NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Will the Jalen Brunson Burner Continue?! (May 8)

Wednesday brings a one-game slate, though from Thursday through next Monday, there will be two-game slates. Tonight the action tips off at 8 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 Jalen Brunson and Pascal Siakam, along with a variety of secondary players as premium targets.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Wednesday, May 8

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Jalen Brunson: Knicks vs. Pacers

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 56.57 | FanDuel: 54.09
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 85.9% | FanDuel: 63.1%
DFS Salary
DraftKings $12,000 | FanDuel: $17,500

Jalen Brunson has arrived and then some. In Game 1, Brunson tallied 43 points against the Pacers as Madison Square Garden was rocking and rolling to say the least. That gave him a fourth-consecutive game in rarified air, along with Michael Jordan, Bernard King and Jerry West.

It would not be a surprise to see Brunson on close to 90% of all DraftKings tournament entries, though his salary on FanDuel does seem to be keeping him at a palatable two-thirds representation.

In the final two regular season games against Indiana this year, Brunson piled up 39 and 40 points, playing right around 37 minutes in each game. Josh Hart actually has the second-highest median fantasy point projection on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Hart played all 48 minutes, which isn’t really a surprise considering he had 46, 53 an 46 in the final three tilts of the first round, including one overtime game. To his credit, in the seven postseason games thus far, he has scored 20 or more points four times times. He also has averaged 12.5 rebounds in the playoffs and that level of production is in reach again with Mitchell Robinson (ankle) out tonight.

The absence of Robinson means Isaiah Hartenstein should see upwards of 30 minutes, depending on how his fouls hold out. It also opens up around 15 minutes for Precious Achiuwa, who saw action in only two first round games and then four minutes on Monday. He does have another five minutes of readily attainable upside with his playing time. Achiuwa is just $2,200 on DraftKings, so expect his popularity to surge.

OG Anunoby has averaged nearly 45 minutes per game over the last four and he has been getting up nearly 15 field goal attempts per game. Donte DiVincenzo rounds out the first five, though he does have the risk of losing playing time to Miles McBride if his shot is not falling. That has not been the case in either of the last two games, but it did happen twice during the Philadelphia series.

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Pascal Siakam: Pacers at Knicks

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 36.75 | FanDuel: 36.03
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 27.4% | FanDuel: 37.2%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $10,200 | FanDuel: $14,500

Pascal Siakam is the seventh most popular option on FanDuel, though he slides back to 11th on DraftKings. The blue site of course does offer up a twist of having three different multiplier slots, while the DraftKings twist is one multiplier slot, but it carries a 50% “tax” on whichever player receives that designation.

Additionally helping Siakam on FanDuel is the three fantasy points awarded for blocks and steals, which plays into his favor over the double-double bonus on DraftKings.

T.J. McConnell was an efficient 9-of-16 (56.3%) from the field, though that is about as good as it will get since he rarely attempts 3-pointers and replicating three steals will be tough as well. The one nice thing is that around 10 of his 22 minutes came alongside Tyrese Haliburton as it is easier to hide both on defense against the Knicks.

Haliburton dealt with hamstring issues for a large portion of the regular season, which may be the hidden cause of his recent back-spasms. His performances have been inconsistent to say the least. In Game 1, he attempted just six shots after averaging 17 per game in the last four of the ‘Sixers series. On the flipside, he collected four steals, while having only two in the entire first round. Caveat Emptor.

Myles Turner was outstanding with 23 points on 8-of-16 (50%) shooting, but he posted a paltry pair of rebounds. Obi Toppin is a fine salary saver against his former team and there was an Isaiah Jackson sighting as the forward had 13 minutes in Game 1, after getting more than two minutes only twice in the opening round. Siakam and Turner are great, but even they can get chewed up by the brute force of the Knicks frontcourt and need help.

Ben Sheppard saw 18 minutes, backing up Aaron Nesmith and Andrew Nembhard, which does bode well for four Pacers to see action off the bench tonight, where we may see just two Knicks, unless there is a surprise appearance from Jericho Sims or Alec Burks.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Josh Hart is likely to play every minute of the game tonight, but we can still consider the under on his 35.5 points + rebounds +assists (PRA) prop. This is currently available on Caesar’s Sportsbook at -103, though by no means is this a recommendation for the faint of heart.

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 -115 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), there is a scintillating 5.3% expected ROI.

NBA Bet Pro has Hart projected for 45.1 minutes, 16.84 points, 12.88 rebounds and 5.98 assists for a 35.70 PRA.

While that is under the milestone, it does not account for variable outcomes, which can be semi-quantified by the 52% win rate for the under. Getting this wager at good number is paramount to sustained success.

In the seven postseason games so far, Hart is averaging 46.6 minutes, 17.9 points, 12.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists for 35.3 PRA. If hart is efficient at all tonight, the backers of the under are in trouble. However, that has not happened yet and with the heavy minutes, focus on defense and rebounding, well Hart may not have the legs enough to regain his 50% field goal efficiency that he had in the three seasons preceding this one. New York needs him to do everything, with scoring being the last on that list with Brunson, DiVincenzo and Hartenstein able to carry the load there.

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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 7:30 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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