NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Jalen Brunson + Anthony Edwards (May 6)

Monday brings a two-game featured slate with a 7:30 p.m. ET lock 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 Jalen Brunson and Anthony Edwards, along with a variety of secondary players as premium targets.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Monday, May 6

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Jalen Brunson: Knicks vs. Pacers

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 56.95 | FanDuel: 54.38
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 68.4% | FanDuel: 62.4%
DFS Salary
DraftKings $9,500 | FanDuel: $10,500

Tonight we get a new series as the New York Knicks host the Indiana Pacers. The Knickerbockers are 5.5-point home favorites, and it will be fun to see Madison Square Garden rocking tonight.

Tyrese Haliburton is again dealing with back spasms, but he is expected to play, and the last time he popped up on the injury report with this malady, he had a phenomenal game.

Jalen Brunson was amazing in the first round, leading the playoffs with 35.5 points per game while also collecting 4.5 rebounds and dishing 9.0 dimes. Each of those was above his season-long marks, though so too were his 43.8 minutes per game. The former Villanova star scored 39, 47, 40 and 41 points in the final four games of the series, with the 47 being a franchise postseason record.

The Pacers had the luxury of going against a depleted Milwaukee squad, so they could be in for a bit of a shock tonight against a much tougher defense and a playoff-hardened offense. Each team last played on Thursday, so they are on equal rest. The time off is key, as Brunson, Josh Hart and O.G. Anunoby are all likely to play at least 40 minutes per game the rest of the postseason. Hart and Anunoby are not much on offense, but they will be on the court for the majority of the game, which gives each ample time to collect stats. Hart projects as the third-most popular player on DraftKings and the fourth highest on FanDuel.

Donte DiVincenzo looked like he was going to be losing time to Miles McBride, until he wasn’t. Typically the trend is our friend, and through the first five games, DiVincenzo played 24, 37, 28, 28 and 26 minutes. McBride countered with 28, 21, 22, 27 and 33 off the bench. Then Game 6 happened, with DiVincenzo never leaving the court and logging 48 minutes, while McBride saw only nine. Expect something closer to what we saw in the first five games, but there is a chance of getting rugged by one or the other for that matter, depending on the whims of coach Tom Thibodeau.

The Knicks also have some variability in the frontcourt, with Mitchell Robinson dealing with a sprained ankle and the subsequent recovery. The time off should have him in his reserve role, picking up whatever minutes for which Isaiah Hartenstein sits, with a chance of working his way into more minutes if Hartenstein has foul issues. It is unlikely that anyone other than Robinson or McBride will get more than handful minutes off the bench, outside of injuries, fouls or a lopsided affair.

Pascal Siakam and Myles Turner were excellent in the first round, with each being key offensive contributors while also holding down the defense. Turner will be significantly more popular than Siakam, though that is entirely a function of their salary disparity. Aaron Nesmith projects to be on half of all FanDuel and DraftKings rosters, making him the discount du jour. Obi Toppin is a wild card and should see minutes against his former team, as head coach Rick Carlisle is not as maniacal about his minutes as his New York counterpart.

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Anthony Edwards: Timberwolves at Nuggets

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 44.95 | FanDuel: 43.78
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 13.3% | FanDuel: 18.6%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9,000 | FanDuel: $10,200

While an upset is always in the cards, Minnesota came away with a convincing Game 1 victory, winning the final five minutes of a closely contested affair.

The Nuggets were not taking them lightly by any stretch, and they have had time to think about what happened on Saturday. It is not easy being the defending champion.

Anthony Edwards did everything on Saturday, from playing lockdown defense to running the offense and also being the leading scorer with 43 points on 17 of 29 (58.6%) from the field. It is going to take a similar performance to take a second consecutive game on the road, but it looks like the budding superstar is up for the task.

There is a chance that Rudy Gobert will be away from the team, which would dramatically change the prospects of the Minnesota frontcourt and the impact on Nikola Jokic since Naz Reid is not the same defender and rebounder as the Stifle Tower. That makes it hard to analyze prior to conformation of the Frenchman’s status, so be sure to check out the Stokastic NBA Live Before Lock Show at 6:30 p.m. ET on YouTube.

Jamal Murray is again on the injury report with a sore calf, though he looked solid on Saturday. Surprisingly Peyton Watson got just six minutes of run, while Justin Holiday saw 16 which was double the industry consensus. Reggie Jackson was in for 14 minutes and he looked good after dealing with an ankle sprain in the first series. Christian Braun saw 19 minutes, which was not overly surprising considering he had key rotations last year as a rookie on the way to the title.

Michael Porter Jr. is a tremendous shooter and fine in all formats, while Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are perfect as the last player or two in a roster. The same can be said for Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kyle Anderson off the Minnesota bench, while Jaden McDaniels should see lofty minutes as a starter, guarding Murray and Porter, though most of his focus will be on that task, which mutes his fantasy consistency.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Nikola Jokic is a core play tonight in the DFS world, but we can also look to exploit the under on his 51.5 points + rebounds + assists prop. This is currently available on DraftKings at +102, though by no means is this a recommendation for the faint of heart.

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 -106 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), there is an acceptable 4.1% expected ROI.

NBA Bet Pro has Jokic projected for 40.5 minutes, 27.22 points, 13.62 rebounds and 9.02 assists for 49.86 PRA. That is under the milestone; however, it does not account for variable outcomes, which can be semi-quantified by the 52% win rate for the under. Getting this wager at good number is paramount to sustained success.

In Game 1, Jokic landed on 49 PRA, which was one half below the milestone for his under. In the six playoff games so far, the two-time NBA MVP is averaging 40.5 minutes, 28.8 points, 14.8 rebounds and 9.7 assists for 53.3 PRA. It is important to remember that the Timberwolves are a far better defense than what the Los Angeles Lakers were able to put forth, and they are a better rebounding team as well. This is going to be a nailbiter of a wager, but if Jokic is getting a few more assists and fewer buckets, that will help the under on tonight’s threshold.

It is important to note that Rudy Gobert is listed as questionable for personal reasons as his significant other is expecting the birth of their first child any day. If he is out, then rebounds will be far easier to come by for Jokic and we need to bail on this wager.

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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 6:30 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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