Thursday, March 31, brings a nifty five-game main slate tipping off at 7 p.m. ET on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. Let’s look at the player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks today for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. As always, you can head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS & Fantasy Basketball home page for all the fantasy basketball content you need for any given slate.
NBA DFS Picks: Fantasy Basketball Building Blocks Today | Thursday, March 31
Yahoo Play of the Day — Caris LeVert: Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 32.3 | DraftKings: 33.16
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 52.0% | FanDuel 54.0% | DraftKings 34.0%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $18 | FanDuel $5,200 | DraftKings $5,800
This is a back-to-back for Cleveland as well as its third game in the last four days. In the three games since returning to the starting lineup, Caris LeVert has averaged 35.9 minutes with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.3 blocks. The Cavaliers have lost four of their last five games and they really need a victory tonight if they want to have any hope of catching Toronto or Chicago and avoiding the Play-In Tournament. Tonight the Awesemo projections have LeVert for 34.9 minutes, which is a steal at his current salary. This is also a back-to-back game for Atlanta, which has allowed 115.7 points per 100 possessions over the last 10 games.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 57.66 | DraftKings: 58.99
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 23% | FanDuel 30.1% | DraftKings 22.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $57 | FanDuel $11,900 | DraftKings $11,800
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid sit atop the fantasy projections in our 10-team player pool. Kevin Durant is just a tick behind, rounding out the trio of options boasting a 50-fantasy-point median projection. Milwaukee is one game behind Miami and one game ahead of both Philadelphia and Boston with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn is favored by a bucket tonight and will have Kyrie Irving playing in his third home game of the season. Embiid, on the other hand, will be going against the Pistons, who have packed things in for the season.
In his last 15 games, Antetokounmpo has averaged 33.8 minutes per game with 32.8 points, 13 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks. Milwaukee has a 12-3 record in these games while Antetokounmpo is averaging 61.7 fantasy points and 1.83 fantasy points per minute. The Bucks have a 121.5-point implied team total tonight, which is 6.6 points higher than their season average.
Look to Bruce Brown Jr. in this matchup against the Bucks in the NBA player prop market. Currently, he has a 1.5 over/under on his assist prop, and the Awesemo NBA player projections have him for 2.7 assists, which gives him a 73% probability of surpassing the over. Brown has carved out a steady 20 to 22 minutes in the revamped Brooklyn rotation and he has tallied at least two assists in seven of his last nine games.
Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Tonight the Jazz are double-digit home favorites against the Lakers; however, they are in the midst of a five-game losing streak and have slipped to sixth in the Western Conference. Los Angeles has been nonexistent on defense and it is allowing 123.1 points per 100 possessions over its last 10 games, which is the third worst defensive efficiency in the league. Hassan Whiteside (foot) will be missing his fourth straight game, though Bojan Bogdanovic (calf) is slated to return after missing nearly three weeks. In its last two games without LeBron James, Los Angeles has scored 110 and 121 points, so the hope is that it can keep things reasonable into the fourth quarter. Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley are the trio to target in all formats from Utah.
Russell Westbrook will be running solo again and he has recorded 40 or more fantasy points in five of his last six games. During their five-game losing streak, the Jazz have allowed an eye-popping 126 points per 100 possessions, which is beyond dreadful. Even with Gobert waiting at the rim, there are plenty of other ways for Westbrook to accrue fantasy points.
Dwight Howard broke hearts and bankrolls on Tuesday when he played only five minutes in Dallas despite having been a regular in the starting lineup. If he gets the nod again tonight, he is interesting as a differentiation option in tournaments. Wenyen Gabriel, Austin Reaves, Stanley Johnson, Malik Monk and Talen Horton-Tucker are all worthy of consideration with the short five-game slate.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Thursday, March 31 Fantasy Basketball Slate
Tonight has a frontloaded slate with four of the five games tipping off in the first hour of action. Then there is a two-hour lull until the West Coast nightcap between the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz. LeBron James is out and it is unlikely that Anthony Davis makes his return, but he is at least getting close. It would not be a surprise to see both in action on Friday night when the Lakers host New Orleans.
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