NBA DFS Advice Today: Get The Edge… Now!

Josh Engleman here to break down everything you need to know about tonight’s NBA DFS slate, including a nugget on Jayson Tatum heading into this evening. Let’s dive right into my NBA DFS advice today, Wednesday, March 20.

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NBA DFS Advice Today: Tantric DFS?

MIA (+2.0) @ CLE (202.5) | NBA DFS Advice Today

The Miami Heat are two-point underdogs in Cleveland taking on the Cavaliers. The game has a 202-point total and tips off at 7 p.m.

We’re waiting on the status of Nikola Jovic and Jimmy Butler, who are both questionable for today. The Butler status carries significantly more weight, but ultimately I find it difficult to want to get to Miami in any major way, regardless of the status of Butler.

Miami is 29th in pace, Cleveland is 21st in pace, both teams lean defensively. This does not look like a matchup, at least on the Miami side, where I’m going to have a large amount of exposure. If Jimmy Butler is able to play, he is the best option for Miami. Cleveland is once again without Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley, Max Strus, and Dean Wade.

Caris LeVert has been playing very well as of late, 1.1 fantasy points per minute over the past 30 days. He’s a $7,100 point guard/shooting guard eligible option for today, and he looks like the best play coming from Cleveland.

Although this game environment makes it difficult to want to get to the Cavaliers en masse.



IND (-9.5) @ DET (233.0) | NBA DFS Advice Today

The Indiana Pacers are 9 1/2 point favorites in Detroit, taking on the Pistons. The game has a 233 point total, which is the highest on the slate and tips off at 7 p.m.

Doug McDermott is questionable, which shouldn’t really matter much for this game. The matchup allows you to want to get to most of the Pacers. It is a pace-up spot for Indiana against a bottom five defense. Most of the starting lineup would be where I would look first, whether that’s Aaron Nesmith, Myles Turner, Pascal Siakam.

I’m a little bit less interested in Tyrese Haliburton, who just hasn’t been playing as well as of late, but maybe a matchup against the Pistons could help him snap out of it. And we can continue to want to try and use Jalen Smith as a value option when there’s no value to be found on a slate. He’s $3,900 power forward/center eligible, a 1.15 fantasy point per minute guy, and just has a path to additional minutes with any foul trouble to Myles Turner. Ultimately, I believe you can get to most of the rotation for the Pacers because of this matchup.

The Pistons are without Quentin Grimes, Isaiah Stewart, and Ausar Thompson, and could be without Simone Fontecchio, who is questionable with a big toe contusion. I do actually like the Pistons side of this matchup because they’re facing a poor Pacers defense and a fast Pacers team. Cade Cunningham leads the charge as a $7,900 point guard, 1.33 fantasy points per minute over the past month, 30% usage and a near 40% assist rate.

Jalen Duren stands out as a $6,900 center option, around 1.25 fantasy points per minute. And if Stanley Umude gets the start in place of whoever would have been the fifth starter, alongside Cade, Ivey, Duren, and potentially Fontecchio, Umude is $3,900 shooting guard/small forward eligible. Not a great per minute performer, somewhere around 0.75 fantasy points per minute, but a very nice pay down option with good positionally on a slate where we don’t really have value yet.

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MIL (+8.5) @ BOS (224.0) | NBA DFS Advice Today

The Milwaukee Bucks are 8.5 point underdogs in Boston taking on the Celtics. The game has a 224 point total and tips off at 7:30 p.m.

We’re waiting on the news for Giannis Antetokounmpo in this spot. He is questionable with left hamstring tendinopathy. Otherwise, the team is fully available.

If Giannis is in, it is likely that I will not be rostering anyone from Milwaukee. I find them to be one of the least appealing teams on today’s slate. Boston is 2nd in defense, 22nd in pace. If Giannis happens to be out, we’ll be able to get to a bit more of someone like Bobby Portis or Damian Lillard or potentially Khris Middleton. However, even with a Giannis absence, I find it hard to believe that Milwaukee will look anything short of average based on this matchup.

The Boston Celtics have a questionable tag on Jaylen Brown, Sam Hauser, and Jrue Holiday but everybody else is in and available at this moment. If Boston is at full strength, the best play that you can get to is Jayson Tatum, a $9,900 small forward/power forward option, 1.35 fantasy points per minute.

But even in a decent matchup for Boston, the prices on the main five guys from the Celtics are all a bit too high to want to get to today. I find this game to be one of, if not the most unappealing from a DFS perspective on the slate. If Giannis is in and the Boston Celtics guys are in, I want to watch it, however.

SAC (-10.5) @ TOR (232.5)

The Sacramento Kings are 10.5 point favorites in Toronto, taking on the Raptors. This game has a 232 point total and tips off at 7:30 p.m.

Sacramento is essentially at full strength. They’re still without Trey Lyles. The Raptors are still missing Scottie Barnes, RJ Barrett, and Jakob Poeltl. Immanuel Quickley is also out today for personal reasons, leaving the Raptors shorthanded. This matchup is fantastic for Sacramento. The Raptors’ defense is bottom five in the league and is likely worse given their current injuries. That allows you to want to get to most of this Sacramento lineup.

I should also mention Kevin Huerter is out for the foreseeable future with a left shoulder dislocation. The best option for Sacramento is Domantas Sabonis, a $10,700 center, 1.5 fantasy points per minute, absolutely stuffing a stat sheet, 22% usage, 33% assist rate, and a 24% rebounding rate. I will also happily get to a $9,000 De’Aaron Fox, who’s been playing very well as of late, near 1.35 fantasy points per minute, and a 30+% usage rate.

Both Keegan Murray and Keon Ellis stand out for different reasons. Ellis as a value option, stepping into additional minutes with the absence of Huerter. Murray as a guy whose price has fallen due to some bad play, but is slowly picking up his rates.

Finally, I have no problems getting to Malik Monk, who no longer has Kevin Huerter to worry about looking over his shoulder and potentially stealing minutes late. The starting lineup for the Raptors will be very important, given Quickley’s absence. And based on this matchup, a pace-up spot against an average at best defense, Toronto actually looks really good.

Whether that’s Gradey Dick, Ochai Agbaji, Jordan Nwora, Jahmi’us Ramsey, Kelly Olynyk, Gary Trent, Bruce Brown, and Jontay Porter, there are eight viable options on the Raptors, whether as starters with reasonable prices, or as value plays stepping into additional minutes due to the large level of absences. We’ll have a much clearer picture for Toronto once the starting lineup is announced, but if I’m looking at just general priorities, Gradey Dick and Gary Trent stand out as the two best options

UTA (+14.5) @ OKC (230.5)

The Utah Jazz are 14 and a half point underdogs in Oklahoma City taking on the Thunder. The game has a 230 point total and tips off at 8 p.m.

The Jazz are going to be without Lauri Markkanen once again for injury management. It’s possible they’ll be without John Collins with a right facial contusion after Anthony Edwards stole his soul two nights ago. Even with the absence of Markkanen, there’s not a lot of overwhelming value as the Oklahoma City defense is near top five.

Collin Sexton and Walker Kessler would be my two preferred options from Utah, although this could look a bit different if Collins ends up out. Kessler would certainly look like a much bigger priority, but ultimately I find the Jazz to be more of filler than priorities.

Oklahoma City gets the benefit of a matchup against the second worst defense in the league and a team that plays at a top ten pace. Jalen Williams at 6,900 and power forward only looks like my preferred Thunder option, although Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren are not too far behind. SGA has been a 1.5 fantasy point per minute guy over the past 30 days and projects even better in this matchup.

MEM (+10.0) @ GSW (218.0) – NBA DFS Advice Today

The Memphis Grizzlies are 10-point underdogs in Golden State taking on the Warriors. This game has a 218-point total and tips off at 10 p.m.

Memphis is still without a large swath of players. Santi Aldama is questionable for today. Luke Kennard is still out for personal reasons and Vince Williams Jr. is doubtful. The two best options that I see for the Grizzlies in a decent spot are $8,100 point guard shooting guard Desmond Bane, nice to see him back, and $6,000 small forward/power forward GG Jackson, who has moved into the starting lineup and has been playing sizable minutes over his last five games, averaging 36 in those five.

You can surely get two shares of Jaren Jackson or John Konchar, but the priorities look to be Bane and GG Jackson. Golden State has a bit of a tough matchup.

Memphis Grizzlies are, oddly enough, the 10th ranked defense and likely project even better than that with Bane back. Jaren Jackson does a lot of the heavy lifting there. And they play at an average pace. So the best and likely only option that I have my eye on for the Warriors will be Steph Curry, an $8,700 point guard, one and a quarter fantasy points per minute, certainly provides a sizable ceiling at a relatively reasonable price tag.

PHI (+9.0) @ PHX (220.5)

The Philadelphia 76ers are 9-point underdogs in Phoenix, taking on the Suns. The game has a 220-point total and tips off at 10 p.m.

Tobias Harris is questionable, and he has been missing time as of late. Harris missed the previous two games, and we’re hoping to see him back today. If Harris happens to be in, there’s only one player that I’m looking at from the Sixers, and that would be Tyrese Maxey. He’s $8,800 point guard only and near 1.2 fantasy points per minute.

The rest of Philadelphia, even in a solid matchup, is already priced either appropriately or not all that well. If Harris happens to be out, you will see a large minutes bump to Nic Batum and a usage bump to Kelly Oubre.

Phoenix is essentially at full strength, which makes it very difficult to get to this team as a whole and limits your focus to the big three of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal. They were listed in the proper order. I would rather get to Durant than Booker than Beal, and I think that Beal is a little bit behind Durant and Booker, who I think are a bit closer. These guys, Booker and Durant, that is, are around 1.2 to 1.25 fantasy points per minute, guys. Philadelphia plays relatively slow, so the matchup isn’t fantastic, but it is a decent offensive environment.

LAC (-11.5) @ POR (216.0)

The LA Clippers are 11 and a half point favorites in Portland taking on the Trail Blazers. The game has a 216 point total and tips off at 10 PM.

We do need news for the Clippers as Terance Mann and Norman Powell are both questionable and will create a little bit of value if they both happen to be out. But even in a good matchup against Portland, although it is a paced down spot, there isn’t a lot to like from LA. Kawhi Leonard and Ivica Zubac look like the preferred options, but the more likely scenario is that exposure to the Clippers will be limited.

Portland will likely be without Jerami Grant, who is doubtful. Matisse Thybulle enters this game questionable with right ankle soreness. I find the Portland side slightly more appealing than the Clippers side, whether that’s $7,600 point guard shooting guard Anfernee Simons, $8,200 Deandre Ayton, who’s scoring 1.35 fantasy points per minute over the past month, and $5,400 Scoot Henderson, who moved back into the starting lineup and was not limited from a minute’s perspective in their most recent game.

Those three, along with a $3,800 small forward Kris Murray, who is a viable value option on a slate that lacks paydowns, are four plays that look better than anything on the Clippers side. We just need this game to stay close.

Hopefully you found our NBA DFS Advice Today column helpful.

Author
Josh is Contributor for Stokastic.com where he hosts video and writes content regularly across the primary sports of MLB, NBA, and NFL as well as contributing to the development of models and projections for soccer. He originally started producing projections & articles for Reddit's r/DFSports in 2014 where he built a loyal following that brought him to where he is today. Josh is most known for his elaborate Excel spreadsheets, which he shares in all of his video content. You can find him on Twitter or hanging out in Stokastic's Premium Chalkboard. You can contact Josh by emailing [email protected].

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