NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Donic + Jokic = Double The Fun! (March 9)

Saturday welcomes the weekend with a six-game featured slate with a 7 p.m. ET lock time 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 and Nikola Jokic, plus a variety of options from the San Antonio Spurs at the Golden State Warriors game.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Saturday, March 9

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Nikola Jokic: Nuggets vs. Jazz

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 68.16 | FanDuel: 65.35
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 26.2% | FanDuel: 30.9%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $11,500 | FanDuel: $12,000

I have some concerns with Nikola Jokic being the centerpiece of lineups tonight. However, they stem more from the lopsided potential for this game rather than anything based on the two-time NBA MVP disappointing his backers while on the court.

Currently, Jokic is just one of two players on this slate with a median fantasy point projection above 47 fantasy points. That is certainly something to ponder.

In 19 games this season where Jokic has played at least 24 minutes, but fewer than 33.5, he is averaging 30.2 minutes and 51 fantasy points. The Joker also has six triple-doubles in these games. Even if the Nuggets gobsmack the Jazz before the final frame, Jokic should at least flirt with 50 fantasy points.

Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. also are cresting over 20% projected popularity for the large-field featured contests on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

Rookie Brice Sensabaugh has played in only 13 games this season, but the 28th overall selection in the 2023 NBA Draft drew the spot start on Wednesday. He had career-highs with 29.7 minutes, 15 points and 12 rebounds, making him an intriguing punt play if he reprises his role with All-Star Lauri Markkanen and fellow rookie Taylor Hendricks both out tonight.

John Collins, Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson are players to sprinkle across tournament lineups for differentiation as each is seeing single-digit projected popularity across the DFS sites.

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Luka Doncic: Mavericks at Pistons

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 67.83 | FanDuel: 64.33
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 21.9% | FanDuel: 19.5%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $12,200 | FanDuel: $12,700

Luka Doncic has the second-best median fantasy point projection today as he and Jokic have a commanding lead over the rest of the player pool.

While Doncic has a higher salary cap impact, Dallas is less likely to destroy Detroit early and certainly not without their leader. If Doncic were to be out with his ankle issue, Kyrie Irving would be the top play of the day.

The wide delta between Doncic and Jokic makes it tricky to consider teams without one of the superstars. On FanDuel, the best Jokic team has nearly a five-point advantage over the best Doncic team, and it still has Jokic at the center position. Over on DraftKings, the optimal lineup using the 11 a.m. projections run also featured Jokic. The best Doncic lineup, which of course has Jokic, is less than a bucket behind.

FanDuel has only P.J. Washington ($5,900) cresting above single-digit popularity, while on DraftKings Washington is joined by Daniel Gafford ($4,400) who is projecting to be on nearly half of all lineups.

Dallas has a bottom-five defensive efficiency rating over the last month, so there are tournament targets available from the Pistons. DraftKings has the starting five of Cade Cunningham (22.8%), Isaiah Stewart (19.9%), Jaden Ivey (19.8%), Jalen Duren (16.9%) and rookie Ausar Thompson (14.5%) all worthy of consideration. On the blue site, Duren falls into single-digit popularity as there are ample center-only options, but the other four are viable plays.

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NBA DFS Picks: Key Games

San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors

Sadly, both rookie Victor Wembanyama and future Hall-of-Famer Stephen Curry are out with injuries, but that leaves behind 90-plus fantasy points that need to be filled by the remaining players. Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson each see close to a 10% increase in their per-minute fantasy point production to nearly 1.1 per game.

Zach Collins will resume his role with the first five, which means minutes in the upper 20s and something approaching 1.2 fantasy points per minute. Malaki Branham has had three solid games, including a spot-start and over this stretch he has played his way into nearly 28 minutes per game, which is an intriguing development. Most of his fantasy production is tied to scoring, though as the 20th overall selection in the 2022 NBA Draft, he could be getting some developmental minutes as the Spurs figure out who they will keep in the rotation moving forward.

Tre Jones is hard to trust, as he sees fewer minutes without Wembanyama and is also battling with Jeremy Sochan for the facilitation role. Cedi Osman is out, though that does not move the needle for anyone else as those dozen or so minutes will probably be dispersed among a few players.

It will be interesting to see if Chris Paul or Klay Thompson draws the start with Curry sidelined, though both should see the upper end of their minutes and offensive opportunities as they help fill in the backcourt void. Moses Moody is a dart throw now that his salary has increased with the recent boost in playing time and Gary Payton II is only for those feeling brave on the late slate.

Jonathan Kuminga could see a few more field goal attempts with Curry out of the picture, while Draymond Green is likely to maintain his regular role. Rookie Brandon Podziemski is a wild card as his opportunities are being siphoned away by the return of Andrew Wiggins.

Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Coby White looks like someone to target in the sports wagering market. The under for his 31.5 points, rebounds and assists (PRA) prop is currently available at odds of -106 on BetRivers and SugarHouse.

By using OddsShopper to do the heavy lifting when researching favorable bets, we can easily take advantage of outliers in a situation such as this, with “sharp” book Pinnacle down to -140 and FanDuel offering a similar -104, but lowering the PRA to 30.5.

Per the true odds of -119 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a fine 5.7% positive expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.

NBA Bet Pro currently has White projected for 38.3 minutes, 20.52 points, 4.90 rebounds and 5.26 assists for a 30.68 PRA. While this is below the 31.5 target, keep in mind a range of outcomes is far different than one specific projection.

Over his last 11 games, White is averaging 31.8 PRA, though playing a staggering 40.2 minutes per tilt. This includes one overtime game and a double-overtime affair. White is a dynamic scorer and he has seven performances of 30-plus points in his 63 games this season. However, everyone is healthy for the Bulls, save for Zach LaVine and Patrick Williams, who have both been out for a while. In his 11 appearances in this timeframe, White has 32-plus PRA on four (36.4%) occasions, landing on 31 twice.

The hope today is this being a road game against the Clippers, who boast a solid defense, and, with all of the key Chicago players available, White falls a little shy of his 31.5 PRA threshold this afternoon.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Check out the Stokastic NBA Live Before Lock Show starting at 6 p.m. ET on YouTube, breaking down all of the key elements for today’s slate. Brought to you by PrizePicks – new users, use this link to receive a $100 first deposit match AND – ONE FREE MONTH of OddsShopper Premium! 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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