NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: The Wait is Over! (June 6)

Tonight is Game 1 of the NBA Finals with a first-time matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks. The fun is underway 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 Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum and Kyrie Irving.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Thursday, June 6

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Jayson Tatum: Celtics vs. Mavericks

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 52.94 | FanDuel: 50.93
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 53.6% | FanDuel: 53.7%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $11,800 | FanDuel: $15,500

Jayson Tatum has been itching to get back in the NBA Finals since the Celtics lost in six games to the Golden State Warriors two years ago.

Tatum’s game has continued to evolve and mature over the last two seasons, and he has been recognized as a First Team All-NBA forward each of these three seasons. Of course, he wants the ultimate prize, so this should be a spicy series.

Boston is favored by 6.5 points tonight, but this is not going to be a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination. While the Celtics have been off for 10 days, the Mavericks have had nearly a week of rest themselves to get squared away. New matchups mean new strategies and countermoves, making tonight must-see TV!

Kristaps Porzingis will be returning to action, having last laced up his shoe for competitive action back on April 29. That is quite the layoff, so it will be interesting to see how effective The Unicorn is against one of his former teams. Of course, it is always fun playing up that narrative, and we have action on that front going in both directions between these franchises. Stokastic has projected Porzingis for 27.2 minutes, which feels appropriate. It would be a surprise to see Porzingis get much higher, with this being Game 1 and the Celtics now at full health.

The return of Porzingis will mean fewer minutes for Al Horford and Sam Hauser, while Zavier Tillman and Oshae Brissett will likely remain rooted to the bench outside of garbage time. For tonight, Stokastic has Horford projected for two fewer minutes than Porzingis, but that could easily flip and, of course, they are likely to see action together on the court as well.

Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Derrick White will likely cede a few field goal attempts to Porzingis, plus the return of the big man brings another strong competitor for rebounds. This trio remains in play, and while their baseline projections may take a slight hit, each still has a strong ceiling in this matchup.

Jrue Holiday and Payton Pritchard are the least impacted by Porzingis, so there is not much of an expected change for their roles. Holiday, of course, is going to be one of the primary defenders of the Dallas backcourt, so that focus will have more of an effect on his DFS production than losing opportunities to Porzingis. Pritchard is a fine salary saver, though he is not quite a discount dandy. He will see around 16 to 17 minutes, with access to a little upside if White or Holiday get in foul trouble or if there is mop-up duty. While Pritchard is the weakest link on defense, the surrounding cast should easily be able to cover for him.

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Kyrie Irving: Mavericks at Celtics

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 41.62 | FanDuel: 41.08
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 53.4% | FanDuel: 42.3%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9,200 | FanDuel: $13,500

Credit to Kyrie Irving for showing some maturity in his age-32 season. Though he did miss 24 games, two were at the end of the season, while most of the remainder were the result of two injury stints. There were no vacations, mental sojourns or suspensions. This is his first NBA Finals appearance since he and LeBron James were felled by Golden State in five games in June 2017.

Irving has done everything asked of him this postseason, being employed as facilitator, defender and scorer, based on the matchup and what head coach Jason Kidd had in mind. Currently Irving is the second-most popular Captain on DraftKings, trailing Luka Doncic 20.7% to 15.2%. On FanDuel, where there is no salary tax for the multiplier slots, Irvin is the fourth-most popular MVP (8.2%), top Star (20.4%) option and fourth in the Pro slot (3.1%).

Doncic, of course, is the most popular player on across the DFS sites, projecting to be on around two-thirds of all rosters in some form or fashion. That makes sense as the 25-year-old superstar has been stupendous throughout the postseason. He leads the playoffs with 33.9 points per game while contributing 9.2 rebounds, 9.8 assists, and 1.9 combined blocks and steals, finding success at a 48.7% clip from the field and 38.2% from 3-point range. He also has six triple-doubles, with five coming in the last eight games.

It will be interesting to see how Boston defends Doncic, with the best guess being a combination of Holiday, Brown and various rotational help on switches. Of course, Doncic is one of the best passers in the league and his fall-away long-range shots are all but unguardable. Forcing him into long 2-point attempts or one-legged mid-range jumpers and floaters off aborted drives will be the goal, but with his uncanny ability to find the open teammate, that may not work consistently.

The Boston frontcourt also presents a challenge for Dereck Lively II and Daniel Gafford, as Porzingis and Horford are legitimate long-range threats, which is likely to pull them away from the basket more often than what we saw against Rudy Gobert in the last series. That means this duo will be further away from rebound opportunities and weak-side blocks, which could curb their fantasy potential and also create more fouling opportunities. Plus, when Dallas is on offense, if they are not able to space the floor, then lobs to Lively and Gafford will be tough to come by, with two or more of Porzingis, Horford, Tatum and Brown lurking near the paint.

So who is going to provide that spacing for Dallas? Well, that is the question, that the entire Finals likely hinges on P.J. Washington being able to convert on long-range field goal attempts. In the Oklahoma City series, he averaged 3.8 on 8.2 (46.9%) from downtown. Against Minnesota, that fell to 1.6-for-6.4 (25.0%). Derrick Jones Jr. averaged 1.5 on 3.6 (40.0%) between the two series, but that is not the difference-making volume needed to space the floor.

Maximilian Kleber missed the second round, but he did make it back to participate in the final two games of the Western Conference Finals. He was 1 of 4 (25.0%) from 3-point range, playing 13.5 and 9.3 minutes. The additional time for treatment and regaining his stamina should push him closer to 20 minutes, particularly with him being a better option to chase Horford and Porzingis out on the perimeter. Keep in mind, though, his time on the court likely would cut into Gafford and Lively.

Josh Green and Jalen Hardy are wild cards, with Green likely in the mix for around 15 minutes or so, though he is not the 3-point savior, typically only taking one or two per game. Hardy is mainly the Doncic/Irving backup, so more than 8 to 10 minutes would likely be the result of a disastrous outcome.

Someone is going to need to step up to help Doncic and Irving, but who, when and how are the mysteries.

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

Kristaps Porzingis can be rostered in the DFS world, but we can also take advantage of some of his productivity uncertainty with the under on his 16.5 points prop. This wager is currently available at -124 on Unibet, SugarHouse and BetRivers. Looking at the -136 “true odds” (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), we can see there is a solid 4.1% 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.

We can see that the current line on the from these operators stands out when sharp book Pinnacle is dropping the threshold down to 15.5 but still at -125. Be a savvy shopper!

NBA Bet Pro has Porzingis projected for 27.2 minutes, 1.75 made 3-pointers and 15.5 points, which is just below the 16.5 milestone, though it does not account for a variable range of outcomes. That can be measured by the 58% probability for the under on this wager.

We have not seen Porzingis in postseason action with Boston, which is a loaded team that can allow him to reacclimate slowly. Yes, he could easily drop in a couple triples and a handful of other shots, sinking this under — but those are the chances we take in postseason NBA sports wagering.

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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, Anthony Edwards and Kyrie Irving. 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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