NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Joel Embiid and Jalen Brunson (April 30)

Tuesday brings what is likely the last three-game slate of the postseason, with the action getting underway at 7:00 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 Joel Embiid, Jalen Brunson and Khris Middleton, along with a variety of secondary players as premium targets.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Tuesday, April 30

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Joel Embiid: 76ers at Knicks

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 59.81 | FanDuel: 59.02
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 28.2% | FanDuel: 30.6%
DFS Salary
DraftKings $10,900 | FanDuel: $11,800

Joel Embiid and the 76ers are at risk of being eliminated tonight in Madison Square Garden. Philadelphia is staring down a 1-3 deficit, with the lone victory coming in a game where the Cameroonian dropped 50 points.

Jalen Brunson answered on Sunday, with a franchise playoff record 47 points, leading the Knicks to the cusp of the second-round in a 97-92 thriller.

it is hard to say anything bad about this duo as they are getting so much usage, opportunities and minutes. Embiid is not at full-health as he continues to manage his balky left knee, but there are no excuses at this juncture of the series. The Cameroonian has 50-plus fantasy points in each of the four games, with three at 58 or better. Brunson has a similar average for the four games, with nearly 60 and 70 fantasy points in the last two.

Branching out from this dynamic duo leads us to Tyrese Maxey and Josh Hart as the next best DFS options for their respective squads. Maxey gets his production from behind the arc and via assists, while being the secondary scorer after Embiid. Hart plays massive minutes, while doing a little bit of everything, giving him a safe floor of around 40 fantasy points, but he does not have direct access to major upside, since he is a tertiary scorer.

Bojan Bogdanovic is out with an ankle injury and Mitchell Robinson is questionable after missing the last game with his own ankle issue. Bogdanovic played just one minute on Sunday and the team turned to Miles McBride as the bench scorer. He saw 27 minutes, while starter Donte DiVincenzo had just 28 as he was not able to create much offense. Precious Achiuwa played 20 minutes as the only other reserve to see action, missing all five of his field goal attempts, but getting four blocks, seven rebounds and a pair of assists.

Expect a seven-man rotation again with coach Tom Thibodeau counting on Brunson, Hart and O.G. Anunoby to rarely leave the court. DiVincenzo should be more comfortable back at home, but if his shot is not falling, he will be replaced by McBride. If Robinson is available, he will impact Achiuwa, but starting center Isaiah Hartenstein should be secure with 28-to-30 minutes, pending foul trouble.

De”Anthony Melton returned o play seven minutes, having missed the preceding two weeks. He will probably see 10-to-12 minutes tonight, which will be at the expense of fellow journeyman Cameron Payne who is likely to be in the same range. Nic Batum projects as the only reserve to see more than 20 minutes, though he has another 6-to-10 available with his ability to cover three positions on offense and defense.

Of the remaining starters, Kyle Lowry is semi-intriguing as he can help Maxey play off the ball more, but the 38-year-old is more of a discount dandy than an actual DFS producer. Kelly Oubre Jr. and Tobias Harris could each pop off for 40 fantasy points in any game, but they are well behind the two-man show of Embiid and Maxey.

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Khris Middleton: Bucks vs. Pacers

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 49.53 | FanDuel: 47.57
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 44.2% | FanDuel: 40.9%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $8,500 | FanDuel: $8,900

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard are unlikely to play tonight, so it will once again be up to Khris Middleton to carry the load. Bobby Portis was ejected after just seven minutes on Sunday, but he is once again going to be a crucial decision point in the DFS world.

Even though the Bucks are 4.5 point underdogs, they will have a raucous crowd behind them and doing everything they can to avoid elimination tonight.

It is hard to be excited by Brook Lopez, with Embiid, Myles Turner and several multi-position eligible big men having better fantasy point per dollar ratios. Veteran Patrick Beverley is dealing with a sore oblique and he was on the court for only 20.6 minutes, which was less than half of what he saw in Game 3 as the Lillard fill-in. He is listed as probable and should be in the starting lineup, but there is clearly elevated injury risk.

Danilo Gallinari was dusted off for the first time in over two weeks, logging 13 minutes as coach Glenn Rivers was searching for any frontcourt help off the bench. Pat Connaughton had 22 minutes of run, but he was just two of six from the field, missing both 3-point attempts. He is a better defender than Gallinari, but not by much. It seems that Jae Crowder is capped at around a dozen minutes and that was even with Portis ejected.

A.J. Green played 21 minutes, but he is likely to slide back to only a rotation or two if Beverley is able to gut it out. Andre Jackson Jr. is the reserve most likely to get minutes and if Malik Beasley is not putting the biscuit in the basket or Beverley is ineffective, the rookie does have a path to another 25 minutes of action.

Tyrese Haliburton (5 of 12) and Myles Turner (7 of 9) were raining down threes as the Pacers were 22 of 43 combined on Sunday. That set a franchise record and was the main reason Indiana was able to maintain a double-digit cushion in the second half, with most of the edge opened up during a 31-21 third quarter. Even with everything going perfectly and three of the best five players on Milwaukee not available, the Pacers still only won the game by 13 points.

Pascal Siakam joins Haliburton and Turner as the trio to target, with Aaron Nesmith, Andrew Nembhard, Obi Toppin and T.J. McConnell in play as “last man in” options, depending on positional need and salary cap availability.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Donovan Mitchell is not someone to pick on very often, though there is value for his under 24.5 points prop. This is currently available on Unibet at +105 and is likely to disappear quickly as bettors figure out that the line is about 10% more favorable than the rest of the market.

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 -108 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), there is a steady 5.5% expected ROI with the current line.

NBA Bet Pro has Mitchell projected for 37.3 minutes and 24.03 points. That is below the threshold; however, it does not account for variable outcomes, which can be semi-quantified by the 51% win rate for the under. This is further confirmation that this wager needs to be snagged at even or plus money.

In his two home games, Mitchell played right around 36 minutes, with 30 and 23 points. The Magic changed things up in Orlando the last two games moving Wendell Carter Jr. into the starting lineup, with lock-down defender Jonathan Isaac coming off the bench. Along with a few other tweaks, this resulted in Mitchell scoring 13 and 18 points, on 11 of 30 (36.7%) shooting from the field, making only two of 10 (20%) attempts from beyond the arc.

The series is returning to Cleveland, which of course is a bonus for the Cavaliers and Mitchell, being back in a familiar environment. This game has a 202.5 projected total, which is low. The Cavs scored 97 and 96 points in the first two games, with 83 and 89 in the last two. This is going to be a rock fight, but as we have seen in the New York and Philadelphia series, there can still be dramatic individual performances.

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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 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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