NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: It’s Jaylen Brown’s World! (May 25)

Saturday brings Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals and a venue change to Indiana. Will Boston make it three straight? Tonight’s DFS contests lock at 8:30 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 Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Pascal Siakam.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Saturday, May 25

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Jaylen Brown: Celtics at Pacers

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 43.53 | FanDuel: 42.48
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 64.5% | FanDuel: 47.9%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9,400 | FanDuel: $14,500

Game 1 saw Jaylen Brown with a late 3-pointer to push the Celtics to victory in overtime. The 27-year-old then racked up 40 points in Game 2, leading Boston to a convincing 126-110 win.

Kristaps Porzingis remains out, so Brown and Jayson Tatum should once again each see 20-plus field goal attempts. Boston is currently a 7.5-point road favorite, so this series could be all but over tonight with another victory from the C’s.

The Pacers have played tough after a draining second-round series, but they are facing an 0-2 deficit. Things were close through the first quarter as Indiana had a slight lead and the Celtics were only up by half a dozen points at halftime. Even with the convincing win, the average lead for the game was still just 7.6 points, which led to Tatum (42.3) and Brown (36.7) getting heavy minutes. We know they are the dynamic duo, but with his slight salary discount, Brown is the better fantasy-point-per-dollar option.

Jrue Holiday recorded a 15-10 double-double after dropping in 28 points in the opener, with seven rebounds and eight assists. He continues to surprise from a DFS lens after disappointing fantasy gamers for the first two series. Holiday is far more valuable to the Celtics than he is in the DFS world, but it is time to recalibrate expectations. The soon-to-be 34-year-old has not seen much of a salary increase even after two of his most productive postseason games, so perhaps naysayers like myself need to get with the program. Of course, as soon as I finished writing this section, Holiday popped up on the injury report as questionable with an illness.

Al Horford played just 25 minutes, losing time to Oshae Brissett in the third quarter and Sam Hauser in the fourth. Luke Kornet (wrist) is doubtful, so it looks like this trio will be manning the center position with some minutes at power forward. Brissett attempted only one shot in his 12 minutes, but he did have three rebounds and a trio of steals. He has appeared in only six games this postseason, but it looks like the former Pacer will be in the mix tonight.

Hauser typically takes a back seat in his limited minutes, but he did attempt five field goals, making only one and missing all four from long-range. He should see around a dozen minutes and of course has the potential for mop-up duty, along with Brissett if this is a lopsided game.

Payton Pritchard keeps chugging along, and he holds standalone value while also having a chance for additional run in mop-up duty — or if Derrick White ever cools off on offense.

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Tyrese Haliburton: Pacers vs. Celtics

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 38.14 | FanDuel: 37.13
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 35.5% | FanDuel: 38.4%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9,600 | FanDuel: $14,000

Tyrese Haliburton is questionable after tweaking his left hamstring, which has plagued him all season. He went to the bench in the third quarter of Game 2 with 3:43 remaining and didn’t return. Though he is likely to “give it a go” tonight, just how effective he will be is the burning question.

Tune in to the Stokastic NBA Live Before Lock Show at 8 p.m. ET on YouTube for updated analysis as more news will be available closer to tipoff.

T.J. McConnell continues to get by on efficiency, but he should get extra opportunities tonight if Haliburton is indeed ailing. Of course, if Haliburton is out, then McConnell will be the most popular player on the slate. Remember that when Haliburton was hurt during the regular season, McConnell often remained in his reserve role, but played most of the crucial minutes. So if the cards fall where Haliburton is out and McConnell is not inserted with the first five, there is no need to panic.

Pascal Siakam remains the primary offensive option, though his peripherals were lacking in Game 2. Chalk that up to the Celtics being tough on the boards and continue to keep the Cameroonian as part of your DFS plans tonight. Myles Turner played a scant 24 minutes, but he too should get a mulligan since the game was out of hand when he stepped off the court for the final time at the end of the third quarter.

Ben Sheppard played 23.3 minutes, but 8:45 was in the fourth quarter when the game was out of hand. If Haliburton is out or suffers another in-game mishap, Sheppard would have a path to replicating this playing time. Isaiah Jackson had three short shifts in the first half, but do not expect him to see another 10 fourth-quarter minutes, unless there is a lopsided game.

Aaron Nesmith and Andrew Nembhard would get a boost if Haliburton is out and they do have the potential for increased usage if he is limited. Head coach Rick Carlisle pulled his key players early, hoping to marshal them for a better game at home. If things go poorly again tonight, there is a chance that will happen again, too — Indiana may plan to go for one desperate hurrah in Game 4 to avoid a sweep.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

T.J. McConnell is a decent value play in the in the DFS world. There is also value with his over 5.5 assists prop. This wager is currently available at +100 on Hard Rock and BetMGM. Looking at the -116 “true odds” (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), we can see there is a stupendous 7.2% expected ROI with the current line.

New players on BetMGM can get up To $1,500 in Bonus Bets Paid Back if their First Bet Does Not Win. See details here.

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 trio of operators stands out dramatically when compared to the -195 offered by Bet Rivers. Be a savvy shopper!

NBA Bet Pro has McConnell projected for 23.7 minutes and 5.14 assists, which is just below the 5.5 milestone, though it does not account for a variable range of outcomes. That can be measured by the 54% probability for the over on this wager.

Sadly Haliburton was ruled out this afternoon, hopefully you got this wager in early as it is now o8.5 at -105 on most books. Even if Haliburton plays, we saw McConnell get 12, 10 and seven assists against New York in 22.8, 20.7 and 23.5 minutes. The point is that he can go over this number, even in his standard minutes range and there are many paths that see him getting to more minutes tonight, which make the over 5.5 a smart play.

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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 8 p.m. ET on YouTube, breaking down all of the key elements for today’s slate, including even more on Kyrie Irving, Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels. 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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