NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Giannis, Dejounte and a Surprise! (March 30)

Saturday brings quick three-game featured slate with a 5 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 Giannis Antetokounmpo, Dejounte Murray and other recommended options.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Saturday, March 30

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Giannis Antetokounmpo: Bucks at Hawks

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 64.76 | FanDuel: 62.72
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 63.2% | FanDuel: 46.5%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $11,000 | FanDuel: $12,000

The two-time NBA MVP is in the mix for a third award and each season Giannis Antetokounmpo adds a little something more to his bag of tricks.

This is a crucial game tonight for both teams and Milwaukee is currently installed as 4.0 point road favorites, even without point guard extraordinaire, Damian Lillard.

This season in 1,702 minutes with Lillard on the court, Antetokounmpo is averaging 1.65 fantasy points per minute. That actually decreases to 1.59 in 691 minutes when Lillard is on the sidelines. This is a short-slate, so of course “raw” points are key and Antetokounmpo has a 15 median fantasy point projection ahead of the next best option.

Khris Middleton continues to be a crucial cog on both offense and defense, while seeing increased minutes as he ramps up for the playoffs. The oft-injured forward is amazing from an efficiency standpoint, with 1.25 fantasy points per minute without Lillard on the court as he assumes more of the scoring load and has a 34.4% assist rate.

Patrick Beverley should be the direct beneficiary for minutes and he will likely be in the starting lineup, making him an excellent value option on DraftKings ($3,600) and FanDuel ($4,100). He is dealing with a sprained right wrist, but is trending towards being available. If he is out, then Malik Beasley and probably AJ Green would have to step up as secondary facilitators, with Giannis and Middleton touching the ball on most possessions.

This is a good matchup for Bobby Portis, who has three games of 40-plus fantasy points in his last seven, but two outings below 14, including Thursday against New Orleans when he accumulated five fouls. Brook Lopez has topped 30 fantasy points only once (42.7) in his last 15 games, so it is hard to give him much of an endorsement, even on FanDuel.

The Bucks have dropped their last two games, three of the last five and six of the last 11. That is troublesome as they are battling Cleveland and New York, with the latter two squads within a pair of games for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Dejounte Murray: Hawks vs. Bucks

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 49.49 | FanDuel: 47.19
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 37.7% | FanDuel: 32.5%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9,700 | FanDuel: $10,300

In the 17 games without Trae Young, former University of Washington stalwart Dejounte Murray has definitely answered the bell, averaging 37.4 minutes and 22.0 field goal attempts with a 46.3% conversion rate, including a 37.9% success rate on 9.5 3-point attempts per game.

This has culminated in 26.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 9.0 assists, with 2.5 combined blocks and steals. He has 10 games of 50-plus fantasy points, including each of his last five appearances.

Despite improving on defense when Glenn Rivers took over as the head coach of Milwaukee, the Bucks have slipped back down to a 117.0 defensive efficiency rating over their last 10 games, which is in the bottom-third of the league. Atlanta is without Onyeka Okongwu, though Jalen Johnson (ankle) could return after missing the last five games. If he does, he moves into tournament consideration and starts to crowd things for Bogdan Bogdanovic, De’Andre Hunter, Vit Krejci and Garrison Mathews. This quintet would still be in play, but the latter two would take the biggest hit to their minutes and opportunities.

Clint Capela is one of several decent center options, with Bruno Fernando falling out of favor with his increasing salary.

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NBA DFS Picks: Key Games

Orlando Magic vs. Memphis Grizzlies

This is a back-to-back for the Magic, who lost last night in Orlando to the Los Angeles Clippers 100-97, squandering a late fourth quarter lead. That is now three losses in a row, but while this is their third game in four days, the team should easily dispatch Memphis as the Grizzlies are 13.5 point underdogs.

Orlando may give rest to Gary Harris, Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz as this oft-injured group will be needed for the playoffs. Depending on which player is out, there could be some ancillary value from players like Moritz Wagner, Cole Anthony and Joe Ingles. It would not be a shock if Wendell Carter Jr. was also a “surprise” late-scratch, which could help Goga Bitadze enter the fray. Otherwise the usual suspects such as Paolo Banchero (38 minutes last night), Franz Wagner (36) and Jalen Suggs (33) are the way to go.

Memphis has not played since Wednesday, so it will be interesting to see who is available. Brandon Clarke returned to action for the first time since tearing his left Achilles tendon on March 3rd last year. He played 21 minutes in four stretches, basically in the middle of each quarter. Something in the 22-to-24 minute range seems appropriate tonight, making him one of the best value plays on the main DFS sites. It would be a surprise to see him exceed 28 minutes at any point in the rest of the season and far from shocking for him to be shut down after a few more games to preserve his health for next season.

Jordan Goodwin is in the G-League, so the hope is that Scotty Pippen Jr. starts and gets 30-plus minutes. Desmond Bane (back) is out, while Santi Aldama (illness) and John Konchar (heel) are doubtful. Plus Vince Williams Jr. and Marcus Smart keep seeing their respective return dates pushed, so they are unlikely to suit up the rest of the season.

Jaren Jackson Jr., Gregory “GG” Jackson, Luke Kennard and Jake LaRavia should all be viable candidates for tournaments. Trey Jemison is a potential wild card, but if he starts, he is a worthy center-only option.

Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Paolo Banchero is a viable DFS option, but his heavy minutes in recent days and the chance for some potential for in-game rest in this matchup have the under on his 7.5 rebounds prop as a good target.

Currently this wager is available at -101 on Caesars, which is a great value when comparing it to the -120 on FanDuel and ESPNBet

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.

Per the true odds of -116 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a strong 5.0% positive expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.

NBA Bet Pro currently has Banchero projected for 34.2 minutes and 7.60 rebounds. This projection is just above tonight’s targeted threshold but still does not account for variable outcomes. The 53% win rate gives us a good indication that, on a long time horizon, this is exactly the type of wager we are looking for.

Over his last dozen games, Banchero is averaging 35.1 minutes and 6.4 rebounds. Seven of his 12 (58%) games have ended with him corralling less than eight caroms.

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Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Check out the Stokastic NBA Live Before Lock Show starting at 4:00 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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