NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Paul George + James Harden (May 1)

Wednesday brings a two-game featured slate with a 7:30 p.m. ET lock time 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 Paul George, James Harden and Al Horford, along with a variety of secondary players as premium targets.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Wednesday, May 1

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Paul George: Clippers vs. Mavericks

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 43.69 | FanDuel: 42.98
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 55.1% | FanDuel: 61.5%
DFS Salary
DraftKings $8,100 | FanDuel: $8,600

Kawhi Leonard (knee) has been ruled out for tonight, which clears a path for both Paul George and James Harden to carry the load. This series is knotted at 2-2, with Dallas being favored by a bucket in Los Angeles.

Each team has won and lost games on the other’s court, and this should be a terrific matchup to watch play out.

George and Harden each scored 33 points on Sunday, escaping Dallas with a 116-111 victory. The Clippers have actually lost both games where Leonard played, so in an ironic twist, his absence may not have as large an impact as expected. Luka Doncic was clearly laboring in the last game, so the three days off will be crucial. He played 45 minutes and still had a 29-point triple-double, but it was painful watching him play. Kyrie Irving scored 40 points as he was 14 of 25 (56.0%) from the field, converting half of his 12 3-pointers and all six free-throw attempts.

Moving on to the secondary players, P.J. Washington and Derrick Jones Jr. stand out for the Mavericks. They have the edge of being starters, and it is clear that this duo also has the best chance at 40 and 30 minutes, respectively. Daniel Gafford, Dereck Lively II and Maximilian Kleber are sharing the center minutes, with Kleber also getting a little run as Washington’s backup. Any one of this tertiary trio could pop off for 20 fantasy points, but they could also slide back with single-digit performances as well.

Leonard will likely be replaced in the starting lineup by Amir Coffey, though he is a low-usage player and not much of a fantasy producer. Terance Mann, Norman Powell and Russell Westbrook will be the main options to fill the void, and each is worthy of tournament consideration.

Ivica Zubac is a wild card, while Mason Plumlee is an afterthought. The latter is going to play 10 to 12 minutes, and there is always the chance that Zubac gets into foul trouble, so Plumlee does have longshot appeal and is actually viable for the DraftKings single-game format.

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Al Horford: Celtics vs. Heat

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 27.61 | FanDuel: 27.45
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 53.1% | FanDuel: 49.3%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $5,500 | FanDuel: $5,900

Al Horford will be wildly popular tonight, as Kristaps Porzingis is expected to miss about a week with a sore calf. Sam Hauser should also get a slight uptick in minutes, and, of course, he has a path to success via mop-up duty.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. is out with a hip injury, joining Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier on the sidelines. This has Miami as 14.0-point road dogs in what should be the final game of the series.

Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Caleb Martin will have to do the heavy lifting, and each should see around 40 minutes if the game is even remotely competitive. Nikola Jovic played just 16 minutes as he was not dialed in from downtown, and Delon Wright and Patty Mills got the call. This duo played every minute of the fourth quarter and should see ample run tonight as the better defender and scorer when compared to Haywood Highsmith and Duncan Robinson.

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and Jrue Holiday will likely get 33 to 35 minutes and could again push 40, depending on how competitive the injury-riddle Miami squad can be.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Dereck Lively II is someone to consider in the sports wagering market for the under on his 13.5 points + rebound + assists prop. This is currently available on both Hard Rock and DraftKings at -120.

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 -144 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), there is an elite 8.1% expected ROI with the current line. In turn, the -159 on Pinnacle is dreadful by comparison. Be a savvy shopper.

NBA Bet Pro has Lively projected for 17.9 minutes, 5.35 points, 4.79 rebounds and 0.75 assists for 10.89 PRA. That is below the threshold; however, it does not account for variable outcomes, which can be semi-quantified by the 50% win rate for the under.

In his four postseason games, Lively has played 19.1, 20.7, 15.5 and 17.9 minutes and had corresponding PRAs of 7, 17, 15 and 15. If the rookie can get a few lucky putbacks or fill the lane on the break, he could crush the over. If not, this is a wager that will likely go down to the wire.

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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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