NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: The End is Nigh! (May 16)

Thursday’s NBA action begins at 8:30 p.m. ET for Game 6, with elimination on the line for the Minnesota, with 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 Anthony Edwards and Nikola Jokic as the postseason rolls onward.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Thursday, May 16

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Anthony Edwards: Timberwolves vs. Nuggets

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 50.49 | FanDuel: 49.17
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 53.6% | FanDuel: 52.3%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $11,600 | FanDuel: $15,000

Mike Conley missed the last game with a sore right achilles, but he did make an appearance at shoot-around, so he is trending in the right direction. If he is out then things are more interesting as other players would fill in the 30 or so minutes and 10 field goal attempts, typically allocated to the 36-year-old point guard.

ON Tuesday, the Nuggets held firm in Denver, winning Game 5 by a 112-97 final score, after taking the lead for good early in the third quarter. If Conley is a go, Nickeil Alexander-Walker will slot back in with the reserves, and minutes in the mid-20s, while former Nugget Monte Morris will dip back to only a handful of minutes, potentially not leaving the bench.

Naz Reid played just under eight minutes in the first three quarters, before playing every tick of the final frame. In Game 4, he had similar total playing time, but did not set foot on the floor for the fourth quarter. These are disconcerting developments, which could be leveraged in the second-half contests. Speaking of extreme contests, we have likely seen the last of the two-game slates, unless Minnesota wins tonight and Indiana wins on Friday, which would give DFS fans one last hurrah with a pair of Game 7s

Karl-Anthony Towns is actually the fourth most popular player on FanDuel, though he slides to eighth on DraftKings. He has had a strong series, though his two best performances were in Game 2, when Rudy Gobert was unavailable and then the last game, when Conley was out. If Conley plays, Gobert would be the more interesting play since he gets less of his fantasy production from scoring, while getting extra shots that would be Conley’s, is more helpful to Towns.

Jaden McDaniels will get minutes for his defense, though his fantasy production is inconsistent. The former University of Washington stalwart has seen between six and nine field goal attempts per game in this series, which is far different than the first round when he had seven, 17, four and 12. He is in play tonight, though there is no vote of confidence from this author.

Finally we have Kyle Anderson, who has been all but invisible this postseason averaging only 13 minutes per game, with a high of 26.3 in Game 2 when he started in place of Gobert. He actually was a DNP-CD in Game 2 of the Phoenix series, so it is hard to be excited for the NBA nomad.

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Nikola Jokic: Nuggets at Timberwolves

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 64.84 | FanDuel: 61.71
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 68.0% | FanDuel: 66.8%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $14,000 | FanDuel: $16,500

The three-time and reigning NBA MVP has rallied the defending World Champions back to a 3-2 lead after dropping the first two games of the series in Denver.

Nikola Jokic is of course the most spendy and the most popular option tonight, on both DraftKings and FanDuel. The main difference is that the salary multiplier on DraftKings has Jokic in the Captain slot for around 1-in-4 lineups, while the lack of any cap adjustment on FanDuel has him with a 55% rostership in the MVP slot.

The Nuggets are two-point road dogs tonight, but they have won the last three games, including two on the home court of the Timberwolves. This veteran team does not scare easily and they still have the luxury of a home game if they are not able to close things out tonight. Expect major minutes again from everyone who plays a key role.

Jamal Murray seems to be mostly beyond his calf issue, but he has been drawing the attention of the defense all series, getting either McDaniels or Edwards shadowing him even prior to crossing the midcourt line. Aaron Gordon has picked up extra slack on the scoring front, with 14, 12, seven and 14 field goal attempts over the last four games. Typically he is focused on defense and being a secondary facilitator as needed, but with the Minnesota defense homing in on Murray, he has had the opportunity to remind everyone that he is a capable scorer, when needed.

Michael Porter Jr. has made only four of his 14 attempts over the last two games, going 2 of 8 (22.2%) from 3-point range. While he is better on defense than he was two seasons ago, he could also see fewer minutes if his shot is not falling. In the first two games he played 40 and 39.4 minutes, followed by 30.3 in Game 3, with Denver winning by 27, but creeping back up to just 35.5 each of the last two games. It would seem that Gordon is the better play tonight, though if MPJ is raining down triples, he could still upset the apple cart.

Christian Braun has been the best of the reserves over the last few games, with Justin Holiday edging out fellow journeyman Reggie Jackson. Jackson will still play the handful of minutes when Murray is on the bench, but he may not get more than that. Braun is a decent defender and not a bad long-range threat, though scoring consistency, as well as volume, is still an issue. He does have coach Mike Malone’s trust, since he performed well as a rookie in last year’s title run. Peyton Watson could be a DNP-CD, unless there is mop-up duty or foul trouble with Porter or Gordon.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Exciting wagers are few and far between tonight as this is the sixth times these teams have met in the postseason. Nikola Jokic has the two “best” wagers with either the under on his 29.5 points prop which is at a neutral value, while the the under on his 1.5 3-pointers made prop does have a positive ROI, but it is also at a heavy -170 on bet365. Looking at the -118 “true odds” (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), we can see there is a decent 3.6% expected ROI with the current line, as well as a 66% likelihood that Jokic connects on one or fewer 3-point attempts.

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 Jokic projected for 39.8 minutes and 1.51 made 3-pointers. In this series he dropped two in Game 5 and Game 1, both in Denver. In the two Minnesota games, he was 1 of 3 and 1 of 5. For the entire postseason, he has made two triples four times, one four times and none twice.

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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 Karl Anthony-Towns, 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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