NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Celtic Pride! (June 9)

Tonight is Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Boston, with the Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks each having had a couple of days to plan some moves and countermoves after the series opener. The Sunday fun is underway 8:00 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 Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum and Kyrie Irving.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Sunday, June 9

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Jayson Tatum: Celtics vs. Mavericks

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 50.24 | FanDuel: 48.34
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 48.8% | FanDuel: 54.3%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $11,800 | FanDuel: $15,000

Boston roared out to a 37-point first quarter, with a lead that was as large as 29 points in the second frame. It was a true team effort as all five starters were in double figures, and Kristaps Porzingis was a catalyst off the bench with 20 points in 21 minutes of action after missing six weeks with a calf issue.

Al Horford played 30 minutes, getting 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. He and Porzingis overlapped for just over 5.5 minutes, with one of them on the court at all times until the final 3:19 when coach Joe Mazzulla emptied the bench. It would not be a surprise if Porzingis stayed with the second unit on Sunday, though he looked good enough to expect 26 to 28 minutes in a close game or if Horford is ineffective.

Jaylen Brown led the team with 22 points, knocking down 7 of 12 (58.3%) from the field but just 6 of 11 (54.6%) on free throws. He also added half a dozen rebounds, a pair of assists, a trio of steals and a troika of blocks. Plus, there was the added praise from coach Jason Kidd that he was the real star for Boston, though Brown and Jayson Tatum both refuted that in their presser, focusing on a team outlook. Tatum has a solid all-around game with 16 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and a block. Though he was just 6 of 16 (37.5%) from the field, the team was +19 with him on the court, which was the second best plus/minus among those playing more than 16 minutes.

Tatum still has the best median fantasy point projection, and he is the top fantasy point-per-dollar option on FanDuel. On DraftKings it is a different story, where Jrue Holiday and Derrick White each outpace Tatum by that metric. After having seven combined blocks and five steals in the final two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, White came back to earth with just one steal. He still had 15 points and was 3 of 8 (37.5%) from downtown while also chipping in with five helpers. White has been outstanding on defense, earning second-team All-NBA honors each of the last two years. It is funny to remember that he was acquired by Boston for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford and a first-rounder, which became Blake Wesley. San Antonio did get a first-round pick swap for 2028 with the Celtics while also flipping Richardson to New Orleans for Devonte Graham and a quartet of second-round selections.

Speaking of Pelicans, Holiday was also sublime on Thursday, leading the team with a +20 rating while chipping in 12 points, eight rebounds, five assists and a steal. It is ridiculous how deep and interchangeable the key pieces of the Celtics really are on offense and defense.

The only reserve of note was Sam Hauser, who probably will see around 12 minutes unless there is a lopsided game, but he has his rotation at the end of the first and into the second still intact, even with the return of Porzingis. That could always change, but he should get some first half run in the 8- to 10-minute range in nearly all circumstances, along with another couple at the end of the third quarter. He still won’t take many shots while on the court with the regulars, but he did splash both of his triples, dropping one in the first quarter and one in the second. He is one of the few salary-relief options, but we need to understand his fantasy limitations.

Payton Pritchard missed all seven field goal attempts, including five from downtown. There will be better days ahead, and he should see at least 12 minutes per game spelling either Holiday or White. His salary held firm on FanDuel ($7,000), but he dropped $200 on DraftKings ($3,200).

Lineup construction will be fun as we have some new information given how effective Porzingis was and that he and Horford will still share the court. DraftKings ($8,600) only bumped his salary by $400, so he should be a crowd favorite, but things were made interesting with a 10% bump to $12,000 on the blue site.

Holiday dropped by $200 ($6,600) on DraftKings and $500 on FanDuel ($11,000), which explains why he has the better fantasy point-per-dollar ratio when compared to Tatum on DraftKings. The 50% tax on the multiplier slot also keeps things fresh, with Brown and White looking like strong MVP candidates, while they are better served as the second-tier multiplier on FanDuel.

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P.J. Washington: Mavericks at Celtics

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 28.15 | FanDuel: 28.22
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 45.7% | FanDuel: 34.0%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $6,200 | FanDuel: $10,000

Luka Doncic looked like he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders Thursday, as his 30 points were double that of any of his teammates.

P.J. Washington had a salary increase of $500 on FanDuel ($10,000), crossing the five-figure mark and dropping him to a tertiary option on the blue site, with his lack of blocks and steals.

DraftKings has gone in the opposite direction, dropping Washington’s salary by $200 down to a postseason low of $6,200. That has him as the best fantasy point-per-dollar option among the Mavericks and trailing only White and Holiday of the Celtics. Keep in mind these are median fantasy projections, but it is important to understand the nuances of the salary cap and scoring systems for your DFS site of choice. Washington was on the court for 36 minutes, and while he missed all three of his long-range attempts, he was 5 of 11 (45.4%), notching 14 points, eight rebounds and a single helper.

Kyrie Irving invited the boobirds in the TD Garden to bring their best, and they did, though he asked for more in Game 2. It’s a savvy strategy, particularly if that is what fuels the 32-year-old to do better on Sunday. It is not easy going against the Boston backcourt featuring a pair of All-NBA Defense second teamers. However, if Dallas wants to avoid a sweep, Irving is going to have to get it going. Doncic cannot do this by himself, and if Washington is going to be the third-best player, Kyrie HAS to elevate back to his borderline All-Star form. It is hard not to envision at least a 40-fantasy point game, though it may take the NBA nomad 40 minutes to get there against this defense.

Daniel Gafford got the start, and he had 8 points, three boards, an assist and a steal. All of that was without playing in the final frame while seeing just 14 minutes of run. Rookie Dereck Lively II saw 18 minutes but attempted just one shot, corralling five caroms, an assist and a steal — along with five fouls. Rounding out the center position was Maximilian Kleber, who led this trio with 19 minutes (there was overlap with Kleber and his counterparts, though the other pair did not play together). The longtime Maverick had one field goal attempt, one assist and a block. He does have a delightful $2,200 salary, so he is in play but on the cusp of being a desperation selection.

Expect around 55 to 57 minutes from the Dallas center trio since Kleber will overlap somewhat with the true pivot men as he likely will back up Washington in at least the first two and probably three periods. Gafford has seen a minute or two early in the final frame in some postseason games, but more than that would take some Lively foul trouble. The sites have Lively with a slight premium to Gafford, while Kleber is the discount dandy.

Derrick Jones Jr. had nine field goal attempts, which were the most he has seen in the last six games. For this span, he also had a low of 29 minutes but offset that with six rebounds, which was a 14-game high. Josh Green was on the court for 20 minutes, but he does not get enough offensive volume to be more than a dart throw.

Veteran Tim Hardaway Jr. had close to three minutes towards the end of the third quarter as Dallas was searching for anyone to provide spacing, but that was his first action since Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals and his other four minutes were in garbage time at the end of the game. The 32-year-old is at the $2,000 floor on DraftKings and by proxy could pay off that salary handsomely with a pair of 3-pointers, but a DNP-CD is a potential outcome.

Jaden Hardy was on the floor for the final 5:28 of the first quarter, filling in for Irving and then Doncic. He also had another five minutes in mop-up duty when the Mavericks threw in the towel. For Game 2, we should expect those five to six minutes to play out again, but anything after that is tough to predict. In his first rotation, Hardy was 1 of 4 (25%) from the field with one rebound. So he should be in the mix for around half a dozen fantasy points in a similar scenario tonight.

Hardy’s real production on Thursday was in garbage time when he was 3 of 4 (75%) from the field, perfect on four free-throw attempts while getting two rebounds and an assist. Context is everything, and though Hardy was an excellent play after the fact in the opener, most of the production occurred when it was the understudies squaring off. This makes him tough to trust, but at just $500 above the minimum on FanDuel ($6,500) and $400 over the floor on DraftKings ($2,400), he is still in play.

If you need some more tips on how to manage your bankroll, Steve Buzzard has a great guide here on the biggest bankroll mistakes DFS players make and how you can avoid them! Check it out HERE.

Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Jrue Holiday can be rostered in the DFS world, but we can also look to hedge out some of his downside performance with the under on his 22.5 points + rebounds + assists (PRA) prop. This wager is currently available at +114 on DraftKings. Looking at the +102 “true odds” (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), we can see there is a desirable 6.1% expected ROI with the current line.

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.

We can see that the current line on the from these operators stands out when sharp book Pinnacle is increasing the threshold to 23.5 but giving a -145 line. Be a savvy shopper!

NBA Bet Pro has Holiday projected for 37.0 minutes, 12.51 points, 5.51 rebounds and 4.69 assists for 22.71 PRA. While this is just above the 22.5 milestone, it does not account for a variable range of outcomes. That can be measured by the 50% probability for the under on this wager.

Truly this is a coinflip, though getting the +114 on DraftKings makes this a long-term profitable bet with a very healthy 6.1% expected ROI. We are at the point in the playoffs where there are not many “value” options unless one has a strong lean or personal belief. The wild card with Holiday is the return of Porzingis. Holiday has averaged 8.7 rebounds over the last three games, including eight in Game 1 of the Finals. Porzingis seeing increased minutes should cut into that, and also a bucket or two could move from Holiday to the Latvian. Even if those result in assists, it is less PRA than points.

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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 7:30 p.m. ET on YouTube, breaking down all of the key elements for today’s slate, including even more on Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum and Kyrie Irving. Brought to you by Sleeper – new users, use this link to receive a $100 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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