NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Will There Be Double Elimination? (May 3)

Friday brings a two-game featured slate with double-elimination in play. The fun gets underway at 7:00 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 Luka Doncic, Paul George, James Harden and Wendell Carter Jr, along with a variety of secondary players as premium targets.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Friday, May 3

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Luka Doncic: Mavericks vs. Clippers

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings:65.05 | FanDuel: 61.12
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 51.8% | FanDuel: 58.9%
DFS Salary
DraftKings $11,900 | FanDuel: $12,000

Luka Doncic is at an apex salary, though he more than paid off his supporters on Wednesday with 35 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists and a steal. Though he was dealing with an illness that has been lingering for a few days and, of course, a balky right knee, he did play 39 minutes — sitting the final 5:39 after the Clippers emptied their bench.

We can see that Doncic is projecting to be on just over half of all tournament lineups, mostly because his median fantasy point projection is 20 higher than anyone on DraftKings and 18 more than Donovan Mitchell on FanDuel. Kyrie Irving was back to sidekick status, but it was worth it, as he was +35 for the game, causing havoc with a pair of steals and harassing Los Angeles in a variety of ways. We know a ceiling game is always lurking, but there are so many players with similar salaries and slightly better fantasy point ratios.

P.J. Washington had a dud of a game of 2 points, missing both free throws and making one of seven field goal attempts. He should bounce back tonight and is arguably the third option on offense most of the time. Maximilian Kleber was 5 of 7 from behind the arc, giving him 15 points and a series high for his fantasy production. In the three preceding games, he took a grand total of four field goal attempts, so buyer beware.

Derrick Jones Jr., Dereck Lively II and Daniel Gafford each were viable options, and their performances were not inflated by garbage time as coach Jason Kidd put in the deep reserves around the same time as did his counterpart Tyronn Lue. Tim Hardaway Jr. is out for Dallas, but that is nothing new, as he has missed the last three games with his sprained ankle.

Kawhi Leonard (knee) is out again, so it will be up to James Harden and Paul George to rise to the occasion tonight in Dallas in the hopes of pushing the series back to Los Angeles for Game 7. Give this duo a mulligan for the Game 5 dud, as they have each been otherwise solid for most of the series. The main culprit was that they were a combined 6 of 25 (24%) from the field, while Russell Westbrook was 2-for-11 (18.2%). We could see a Westbrook dud again, but it would be a shock for both Harden and George to fall apart for a second game.

Ivica Zubac was the only Clipper who had an above-average fantasy performance, but the team was a dreadful -18 in his 26 minutes of run. Terance Mann and Norman Powell are viable fantasy options, and Amir Coffey is a common punt play with Leonard out again. Mason Plumlee had 16 minutes and should again get whatever Zubac does not if the game is close.

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Wendell Carter Jr.: Magic vs. Cavaliers

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 23.10 | FanDuel: 22.94
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 59.7% | FanDuel: 9.6%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $4,400 | FanDuel: $5,200

Mr. Wendell Carter Jr. has been a key member of the first five, nearly helping his team to a third consecutive victory, with Orlando falling 1 point short in Cleveland on Tuesday.

There is a dramatic difference in the salary for Carter on DraftKings, where he is slated to be the most popular play, while on the blue site he is in single digits. It is important to understand the differences in the scoring formats and salary caps.

Gary Harris left midway through the third quarter after straining his hamstring, and he is questionable for tonight. Jarrett Allen (ribs) did not play in Game 5, and he is listed as a game-time decision after missing practice again. Allen being out makes Evan Mobley a core option, though it is harder to know what will happen if Harris misses. It could be Jonathan Isaac going back into the starting lineup, veteran Joe Ingles, or even reserve guards Cole Anthony or Markell Fultz. Even if there is a new starter, the risk is still high that coach Jamahl Mosley will be quick to try different player combinations in this crucial contest.

Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner are fine plays, with Banchero being someone who could close the gap on Doncic given he poured in 39 points on 14 of 24 (58.3%) shooting. Wagner is on the same tier as George, Harden, Mitchell and Darius Garland. Garland topped 15 points for the first time in the series with 23 as he helped to fill the offensive void left by Allen. Isaac Okoro moved into the starting lineup and was very productive from a fantasy perspective in his 23 minutes. He could have even done more if he weren’t just 2 of 10 (20%) from the field.

After appearing in just two of the first four games of the series for 15 total minutes, Marcus Morris Sr. played 26 minutes and was better than Caris LeVert. Neither of these players is trustworthy, but both are playable in tournaments given the shallow player pool. Finally, Max Strus should get minutes, but everything comes down to how well he is cooking from downtown. He had 16 points in Game 5 but just 7, 7, 4 and 7 in the preceding four games.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Paolo Banchero is a core play tonight in the DFS world, but we can also look to exploit the under on his 7.5 rebounds prop. This is currently available on DraftKings and Unibet at +115.

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 +102 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), there is a solid 6.1% expected ROI with the current line. In turn, the -113 on sharp book Pinnacle is dreadful by comparison. Be a savvy shopper.

NBA Bet Pro has Banchero projected for 38.8 minutes and 7.80 rebounds. That is right above the milestone; however, it does not account for variable outcomes, which can be semi-quantified by the 49% win rate for the under. Getting this wager at plus money is also paramount to sustained success.

In the last game, Banchero played 38 minutes and had eight rebounds, though that was without Jarrett Allen in the mix. If Allen is able to play tonight, that is one more fierce rebounder on the court for major minutes. In the four games this duo shared the court in this series, Banchero played 41, 41, 29, and 29 minutes and had seven, three, 14, and four boards. This is an elimination game, and with the Cavaliers 3.5-point road favorites, expect the Magic forward to play north of 40 minutes at home if this game is remotely close. That is the one knock against the under here, as that is a lot of time for errant caroms to find themselves being collected by Banchero.

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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 6:00 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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