NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Paolo Banchero is the Last Man Standing! (January 7)

Sunday gets the featured slate underway at an earlier than usual time of 6 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, including some intriguing playing time situations that provide steady value options. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays, including Paolo Banchero and Domantas Sabonis.

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Sunday, January 7

Paolo Banchero: Orlando Magic vs. Atlanta Hawks

Just when we thought Week 18 of the NFL regular season would own Sunday for the most chaos, the NBA chuckled and said “Here, hold my beer.”

Starting with what we know, Franz Wagner (ankle) is going to miss this week, and he joins Joe Ingles and Jonathan Isaac on the injured list. Next we have both Goga Bitadze and Anthony Black questionable with illness, with the former already having missed Friday’s game. Wendell Carter Jr. is dealing with knee soreness that had him shelved on Friday and questionable for tonight. Finally, Markelle Fultz (knee) is questionable and theoretically could be returning soon, but we last saw him in early November, so we should not hold our breath.

This all makes Paolo Banchero a tremendous option as one of the few healthy Orlando players. Over the last 10 games, Atlanta allowed 124.9 points per 100 possessions for the second-worst defensive efficiency in the league while also logging 102.0 possessions per 48 minutes for the fourth-fastest pace in this timeframe.

Depending on who else is out, Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony and Moritz Wagner are standing by as players who could see a nice uptick in their fantasy-point-per-dollar ratios on FanDuel and DraftKings. Suggs is already a borderline core play on the blue site.

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Domantas Sabonis: Sacramento Kings vs. New Orleans Pelicans

Shout out to FanDuel for allowing Domantas Sabonis to have power forward eligibility, allowing gamers more roster flexibility with the frontcourt slots. He has 50-plus fantasy points in six of his last 10 games while also hitting 62.6 and 70.6 on the blue site. The DraftKings results have been even better due to the double-double bonus points. Sabonis is the reigning rebound king, and he is defending his title with a career-best 12.9 per game. This is his fifth consecutive season of 12-plus boards per game.

Zion Williamson (right leg) is questionable, and if he is out, that would mean a weaker rebounder would be entering the lineup as his replacement. This should be a fun game with C.J. McCollum and De’Aaron Fox battling back and forth for buckets and keeping their respective offenses humming. Williamson’s absence would also grant additional opportunities to Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas.

Looking for more NBA DFS picks and advice? You’ve come to the right place. Sign up for our NBA DFS Premium Package for access to our player projections, ownership projections and our state-of-the-art NBA DFS simulation tools.

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Additional NBA Building Blocks Pick — Sports Betting Opportunities

Devin Booker is an interesting option in the sports wagering market with the under on his 39.5 points, rebounds and assists (PRA) prop, which is currently available at odds of +110. Per the true odds of -103 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a solid 7% expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.

It is crucial to take advantage of OddsShopper to look at all the available lines since that can easily be worth another 2% to 3% for your ROI, even on perfectly neutral bets, based on how the different books value things. To demonstrate this very concept, look below — you can see that several books are offering this bet at -115 and -120 for the same under 39.5 PRA.

NBA Bet Pro has Booker projected for 36.2 minutes, 24.82 points, 5.55 rebounds and 7.56 assists for 37.93 PRA. That median outcome is nearly two PRA lower than the threshold we need to stay under.

Memphis has an average defense, and the Grizzlies have been playing at a league average pace over the last 10 games. Nassir Little and Bol Bol are out, though Kevin Durant (hamstring) could return after missing the last three games, which would mean another alpha scorer competing with Booker. This would help Booker’s assists, but trading an assist over a 2-point bucket is exactly what we would like to do when targeting this under. Eric Gordon (knee) missed the last game, but he is questionable as well and his return could help lower Booker’s playing time by a minute or two. Bet Pro and the sportsbooks are currently proceeding as if Durant will play, so that is already baked into all the numbers listed above.

Booker has topped 40 PRA just twice in his last 11 games, but he has landed on 39 twice as well. Grab the rare positive +110 line identified by OddsShopper and get yourself a fun rooting interest for tonight’s game.

Rooting for unders may not be as fun as rooting for overs, but that is where the line value is more often than not when it comes to player props, as the sportsbooks look to use psychology against casual bettors.

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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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