NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Maverick Mania! (June 12)

Tonight is Game 3 of the NBA Finals, with the series resuming play in Dallas after nearly a 72-hour respite. The action tips off 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 Luka Doncic.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Wednesday, June 12

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Luka Doncic: Mavericks vs. Celtics

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 61.82 | FanDuel: 58.39
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 69.1% | FanDuel: 67.0%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $13,800 | FanDuel: $17,000

The series is in Dallas for the first time, with the Mavericks looking at a 0-2 deficit, but the Finals are far from over. Somehow, we have injury uncertainty, despite just a two-team player pool. For the Mavericks, Luka Doncic is dealing with ankle and knee issues, and a chest contusion is now in the mix. He received some painkilling treatment prior to Game 2 and is expected to do so again prior to tipoff tonight.

In addition to Doncic clearly not at full health, Kristaps Porzingis has sustained a tear to the tissue holding the tendons to his left ankle. In a full simulation moment, this is a similar injury to what plagued Curt Schilling in the “bloody sock” game. What is unknown is the severity of the injury to Porzingis, if he can cause further damage or if there is even anything that could alleviate/stabilize things enough for him to take the court tonight. That doesn’t even get into his potential effectiveness. Porzingis has said he will do whatever it takes to play, and coach Joe Mazzulla has said it will be up to the medical staff. For those wondering, it was his right calf that sidelined him for the majority of the playoffs.

So why bring up Porzingis in the Dallas section? Well, in his 44 minutes of action, Boston has a +25 point differential, which is also the combined winning margin for the Celtics in the first two games. So by the transitive properties inherent in mathematics, the C’s have a neutral plus/minus when Porzingis is off the court.

Wrapping up with Luka, on DraftKings the 50% salary tax to place him in the multiplier slot is daunting, but it will be less so if Porzingis is out and Luke Kornet resumes his role as the backup pivot for Boston. This also means the best rim protector for the Celtics will be off the court, which should help — though not fully open up — the lob potential for Dereck Lively II and Daniel Gafford. Each will see a 10% to 15% boost over the baseline production assigned to them for Games 1 and 2 if Porzingis is out. This will be in the form of less foul-trouble risk and one fewer elite rebounder to battle in the paint.

Kyrie Irving has not had a lot of luck against Boston since angering the Celtic mystic and “Lucky the Leprechaun” after his moment when he tromped on the Boston logo in a Game 4 win while he was with Brooklyn. The Nets did wrap up that series in the next game, but following that victory, Irving has not seen a win against his former team in his last 12 tries.

Irving and Doncic have each had to deal with a pair of All-NBA Second-Team defenders, plus a tough frontcourt. Irving has been doing everything except putting the biscuit in the basket, though that is a problem in the DFS world. He has missed all 10 of his 3-point attempts (five in each game) while going just 13 of 37 (35.1%) from the field, with 2.5 rebounds, four assists, 14.0 points and one steal per game. He feels like a trap, but, of course, that is what the field thinks as well, making him a differentiation option and a potential slate-breaker if he has a foray to the 40-fantasy point plateau.

In Game 2, P.J. Washington contributed 17 points and seven rebounds, trailing only Doncic (32) in the scoring column. He has splashed only 1 of 8 (12.5%) 3-pointers, so if he can find his range on his home court, there is some readily attainable upside for his fantasy baseline. The minutes continue to be there, and he has been decent on defense and the glass. Washington’s salary held firm on both DraftKings ($6,200) and FanDuel ($10,000), and while he has not cracked the 30-fantasy point threshold in some time, he continues to be close and is one of the steadier Dallas options.

The challenge for the Mavericks is that coach Jason Kidd has not been able to coax anyone else into stepping up this series. That could change a little tonight if Porzingis is indeed out and Lively or Gafford are able to cobble together a few defensive stats with double-digit points and half a dozen rebounds.

Jaden Hardy did not get his expected stint at the end of the first quarter, start of the second, filling in for Doncic and Irving. Instead, it was a shakeup that saw Dante Exum as the first reserve guard off the bench to start the second quarter. Coach Kidd maneuvered things around, with Josh Green joining starter Derrick Jones Jr. as the nominal “off guards,” while Doncic and Irving each took the helm while the other was on the bench. Hardy saw two minutes late in the third quarter spelling Irving, but it was Exum who had 10.5 total minutes for the lead among the backcourt reserves.

The DFS industry is not in agreement with what will transpire tonight, and it could only be Jason Kidd who has a lean on which guard will approach double-digit minutes. There could also be an even split or Tim Hardaway Jr. could work his way into the fray. If this uncertainty remains, it will be an exploitable situation for the savvy gamers, though we will not know who was wrong or right until the final horn sounds.

Jones and Green will get their minutes at the wing, with Maximilian Kleber likely nabbing a mix of power forward and center run. Kleber had 19 minutes in Game 1, making his only shot while also handing out an assist and adding one block. Game 2 saw him play 16 minutes and miss all four field goal attempts but corral a pair of errant caroms. He could see 8 to 10 fantasy points with even a little luck or continue to crush the hopes and dreams of his supporters.

Jones went from 29 to 32 minutes between the first two tilts, and while he did pop off for 11 points, three rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal, that was his high-water mark. Green slid from 20 to 14 minutes, though there is some solace with him getting four field goal attempts in each game. Hardaway went from eight to zero minutes, with Dwight Powell going from five to zero, so the only certainty with the Dallas reserves is exponential volatility.

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Jaylen Brown: Celtics at Mavericks

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 39.59 | FanDuel: 38.79
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 37.3% | FanDuel: 41.3%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9,800 | FanDuel: $14,500

Jayson Tatum has not had the fantasy goodness that his backers have been hoping for, but clearly he is content to have a 2-0 lead in the Finals.

If Porzingis is out, Tatum should get more offensive opportunities. The Celtics are 2.5-point underdogs, so now is the time for a Big Dog moment from Tatum.

Of course, he could still be passing out of double-team situations to open teammates as well if the Mavericks continue their defensive strategy. That is why Jaylen Brown gets the nod with his name in lights for the top of this section. Brown has seen a $500 decrease on FanDuel, though with the way the salary cap works on the blue site, he is still the third wheel behind Tatum and Doncic in the multiplier pecking order. DraftKings bumped his cap hit by $200 for the second consecutive game, but it is doing little to suppress Brown’s popularity. Surprisingly, this has not resulted in Brown being overrepresented in the Captain slot on DraftKings, so that is where the savvy gamer can find differentiation.

We know what should transpire for 38-year-old Al Horford if Porzingis is out or if Porzingis gives it a go. Basically, there are another 10 minutes to push back towards the venerable veteran if Porzingis is out or ineffective. Jrue Holiday and Derrick White are less impacted, though they could see slightly elevated offensive opportunities. It is important to understand that Porzingis was getting his points through tremendous efficiency, sinking 12 of his 20 (60.0%) field goal attempts. So that is not a bountiful bonanza of suddenly available field goal attempts in an already dispersed offense.

Sam Hauser was clearly feeling frisky after converting three of his four attempts in Game 1, but he came up empty in Game 2, missing his five attempts, all of which were long-range efforts. He did knock down both free throws but otherwise was a blank slate in his 10 minutes of run.

Peyton Pritchard was the only other reserve to see action in the close game, coming in on the low side of his standard 12- to 14-minute range. There is still the potential for mop-up duty, or he could play himself into a couple more minutes if he is knocking down his shots, along with White being ineffective.

Kornet was mentioned in the upper section, but just a reminder that he will be the punt du jour if Porzingis is out, with Oshae Brissett or Xavier Tillman extreme long-shots for action outside of blowout run.

If you need some more tips on how to manage your bankroll, Steve Buzzard has a great guide here on the biggest bankroll mistakes DFS players make and how you can avoid them! Check it out HERE.

Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Dereck Lively II could see a little more production if Porzingis is out, or he could have a rookie lapse under the bright lights of the NBA Finals. Tonight the under on his 15.5 points + rebounds + assists (PRA) prop does have some value. This wager is currently available at -112 on DraftKings. Looking at the -133 “true odds” (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), we can see there is a decent 3.7 % expected ROI with the current line.

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 more closely, we can see that every other operator currently has the under on 14.5 PRA at similar or even worse odds than FanDuel does, despite the one PRA cushion. Be a savvy shopper!


NBA Bet Pro has Lively projected for 22.7 minutes, 7.33 points, 6.55 rebounds and 1.23 assists for 15.11 PRA. While this is just below the 15.5 milestone, it does not account for a variable range of outcomes. That can be measured by the 57% probability for the under 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 8:00 p.m. ET on YouTube, breaking down all of the key elements for today’s slate, including even more on Luka Doncic, Jaylen Brown and the availability of Kristaps Porzingis. 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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