Tuesday, Dec. 28, brings an eight-game main slate starting at 7:00 p.m. ET with tip-off times staggered throughout the night. Let’s look at the player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Do not forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS home page for more great written daily fantasy basketball content.
NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Tuesday, Dec. 28
Yahoo Play of the Day — LeBron James: Los Angeles Lakers at Houston Rockets
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 53.57 | DraftKings: 55.09
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 42.2% | FanDuel 34.0% | DraftKings 38.2%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $50 | FanDuel $10,900 | DraftKings $11,300
The Lakers have now lost five games in a row, and while they are 4.5-point road favorites tonight in Houston, by no means is a victory against the Rockets guaranteed. This year in 285 minutes with Russell Westbrook and without Anthony Davis, LeBron James is averaging 1.63 Yahoo points per minute. Over the last four games with Davis sidelined by his latest injury, James is averaging 37 minutes and 22.8 field goal attempts. This works out to 35 points, 9.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 3.1 combined blocks and steals — not bad for someone who will be celebrating his 37th birthday on Thursday.
LeBron’s NBA player props tonight can be targeted in the betting market. The Awesemo OddsShopper projections have LeBron projected for 6.5 assists, which is a full assist below his over/under of 7.5. This bet has a 68% win rate, according to Awesemo’s expert projections.
Stephen Curry: Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 47.73 | DraftKings: 50.61
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 18.8% | FanDuel 21.0% | DraftKings 15.4%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $45 | FanDuel $10,400 | DraftKings $11,500
While it would be fun to prioritize Joel Embiid against the short-handed Raptors, or even Nikola Jokic in this game against the Warriors, Stephen Curry gets the nod tonight. This is in recognition of his favorable salary on Yahoo as well as there being a lot of discounted center options tonight with 16 teams in the player pool. Over his last three games Curry has averaged just over 25 field goal attempts, including 14 per game from 3-point range. This has enabled him to average 36.3 points per game, and he has also been contributing a handful of rebounds and assists as well as a couple of steals. Denver is far from a stout defense with so many of their key players injured, though they are still able to keep games competitive with Jokic carrying the load. If this game remains remotely close into the final frame, Curry should get another 33 to 35 minutes.
Cleveland Cavaliers at New Orleans Pelicans
There is a strong possibility that Evan Mobley and Isaac Okoro will be cleared from the health and safety protocol prior to tip-off. Both have been out since Dec. 13, so their conditioning may be suspect. This is important to note, as Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, Cedi Osman, Ed Davis, Dylan Windler and Lamar Stevens are all on the COVID-reserve and Collin Sexton is out for the season with a knee injury. Ricky Rubio is a core play tonight, while Kevin Love and Lauri Markkanen should get as many minutes as they can handle, even with Mobley back. For those who have a higher risk tolerance, Mobley is also in play, particularly if he continues to carry the questionable tag up until tip-off, which should keep his popularity in check.
Josh Hart is a game-time decision with an ankle injury, and Brandon Ingram is doubtful after suffering an Achilles injury in the first quarter of his last game. Jonas Valanciunas should be back from his non-COVID illness, and there will be little that Cleveland can to that will slow him down in the paint. Hart is a strong option if he is a go, and if Ingram is out as expected, Garrett Temple is a solid value option at just $12 on Yahoo. Devonte’ Graham is a neutral option on the main slate, but he is very intriguing on the evening slate.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Sacramento Kings
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a core option tonight in an excellent matchup against the Kings, who lost by 25 points to the Grizzlies on Sunday. Oklahoma City will be without Josh Giddey, Darius Bazley, Tre Mann, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Aleksej Pokusevski who are all in the health and safety protocol. On the late slate Ty Jerome, Luguentz Dort and Theo Maledon are viable options.
Tyrese Haliburton continued his sublime play, even with De’Aaron Fox returning from his bout with COVID. That duo is in play on the main slate, and they are joined by Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes on the late slate for tournaments.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Tuesday, Dec. 28 Slate
The NBA has shortened the quarantine time but ramped up testing, so additional players may be ruled in or out throughout the afternoon. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel
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