NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Domantas Sabonis and Lauri Markkanen are Strong Plays! (January 25)

Thursday brings a sensational seven-game featured last with a 7 p.m. ET tip off 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, including some intriguing playing time situations that provide steady value options. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays like Lauri Markkanen and Domantas Sabonis.

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Thursday, January 25

Domantas Sabonis: Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors

This has been one heck of a winter for Domantas Sabonis, and in his last 18 games he has 10 triple-doubles. During this stretch he is averaging 35.7 minutes and 14.2 field goal attempts, with a wicked 65.1% conversion rate. This works out to 22.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, 9.2 assists, and 1.1 combined blocks and steals.

Sacramento comes into this game favored by a bucket and the Warriors played last night, topping the visiting Atlanta Hawks 134-112. The Hawks were trailing by one at halftime, but they were only able to generate 44 second half points, mostly due to the absence of Trae Young. The trio of Draymond Green, Kevon Looney and Jonathan Kuminga are not too much of a worry for Sabonis, who is leading the league in rebounds for a second consecutive season, with a career-high 12.8, and also ranks seventh with 7.9 assists per appearance.

Sabonis is an excellent play on FanDuel since his power forward eligibility allows gamers the flexibility to still roster a center-only player. Tonight Joel Embiid has the highest median fantasy point projection across the DFS sites, and he also ranks as the best fantasy point-per-dollar option on both DraftKings and FanDuel. For perspective, Sabonis ranks fourth in both categories on each site.

De’Aaron Fox is also an option, and while he disappointed in the last outing against Atlanta, he did have three consecutive outings of 40-plus fantasy points in the three preceding games.

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Utah Jazz at Washington Wizards

Currently the five most popular projected players on DraftKings are all from the Utah Jazz. These include starters Collin Sexton and Lauri Markkanen, along with Kelly Olynyk, Kris Dunn and Jordan Clarkson. For good measure, Walker Kessler ranks seventh and John Collins and Simone Fontecchio slide just inside the top 10. Though a couple will fall out, it shows just how good this matchup is against a pitiful Washington defense and with both teams playing up-tempo.

Over on the blue site, Markkanen is the most popular option, with Deni Avdija and Kyle Kuzma ranking second and sixth. This game has a 245.5 projected point total, and even with 14 teams in action, most tournament rosters are likely to have a couple of players from this game regardless of your DFS site of choice.

Both teams run rotations that are 10 players deep, and the coaching philosophy for Utah has been to keep players right around 30 minutes as a ceiling, outside of close games. So that means Markkanen, Sexton and Clarkson are the three most likely to approach that figure. Washington is all about losing games this season, and the team just moved head coach Wes Unseld Jr. to the front office and will have assistant Brian Keefe overseeing the disaster team for the remainder of the season.

The Wizards have not been giving major minutes to anyone most nights, with Kuzma, Avdija, Tyus Jones and Jordan Poole the most likely to see 28 to 30 minutes. Neither team has anyone of consequence on the injury report, so circle back to the first two paragraphs of this section for the blueprint on how to handle this matchup.

Looking for more NBA DFS picks and advice? You’ve come to the right place. Sign up for our NBA DFS Premium Package for access to our player projections, ownership projections and our state-of-the-art NBA DFS simulation tools.

Additional NBA DFS Pick — Sports Betting Opportunities

Rudy Gobert is someone to target in the sports wagering market with the under on his 29.5 points + rebounds + assists (PRA) prop. The line is currently available at -110, and per the true odds of -127 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a stellar 7% expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.

It is crucial to take advantage of OddsShopper to look at all the available lines since that can easily be worth another 2% to 3% for your ROI, even on perfectly neutral bets, based on how the different books value things. To demonstrate this very concept, look below — you can see that sharp book Pinnacle at -142, which is well below the other available offerings.

Gobert has finally fit into the Minnesota scheme, and this season he is averaging 13.3 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists (27.0 PRA) in 33.0 minutes.

NBA Bet Pro currently has the Stifle Tower projected for 33.6 minutes, 13.32 points, 14.12 rebounds and 1.08 assists for 28.52 PRA. That is just a tick under the threshold we are hoping he does not clear, though we want to keep in mind that a median projection is not the same as an actual range of outcomes. In his last 10 games, Gobert has five over and five under the 29.5 PRA milestone currently available.

Here is a terrific article from Dave “Loughy” Loughran on OddsShopper breaking down why it is important to consider wagering on unders.

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Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

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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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