DraftKings NBA: Thursday Picks

DraftKings NBA: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview

LAC (-8.5) vs. CHA, O/U: 223.5

MIL (-8.5) vs. IND, O/U: 240.5

ORL vs. ATL (-12.5), O/U: 227.5

PHI (-1.5) vs. MIA, O/U: 218.5

SA vs. NY (-4.5), O/U: 216.5

DEN (-5.5) vs. MIN, O/U: 235.5

SAC vs. MEM (-7.5), O/U: 230.5

TOR vs. CHI (-9.5), O/U: 218.5

POR vs. PHX (-5.5), O/U: 232.5

The DEN-MIN matchup has a close spread and high total, and it features appealing spend-up and mid-range options on both sides. The POR-PHX matchup fits that bill as well. 

The Raptors will be light on bodies, while the Kings and Pacers remain shorthanded too. Keep an eye on Knicks news, as they may become a source of cheap value with three guards listed as questionable. 

Here's something to keep in mind: Despite his salary being at its lowest point in 10 games, and even though his team was shorthanded, Kevin Love (59 DK points for $5,900) was rostered on about two percent of lineups across most of the major tournaments last night. It pays to get off the chalk more often than people think. It's more impactful during this stage of the season when the chalk isn't that safe to begin with. If you like a player in a certain spot, don't hesitate to roster him. Risk and reward are especially correlated in DFS.  

Injuries to Monitor 

Joel Embiid (illness): QUESTIONABLE

Embiid missed Tuesday's game due to an illness and is listed as questionable for tonight. Mike Scott started at center in his place. 

Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry, OG Anunoby, Chris Boucher (rest): OUT

The Raptors will rest all of their regular starters. Malachi Flynn, Gary Trent, Yuta Watanabe, Stanley Johnson and Khem Birch are expected to start. 

Jimmy Butler (eye): QUESTIONABLE

Butler left Tuesday's game after being poked in the eye and is listed as questionable for tonight. Andre Iguodala will likely start at small forward if Butler misses. 

Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring), Edmond Sumner (knee) and Jeremy Lamb (knee): OUT

The Pacers will be shorthanded at guard again. Caris LeVert and Justin Holiday started in the backcourt last time out. 

Jonas Valanciunas (back): QUESTIONABLE

Valanciunas sat out on Tuesday with a sore back and is listed as questionable for tonight. Xavier Tillman started at center in his place. 

Harrison Barnes (groin) and Marvin Bagley (groin): DOUBTFUL

Barnes and Bagley are both unlikely to play tonight. Chimezie Metu will likely get another start at power forward. 

Mo Bamba (illness): QUESTIONABLE

Bamba missed Tuesday's game due to an illness and is listed as questionable for tonight. Wendell Carter is healthy again and will start at center. 

Derrick Rose (ankle) and Reggie Bullock (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Rose and Bullock are listed as questionable due to ankle injuries. Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina will be in line for extra minutes if either of them are ruled out. 

Will Barton (hamstring) and PJ Dozier (groin): OUT

Barton and Dozier are still sidelined, while Monte Morris (potential rest) is listed as questionable. Austin Rivers should get another start at shooting guard. 

Elite Players

Center:

Nikola Jokic ($11,000)

Jokic has put up 50+ fantasy points in eight of his last 10 games, and the Nuggets are in a great spot against the Timberwolves tonight. Minutes would be the only concern without much to play for, but he played 33 last time out and should be motivated to finish his MVP season strong. 

Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,000)

Towns has topped 50 DK points in consecutive games despite not seeing full run as the Timberwolves blew out the Pistons and Magic. Tonight's matchup against the Nuggets is one of the better spots on the slate, and Towns has seen his salary hit a 10-game low. 

F/C:

Domantas Sabonis ($10,700)

Sabonis is coming off his second triple-double in three games, as he put up 59.25 DK points despite attempting just nine shots. He's put up at least 70 DK points in four of his last seven games and has been playing upwards of 40 minutes per night. Based on those numbers and his recent form, he probably has the highest ceiling on the slate tonight in a matchup against the Bucks with a 240.5 total.

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,900)

Giannis is coming off 56 DK points in 32 minutes last time out. It was the first time in four games that he topped 50 fantasy points or saw north of 30 minutes. Tonight's matchup against the Pacers is an ideal spot, but the Bucks don't have any reason to run him out for big minutes. He still has the upside to be the slate's highest scorer, even in limited run, but I'll likely be spending up elsewhere.

Guard:

Caris LeVert ($8,900)

LeVert has put up 40+ DK points in seven of his last eight games while topping 60 twice in that span. The Pacers will be shorthanded again tonight, especially at guard, for a matchup against the Bucks that features the highest total on the slate. 

Damian Lillard ($9,500)

Lillard is the most expensive guard tonight, but his salary is still favorable for a matchup against the Suns that surprisingly looks like one of the more appealing spots on the slate based on spread and total. He's scored at least 50 DK points in six of his last eight games, and we know Dame will be up for a battle with Chris Paul

Expected Chalk

Chimezie Metu ($4,100)

It's impossible to say who will be chalky before we get injury news, but Metu would be a popular value play as things stand. The Kings are likely to be without Harrison Barnes and Marvin Bagley again, meaning Metu should get another start at power forward and see extended run. He played 29 minutes when he got the start on Tuesday and has put up 25+ fantasy points in consecutive games.

Value Picks

Devin Booker ($8,300)

Booker put up 48.75 DK points while playing 39 minutes last time out against the Warriors. The Suns matchup against the Trail Blazers tonight should be fast-paced and competitive. I don't expect him to be popular, but he seems relatively safe compared to other options in that range and definitely has a ceiling if he sees upwards of 40 minutes again. 

Ja Morant ($8,200)

Morant is coming off 46.25 DK points in just 29 minutes last time out as the Grizzlies blew out the Mavericks. Memphis is in a nice spot tonight against Sacramento, and Morant would look extra appealing if Jonas Valanciunas (illness) is ruled out. 

D'Angelo Russell ($7,800)

Russell has scored at least 45 DK points in three of his last four games, as he's taken on a larger role in the offense since entering the starting lineup. His recent performances could've been even better had blowouts not limited his run. Tonight's matchup against the Nuggets is projected to be one of the more competitive games on the slate and has a 235.5 total. Anthony Edwards ($8,000) makes for a good option as well. 

Jusuf Nurkic ($7,200)

Nurkic has topped 44 DK points in consecutive games, and he's seen a bump in minutes over the past four as he readies for the playoffs. His salary is still favorable for what should be a competitive and high-scoring game against the Suns tonight. 

RJ Barrett ($6,500)

It's been a while since I considered Barrett, much less recommended him, but he has a lot going for him tonight. His salary has come down, and the Knicks have three guards listed as questionable for a favorable matchup against the Spurs. He's seen north of 40 minutes in six of his last 10 games, and Tom Thibodeau won't hesitate to run him out there for 45 if the game stays close. He has considerable upside for that salary, and I don't expect him to be as popular as he should be. 

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NBA Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NBA fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Belongia
Ryan has a background in accounting, finance and poker. He's been playing DFS full-time since 2018. A multiple-time King of the Pitch finalist, Ryan's been ranked inside the Top 5 on the RG Soccer Leaderboard for three years running. Originally from Wisconsin, he moved to London in 2019 for the futbol.
Handicapping the NBA: Tuesday Picks
Handicapping the NBA: Tuesday Picks
Yahoo DFS Basketball: Tuesday Picks
Yahoo DFS Basketball: Tuesday Picks
DraftKings NBA: Tuesday Picks
DraftKings NBA: Tuesday Picks
FanDuel NBA: Tuesday Value Plays
FanDuel NBA: Tuesday Value Plays
NBA Staff Picks: Can Milwaukee Roll Past Atlanta Into The Finals?
NBA Staff Picks: Can Milwaukee Roll Past Atlanta Into The Finals?
DraftKings NBA: Sunday Cheat Sheet
DraftKings NBA: Sunday Cheat Sheet