place. This series he has had six, 19, 26, 15 and nine field goal attempts. In the three middle games, he also had double-digit shots from behind the arc, which is what he is going to need tonight to have any hopes of living up to his lofty salary.

Obi Toppin and T.J. McConnell are the reserves worthy of our attention, but their salaries have caught up with their recent efficiency. That was problematic on Tuesday as both had miserable games, but do not let that dissuade you from riding with them tonight.

Andrew Nembhard and Aaron Nesmith are the starters, of course, but they get less usage than Toppin and McConnell, as most of their time is with the big three on the court. They are fine as “last men in” types, but it is hard to advocate for either on DraftKings or FanDuel.

Ben Sheppard should approach 20 minutes, but double-digit fantasy points are probably a dream unless he hits every shot on his low volume and lucks into a steal or a couple rebounds. Isaiah Jackson is the last Pacer worth mentioning, and there is a decent chance he will get two rotations tonight for around eight total minutes. He is a better option on DraftKings as an extreme salary saver, but it would be a shock to see him on more than one in 10 lineups

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

T.J. McConnell is someone to consider going against in the sports wagering world for his under 18.5 points + rebounds + assists prop. This proposition is currently available at -106 on FanDuel. Looking at the -113 “true odds” (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), we can see there is a decent 2.9% expected ROI with the current line.

By using OddsShopper to do the heavy lifting when researching favorable bets, we can quickly spot inefficient lines like this one, and having accounts at multiple sportsbooks allows us to pivot to the best number quickly.

NBA Bet Pro has McConnell projected for 39.8 minutes, 10.26 points, 3.19 rebounds and 5.47 assists for 18.92 PRA. While that is just above tonight’s 18.5 milestone, it is still below the 19 PRA needed for him to surpass this threshold.

Wagers with value are scarce as there is just one game and this is the sixth time these teams will have played in the last 11 days. McConnell has topped 19-plus PRA three times in this series, but twice he had double-doubles in 23 or less minutes, which is not sustainable.


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Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Get all the latest news and updates for NBA DFS picks today on the Stokastic NBA Live Before Lock Show at 8:00 p.m. ET on YouTube, breaking down all of the key elements, including even more on Miles McBride and Pascal Siakam, for today’s slate. Brought to you by Sleeper – new users, use this link to receive a $500 first deposit match! Full details here.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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