NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Knicks and Mavericks, Oh My! (February 8)

Thursday celebrates the NBA Trade Deadline with a seven-game featured slate, locking at 7 p.m. ET 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 Donte DiVincenzo, Precious Achiuwa, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving while monitoring the impact of the trades occurring today.

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Thursday, February 8

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Stephen Curry: Golden State Warriors at Indiana Pacers

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 48.24 | FanDuel: 45.45
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 5.2% | FanDuel: 9.6%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9,500 | FanDuel: $9,300

Stephen Curry did not have a good performance in Philadelphia last night, playing just 25 minutes and scoring only 9 points. Of course, he was thrilled that the Warriors knocked off the 76ers 127-104. Both teams gave the reserves ample run, so this being a back-to-back for the aging Dubs should not be a concern.

This matchup has a lofty 250-point total, and considering both teams are in the trade market, we could see some thinned-out rotations.

Curry, Jonathan Kuminga and Draymond Green look good from the Golden State side, with a chance that some of the reserves will be asked to step up if Andrew Wiggins is dealt this afternoon. Indiana has already made one trade, sending Buddy Hield to the Sixers, and with Jalen Smith (back) and Bennedict Mathurin (illness) questionable, Aaron Nesmith, Andrew Nembhard and T.J. McConnell could see extra run.

Luka Doncic: Dallas Mavericks at New York Knicks

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 59.61 | FanDuel: 56.78
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: <5.0% | FanDuel: <5.0%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $12,000 | FanDuel: $12,800

In the 12 games that O.G. Anunoby played for the Knicks, New York had a league-leading 104.1 defensive efficiency rating. In the last five games without the defensive maven, the Knickerbockers are ceding 111.9 points per 100 possessions, which is still good — but far from a lockdown unit.

The one thing New York is doing is playing at a snail’s pace without Anunoby and Julius Randle, with just 93.9 possessions per 48 minutes in this five-game stretch.

In addition to Randle and Anunoby, New York is going to be without Quentin Grimes, plus Jalen Brunson (ankle) and Jericho Sims (illness) are questionable. If Brunson plays, this is a great matchup for him as he will have to carry the offense against his former team. Dallas is not great on defense, and the Mavericks play at a league-average pace of around 100 possessions per game. The point is that we should not be scared by tonight’s iteration of the vaunted New York defense, which is missing many key contributors. This team is going to be scary in the playoffs if Mitchell Robinson is also able to return, but tonight — well, fire up Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. One other note, while Doncic is currently projected to be on just under 5% of all tournament rosters, this has not taken into account the trades that will go down today, so expect his representation to increase as value options open up.

Donte DiVincenzo has been outstanding as he steps up as the secondary playmaker and scorer; even with his surging salary on DraftKings and FanDuel, he is a priority play. Precious Achiuwa looks good on FanDuel, where he has power forward eligibility and will be on at least 30% of all lineups. Finally, Josh Hart is a neutral option on the blue site at $6,900 but a core play on DraftKings with a friendly $6,300 cap hit. It is unlikely that recent acquisitions Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic will be available to play for New York tonight, pending the trade for Grimes and Evan Fournier being finalized.

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Donovan Mitchell: Cleveland Cavaliers at Brooklyn Nets

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 47.23 | FanDuel: 46.27
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: <5.0% | FanDuel: <5.0%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9,900 | FanDuel: $10,400

Donovan Mitchell is another player who could get lost in the shuffle today, and that would be great for those savvy enough to keep him on their shortlist of pay-up options.

Evan Mobley (knee injury management) is likely to sit tonight after playing 25 minutes in Washington on Wednesday. Darius Garland (jaw) is expected to play, but he is likely to be capped around 30 minutes as he continues getting back in the mix after missing nearly two months.

Brooklyn is without Dorian Finney-Smith and Day’Ron Sharpe, who are two of the Nets’ unsung defenders, with Cam Johnson and Lonnie Walker IV also sidelined with injuries. The sportsbooks currently have Cleveland listed as a 5.5-point road favorite with a projected team total of 116.5, which is 2 points higher than the Cavs’ season average.

Mitchell is having the best season of his career, and he was named an All-Star for the fourth time in the last five years. He is averaging just shy of 50 fantasy points per game, which is 12% more than last year, and he is actually playing slightly fewer minutes per game. His 28.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.9 steals and 0.5 blocks each are personal highs.

Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Jarrett Allen is an interesting option in the sports wagering market for his under 11.5 rebounds prop, which is currently available at odds of +104 on several books.

This is a good example that demonstrates the power of letting OddsShopper do the heavy lifting when researching favorable bets.

SugarHouse and BetRivers are reasonable at +104, but we can see dramatic differences, including a -124 offered at “sharp” book Pinnacle, which is downright punitive.

Per the true odds of -107 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a solid 6% positive expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.

NBA Bet Pro currently has Allen projected for 31.7 minutes and 11.06 rebounds. That median projection is slightly favorable when compared to the 11.5 threshold tonight, but keep in mind a range of outcomes is far different than one specific projection.

While Allen will not have to battle Mobley for rebounds tonight, he will still be dealing with Nicolas Claxton and Ben Simmons. In his last 10 games, the 25-year-old has corralled 12 or more caroms four times, nabbing 11 boards on three other occasions. Last night Allen played just over 37 minutes, which was his second-highest workload in the last month. This wager is likely to come down to the wire, but it is a favorable one and a rare bet that is available at plus money, fitting all the other OddsShopper criteria.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Check out the Stokastic NBA Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock Shows starting at 5:00 p.m. ET on YouTube, breaking down all of the key elements for today’s slate. Brought to you by BetMGM– new users, use this link to receive $158 in Bonus Bets when you bet $5 ahead of Super Bowl 58! 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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