When you sign up for PlayLine, please support Awesemo.com by using the promo code “Awesemo” and the following link: playline.com/r/Awesemo. You’ll receive a $5 bonus when you sign up and an additional $15 bonus with your first deposit. The more people we refer the more free PlayLine content we’ll be able to offer. Please see the PlayLine website for the terms and conditions regarding their bonus.
The key to building your bankroll early on in your DFS career is chasing overlay and playing low entry fee contests. Tonight’s “Better This Way” contest on PlayLine fits both of those criteria. Similar contests on PlayLine in prior weeks have overlaid by approximately 50%, and at a $0.50 entry fee, sharks will surely avoid this contest. There is a 72-entry limit so even though it’s only 50 cents per entry you can get $36 of total volume. With heavy overlay anticipated and weak competition this contest is a no-brainer. Now on to my picks.
There are 4 player stat-lines to predict in the contest: Ben Simmons, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic and Russell Westbrook. For each one you will need to project three different statistics: points, rebounds, and assists, for a total of 12 different data points. This number of stats is a great opportunity for you to gain a skill advantage over the field. In this article I’ll help you get started building your line.
One thing to pay attention to tonight is which teams/players have an incentive to win versus those that have already packed it in for the offseason or playoffs. The Bucks are currently the sixth seed in the east but with both the seven and eight seeds (Heat and Wizards) only a game behind, there will be no pre-playoff rest day for Giannis tonight. The team announced that Antetokounmpo’s minutes would be monitored; to me that means he’s likely to see a full workload until the game is decided one way or the other.
The Bucks’ vegas implied total is between 106 and 107, which is right around what they’ve averaged over the course of the season (106.6) and there are no significant injury situations, so Giannis’ season-long averages of 27.1 points and 4.8 assists provide a good baseline for those categories. However, I am expecting a slightly pace-up game with the 76ers being the 4th fastest team in the league, so there will be more rebounds for Antetokounmpo to collect than average. But don’t play 27-11-5 because that’s where everyone else will be.
A good rule of thumb is to stay within 1.5 standard deviations of the baseline. Here Giannis’ standard deviations are 7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2 assists, so I’d recommend a PlayLine in the range of 17 to 37 points, 6 to 16 rebounds, and 2 to 8 assists. Keep in mind that these stats are positively correlated. If the pace of the game is much faster than anticipated, Giannis is likely to go over his season averages in all categories. So, for example, you’d want to avoid a stat line of 17 points, 16 rebounds and 8 assists.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are currently seeded sixth for the playoffs but could move up to fourth, securing first-round home court advantage, with a win, so Russell will not be rested. OKC has an implied total of 114.5, which is 6.5% higher than their season average of 107.5. So you’d expect Russ to exceed his season averages of 25.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and 10.1 assists, but I see this game going a different direction. With Vegas posting a 16.5-point spread, the potential for a blowout is huge and with the playoffs looming, it’s very likely that Westbrook sits the entire 4th quarter if they have a significant lead. That means he will be likely to be pulled once the Thunder reach a certain threshold of points, assuming the Grizzlies with an emphasis on the “G” don’t greatly exceed expectations. That means that Westbrook’s line will be more consistent than average, so I would stay within a close range of his averages, with one exception.
Westbrook needs to get 16 rebounds in the season finale to average a triple-double for a second straight season. This is a stat that can easily be influenced by teammates boxing out for him and not jumping for rebounds. Although Westbrook could fall short early and have 16 be out of reach, if he gets close I think there will be some stat padding to get him there. Thus, I would either go well below his season average, or pick 16 to get the exact line bonus in case Westbrook hits his milestone.
For more information about PlayLine’s contests, check out the PlayLine Primer.