NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Can LeBron and Davis Win Again? (April 29)

Monday keeps the NBA Playoffs moving along with a three-game slate, tipping off at 7:30 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 LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic, along with a variety of secondary players as premium targets.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Monday, April 29

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

LeBron James: Lakers at Nuggets

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 50.85 | FanDuel: 49.59
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 18.3% | FanDuel: 10.6%
DFS Salary
DraftKings $9,500 | FanDuel: $10,600

The stars were out in force on Saturday as LeBron James and Anthony Davis were able to hold off Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, surviving the ignominious outcome of being swept in the first round.

Elimination is still at risk, and the Lakers are going to need to thread the needle again tonight as 7.5-point underdogs in Denver.

Expect major minutes again for the starters, as the Denver reserves totaled just 39 minutes and Jamal Murray played the fewest minutes among the first five with a hefty 39. Jokic played 41 minutes and converted on 10 of 20 field goal attempts as well as all 11 from the line. He tallied 33 points, 14 rebounds, 14 assists, one block and one steal. Michael Porter Jr. also was 10 of 20 from the field, notching 27 points, 11 rebounds, one assist and one steal.

Murray is on the injury report with a strained left calf, though he was able to play through it in the fourth quarter. He led the team with 23 shots, scoring 22 points and adding six rebounds, five assists, and a block. He is averaging 23 field goal attempts in this series, but he has converted them at a pedestrian 38% clip. For his career he has had a 45.2% success rate from the field, including a personal-best 48.1% this season. If he sees even a slight return to his norms, he could break the slate tonight on his volume.

Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continue to do the dirty work and little things, with each focused more on defense. They are likely to play 40 minutes again, but it is hard to see a lot of upside with them deferring to the Big 3. Gordon did assert himself in Game 3, taking 18 shots, making 12 and erupting for 29 points and 15 rebounds. In the other three games, he has 33 combined points; this has helped keep his salary at a reasonable level, and he will be among the five most popular players on both of the main NBA DFS sites tonight.

Davis was amazing with 25 points, 23 rebounds, six assists and a block in 42 minutes, and he will need to provide more of the same. James did everything else with 30 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block. Rui Hachimura played a series-low 22 minutes, and he has seen a downward trend over the last three games from 38 to 28 and then the paltry 22. This makes him hard to trust as the team leaned on the defensive presence of Taurean Prince, who had 29 minutes off the bench. D’Angelo Russell is always one dumb mental lapse away from finding himself on the bench, but the Lakers desperately need him spacing the floor. Lebron was 0-for-2 from downtown and Davis did not attempt a long-range shot, which left the heavy lifting to Russell and Austin Reaves.

Aside from Prince, it is hard to consider any of the backups from either team, as it is unlikely they see more than a couple of short rotations unless the game is lopsided and mop-up duty occurs.

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Larry Nance Jr.: Pelicans

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 25.75 | FanDuel: 26.02
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 14.3% | FanDuel: 20.4%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $4,600 | FanDuel: $5,200

Jonas Valanciunas played his usual first rotation to start the game, had a brief stint in the second quarter and then he was rooted to the bench. That in turn led to Larry Nance Jr. logging a series-high 29 minutes and being a major fantasy difference maker on Saturday.

While Valanciunas is likely to start tonight, it will be interesting to see how long coach Willie Green deals with his lack of defense and turns to Nance in this elimination game.

Nance is a good defender and rebounder, but he is average at best on offense. The oft-injured forward usually breaks down when he sees increased minutes, but in this win-or-go-home game, that is not a concern. Stokastic is currently projecting Nance for 28.3 minutes, which is about four more than industry consensus. Those four minutes are worth about 4 fantasy points, which is just enough of a difference for Nance to slot into lineups or fall out of the picture.

For perspective and additional context, putting Nance at 28 minutes has him cracking the top-5 fantasy point-per-dollar rankings, in the mix with Jokic, LeBron, Davis and Murray. Taking away those four minutes knocks him out of the top 30.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Jayson Tatum is a fine DFS option, but there is also value in looking at the under 41.5 for his points + rebounds + assists (PRA) prop. This is currently available on Unibet and BetRivers at -109.

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 true odds of -122 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), there is a solid 5.4% expected ROI with the current line. In turn, the -143 on Pinnacle is just absurd by comparison. Be a savvy shopper.

NBA Bet Pro has Isaac projected for 39.8 minutes, 24.84 points, 9.36 rebounds and 5.06 assists for 39.26 PRA. That is below the threshold; however, it does not account for variable outcomes, which can be semi-quantified by the 55% win rate for the under.

In Game 1, Tatum played 41.1 minutes and recorded 43 PRA, earned via a 23-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist triple-double. Game 2 saw him with 41.1 minutes again and 39 PRA, while Game 3 he played 38.8 minutes and had 39 PRA. We know that Tatum is going to be on the court a lot, as Games 1 and 3 were 20-point Celtic victories and he still averaged 40 minutes in those games. Hopefully tonight he gets to take it easy in the final quarter and lets his teammates do the heavy lifting.

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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 6 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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