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🏀 Slate Starter: NBA DFS Picks for DraftKings + FanDuel | Friday, January 29

Eric Lindquist



Zach Brunner finds the best NBA fantasy Monkey Knife Fight picks and predictions for the NBA Playoffs games today, Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

We’ve made it to the end of another glorious week of NBA DFS picks and strategy here at the Slate Starter article and podcast. There have been some good calls and bad calls, some ups and downs, and thanks to you, a lot of fun was had. Let’s keep the good juju going into Friday’s 10-game slate on DraftKings and FanDuel, and enjoy the weekend.

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NBA DFS Slate Starter: Picks & Strategy | Jan. 29

The Early-Night Hammer?

One of the first things I do every day after I wake up is input NBA Vegas totals into a spreadsheet using Awesemo’s OddsShopper. I color code anything with a 220 total or greater green, and anything over 227.5 gets a gold star. And by the looks of these early lines, there are some overachievers on this slate:

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Totals certainly aren’t the be-all and end-all of NBA DFS, but there is no question they can help expedite the search for fantasy-relevant plays. And tomorrow, four of the 10 games feature totals hovering around 230, making for one heck of a slate that should be filled with big box score outings. Unfortunately for us late-swap faithful, all four of these matchups tip off before 8 p.m. EST, or within an hour of lock.

And with only a single session in that late-night window (Mavericks – Jazz at 10 p.m. EST), it’s going to be difficult to know how to adjust your lineups according to their performance through the first nine games. Sure, Donovan Mitchell is questionable again, and his absence would lead to another influx of Jazz value. But for the most part, tomorrow could be as close to “set it and forget it” as I’ll ever come with my NBA DFS lineups due to the massive exposure I’m expecting to have to this early window of games.

So let’s strategize. Should we get Mitchell news that he’s in early in the afternoon like we did on Wednesday (it’s a concussion, so there is nothing to test out before the game), I have a feeling a majority of my exposure will be to plays from the eight teams above. And I’m not one to ever game stack on purpose purely because value is value. But I could see making a concerted effort to pair studs together from the same game more than normal in hopes it stays close. That is mainly because if one of these games shoots out into 250 territory — or god forbid goes to overtime — I could easily see something akin to a game stack taking down this slate.

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And make sure to check out OddsShopper by Whether it’s game lines, totals, player props or futures, you can find it all in one place. Shop for the best line available in your state, and utilize the sportsbook offers here to see if you’re eligible to start wagering on them today.

Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups

I normally finish with this segment after one more larger theme before it, but I can’t come up with anything pressing tonight. So let’s just run a bunch of random thoughts about this slate together and close out another week of Slate Starter articles.

  • Lonzo Ball is questionable, so his absence would mean a slight bump for all the starters and a major one for Nickeil Alexander-Walker.
  • My Wednesday lineups savior Jordan Bell was fun while he lasted. With Rui Hachimura and Davis Bertans back from the COVID list, that value is sadly no more.
  • Ben Simmons screwed around and got a triple-double at $8,100 on DraftKings Wednesday. So of course his price went down $400, making him an option that jumps off the page against the terrible Timberwolves. Load up.
  • It’s hard to have a revenge narrative against a team that graciously traded you to a title contender, but Jrue Holiday against his former Pelicans team i a flat-out good play on Friday. I guarantee I’ll be over the field at only $7,000 on DraftKings.
  • Just play Fred VanVleet.

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