NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Brunson, Doncic and Jokic! (March 25)

Monday brings a new week, with a mega nine-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 Jalen Brunson, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic and other recommended options.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Monday, March 25

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Jalen Brunson: Knicks vs. Pistons

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 47.4 | FanDuel: 45.19
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 14.7% | FanDuel: 5.2%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9,200 | FanDuel: $9,800

Luka Doncic is once again the core play of the day, followed closely by Nikola Jokic (hip) if he returns to action after missing the last game. Additionally, with an 18-team player pool on the main DFS sites, value is not going to be much of an issue.

So in the interest of keeping things a little fresh, let’s take a look at the merits of Jalen Brunson being used as a top-shelf tournament differentiator — especially with seven of the nine games having double-digit spreads.

Boston is, of course, running away with the Eastern Conference, and the Celtics are the first team in the league to clinch a postseason ticket. The next five teams are separated by just 6.5 games, with the Play-In Tournament line only half a game below that. New York is in the middle of the fray, and while it is a stretch to see the Knicks making up a 3.5-game deficit on the Milwaukee Bucks, they are only half a game behind Cleveland for the third-best record in the conference.

Tonight New York is favored by 16 points at home against the lowly Detroit Pistons, but Brunson is coming with a significant discount when compared to the superstars, and he is right in the sweet spot, likely to be overlooked by most gamers as stars-and-scrubs season is in full swing. Mitchell Robinson is getting close to a return after missing the better part of four months, which is exciting for the Madison Square Garden faithful. O.G. Anunoby will be missing his fourth game with his elbow issue, and, of course, Julius Randle is still hopeful to return to action before the end of the regular season to get ready for the playoffs.

Brunson should be able to score at will tonight, and he is likely to be the main source of points for the Knickerbockers. While we may only get three quarters from him, he could still drop a 50 burger on efficiency or if he gets mid-30s minutes, which is a realistic outcome with head coach Tom Thibodeau in charge of playing time.

Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo look good on both DraftKings and FanDuel, and Isaiah Hartenstein joins them on DraftKings as a tournament differentiator.

Bruno Fernando: Hawks at Celtics

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 26.41 | FanDuel: 25.92
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 26.3% | FanDuel: 35.4%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $4,400 | FanDuel: $4,800

Bruno Fernando rewarded his backers with an apex DFS outcome on Saturday against Charlotte. Do not expect an 11-for-14 night from the field anytime soon, but something approaching a double-double with a couple “stocks” is in the reasonable realm of possibilities.

This is not an easy matchup, even if Boston rests some regulars, but the favorable salary and power forward eligibility should have Fernando holding his popularity if other value plays emerge.

On the Boston side, we have seen the Celtics alternating games off for their key players, so there is a chance that Derrick White, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford or another player or two will be a spectator rather than a participant tonight. Jrue Holiday will be missing his fourth straight game with a shoulder issue, so if White gets a break, Payton Pritchard could actually move into the starting lineup. Pritchard has been getting ample run off the bench, with just over 33 minutes per tilt in his last three reserve appearances. In his two starts in this five game stretch, he played right around 38 minutes in each.

Sam Hauser is another reserve that has been showing out with his extra opportunities, but it would be more comforting if he were starting, whereas we know Pritchard will get plenty of reserve run as the backup point guard. Depending on which core players sit, the remaining starters would also get a boost in this matchup.

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NBA DFS Picks: Key Games

Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors

Brooklyn gets the cherry matchup of facing a Toronto Raptors team that is just going through the motions at this point of the season. The Nets are barely even worthy of being called an average team, yet they are favored by half a dozen points tonight in Toronto, while missing Cameron Johnson, Ben Simmons and Dennis Smith Jr.

Dorian Finney-Smith, Nicolas Claxton and Trendon Watford are currently projected as the three most popular plays on DraftKings, while Claxton and Cam Thomas are in the top 4 on FanDuel, with Finney-Smith sliding inside the top 10.

Toronto is missing an entire rotation with Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl, RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Chris Boucher and Jontay Porter all out of commission. Depending on your DFS site of choice, Kelly Olynyk, Bruce Brown Jr., Javon Freeman Liberty, Gradey Dick, Ochai Agbaji, Gary Trent Jr. and Jordan Nwora all have utility.

Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Jaren Jackson Jr. has a tall order tonight, and the under on his 30.5 points + rebounds + assists (PRA) prop is intriguing in this matchup against the Nuggets. Currently there is a -119 at Caesars, which is the best offering listed.

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.

Looking at the -146 offered by “sharp book” Pinnacle, we can see that there is a good 4% to 5% value in this number hung by Caesars, essentially creating a mini-booster from the book without having to chase down a promotion.

Per the true odds of -134 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a favorable 5.5% positive expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.

NBA Bet Pro currently has Jackson projected for 31.7 minutes, 21.94 points, 5.68 rebounds and 2.72 assists for 30.34 PRA. While that is slightly below tonight’s targeted threshold, it still does not account for variable outcomes. The 57% win rate does provide some comfort when looking at a long time horizon to realize the value held within this posted line.

Scoring is not the challenge for Jackson, who boasts a career-high 22.6 points per game this season. It is rebounds that tend to be lacking, and his 5.5 per game are the lowest of the last three seasons, which is a shame for the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Jackson has been managing a quad issue, and he has missed five of the last 11 games. In the six games he played, he had 31 or more PRA five times, so this may appear like a risky wager. But keeping in mind three of those games were against the Kings, Hawks and Spurs, it is less daunting. Also, three of the six games saw him with 31, 32 and 33 PRA, just squeaking over the threshold for tonight. This game is, of course, in the thin Denver air, and if Jokic is available, rebounds will be hard-fought for Jackson.

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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 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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