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NBA DFS Picks: The NBA Slate Starter for DraftKings + FanDuel | August 21st

Eric Lindquist



Zach Brunner's best NBA bets and NBA odds for August 7th, using Awesemo's NEW OddsShopper tool, including Magic vs 76ers.

We’re on to the NBA Playoff’s first set of Game 3’s on Friday, which is neat and all but my Minnesota Timberwolves just got the No. 1 pick! Never mind that there’s below-average talent in this year’s draft, or that my favorite player in it (James Wiseman) plays the same position as our best player (Karl Anthony-Towns), or that we’re just cursed in general… #1 pick baby!!! Sorry, but whenever something remotely good happens in 2020, you celebrate it.

God, I’m wired now and ready to get to work. This is the NBA Slate Starter for Friday’s four-game slate (with identical match-ups to Monday and Wednesday) on DraftKings and FanDuel.

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Let’s Compare to Prepare

I wanted to start off today by highlighting certain players with fascinating ownership fluctuations between Monday and Wednesday, and put them side-by-side with another player that allows for an interesting discussion. I’ll add in my specific notes as to what changed, why their ownerships might be correlated, and explain what that means for us on Friday.

I’ll be using DraftKings’ largest tournament, their $20 entry/600K guaranteed offering, as a reference point:

Jordan Clarkson: 64.91% Monday, 43.87% Wednesday (-21.04%)

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot: 4.47% Monday, 29.40% (+24.93%)

Clarkson was extremely popular and extremely average on Monday. On Wednesday morning, we received news Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, better known as “TLC” for short, would start for Brooklyn, and you can see clearly how 25%-ish of the field got off Clarkson and went chasin’ that waterfall (don’t go doing that). The result? Clarkson wasn’t no scrub (Get it again???), torching Denver for 39.5 fantasy points at a mere $4,700. For Friday, however, his salary’s up to $5,500 with Mike Conley expected back, making Clarkson a guy who can’t get no love from me (I can’t stop!!!).

Jayson Tatum: 11.96% Monday, 26.30% Wednesday (+14.34%)

Donovan Mitchell: 20.15% Monday, 15.80% Wednesday (-4.35%)

I want to focus on a few things here. First off, the field has gotten pretty sharp in regards to price sensitivity. Tatum saw an incremental bump of $200 from Game 1 to Game 2; his ownership doubled. Mitchell–who put up EIGHTY in Game 1, mind you–jumped $1,000 to an astronomical (for him) $9,200; his ownership dropped almost 5%. I was hoping more people would take the bait, but alas: these guys are good.

Secondly, I think the ownership bump for Tatum speaks more to the positional scarcity that exists at power forward on DraftKings than anything. Tatum is $1,700 more than the next PF listed, and the rest of the PF’s listed have been the hottest of hot garbages so far in these playoffs. Mitchell is listed at PG/SG , however, and there’s no joke thirty names I’d click on first before I even considered rostering Mitchell tomorrow. Bottom line: if you believe in Mitchell, please believe in him on FanDuel where he’s not at a salary that hurts my soul (only $8,200).

Joel Embiid: 16.07% Monday, 38.44% Wednesday.(+22.37%)

Nikola Jokic: 45.82% Monday, 15.71% Wednesday (-30.11%)

With limited spend-up options on the Monday/Wednesday slates, center has two of the best raw-point players to choose from. What’s fascinating is how price is dictating so much of where the ownership goes.

On Monday, Embiid was $9,800, put up 53, then dropped to $9,700; Jokic was $9,400, put up 53.5, then increased to $9,700. Those are wild ownership discrepancies for seemingly-innocuous salary changes. I suppose I’ll chalk up Jokic’s Monday ownership to the $400 discount, but the swing to Embiid when they both performed similarly (given, Jokic got overtime) is tough to conceptualize for me.

I suppose the big takeaway here is that when prices are equal, the public will lead with Embiid, perceiving that he’s the only offensive piece the Sixers have at their disposal. BUt tomorrow we have Jokic at a $500 discount, so I fully expect the see-saw to tip back in his favor, making Embiid the more intriguing tournament play for my money.


Related NBA DFS Content

 C-C-C-Caris and the Nets

We went a little crazy in the first section, so I’ll be brief here: Brooklyn just lost Joe Harris to a personal matter for the rest of the playoffs. That’s 39 minutes we have to allocate to the rest of the roster, so get ready for National Nets Chalk Day.

Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen are the easy plug-and-plays and should get 40+ minutes barring foul trouble or a blowout. My favorite values from each team are truly dependent on site; on DraftKings, the aforementioned TLC is eligible at a weak power forward spot on DraftKings, so I’ve got to imagine that’s good chalk over there. FanDuel is interesting as Garrett Temple has been moved to SF (a rather pro-active move by them, bravo!) and comes in at $4,900; he’s a spend-down option on that site.

Final Thoughts For Your NBA DFS Lineups

Ownership feels like it will be very concentrated around Brooklyn/Tatum/Jokic tomorrow, resulting in a lot of lineups containing a combination of all three. I’d recommend getting off the chalk when you can, checking Awesemo’s Ownership Projections early-and-often. In other words, please stick to the pivots and the takes that you’re used to (Okay, now I’m done).

Thanks for reading, best of luck, and see you right back here Sunday night as I preview Monday’s games with another edition of The NBA Slate Starter!

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