Welcome to single-game contest season, one and all! There was a nice run of multi-game slates this week, but that comes to a screeching halt for Friday and Saturday. That doesn’t mean there isn’t an abundance of cash to take down on DraftKings and FanDuel, though, as the prize pools are just as big as ever. With that in mind, let’s find a few NBA DFS picks and strategies to utilize for Clippers – Mavericks.
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NBA DFS Slate Starter: Picks & Strategy | June 4
Friday Fireside Chat: To Be the Best, Learn From the Best
Thursday was the end of an era — no, not because the Lakers’ and LeBron James were handed an early exit in the first round, but because we are now entering the aforementioned single-game contest season. Yes, there will be a number of two-gamers next week, but after that we will be at the mercy of how many second-round series get stretched to a Game 6 or 7. That means it’s time to sharpen up those single-game contest skills now (if you weren’t already), as Showdown will be the only show in town before you know it.
And wouldn’t you know it, between Alex Baker, Steve “Dacoltz” Buzzard and Rayen “Rynpak” Patnaik, we have some truly elite mentors in-house here at Awesemo to learn the tricks of the trade from. The goal is to relay as much as what has been learned from those three and transfer it to you, as their instruction has been paramount in developing my ability as an NBA DFS player. But as an Awesemo+ member, you can ask them yourself by signing up for the premium Slack chat and tuning in whenever they host office hours.
So have specific questions on how much randomness they’re pumping into Fantasy Cruncher for two-game and Showdown slates? With a membership, you have direct access to ask that to three of the top 10 DFS players in the world, plus many other profitable pieces of our NBA DFS team (including yours truly). Want suggestions on whether to go heavier on the highest-projected player or a value piece for a specific contest? You can ask that too. In other words, if you want a piece of tomorrow’s single-game prize pools, get into that Slack channel now to learn as much as you can from some of these masters of Showdown before they gobble up all the money for themselves.
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Road Teams (And Luka) Running Amuck
This Clippers – Mavericks series has been wild for a number of reasons. Luka Doncic and Kawhi Leonard playing unbelievably well is not one of them, although taking into account Doncic is just 22 years of age is certainly crazy. Paul George has performed approximately 10,000 times better than last season’s bubble playoffs, although that hasn’t always translated into winning. And despite Kristaps Porzingis being a complete non-factor for the Mavericks, they are actually the ones with the 3-2 series lead looking to eliminate the Clippers at home tonight.
But that’s the wildest part about what’s transpired between these two teams the last few weeks: The home team has not won once. The last time the road team won the first five games in a row to start an NBA playoff series was the 1995 Spurs – Rockets Western Conference Finals. The Rockets closed that out at home in Game 6, which is exactly what the Mavericks will be aiming to do tonight.
And of course, Doncic is going to have to continue being spectacular in order for them to do that. He is averaging 35 points, eight rebounds and nine assists with a 42.8% usage rate, a laughable 55.5% assist rate and an improved 42.9% shooting from deep through five games in this series. Considering Doncic was only a 35% 3-point shooter during the regular season, that marksmanship has made him exponentially more difficult for the Clippers to contain. If he can continue that type of production, it’s impossible not to want to roster him in any/all single-game NBA DFS formats.
Of course, utilizing Doncic in the Captain spot on DraftKings is a whole different cup of tea. With Leonard and George, there are three very viable spend-ups in that spot, and if one goes for 60-plus fantasy points while the others float in the 40s, there are very few scenarios where you won’t be drawing dead without the play that went off in that top slot. Of course, Doncic requires you to spend $19,200 to roster him, limiting who else can fit into that lineup. But if that makes others lean more to Leonard or George to get minor savings, focusing more builds on Doncic at Captain makes a lot of sense. Be sure to refresh Awesemo’s ownership projections constantly tomorrow, as knowing the difference between which of these to prioritize up top could be the make-or-break decision of the night.
Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups
- The Mavericks center rotation was fascinating in Game 5, as Dwight Powell (22 minutes) showed up out of nowhere to back up a surprise start by Boban Marjanovic (20 minutes), sending Willie Cauley-Stein (five minutes) back into obscurity. Considering it worked, it seems like the likely scenario for Game 6, but figuring out what to do with these three cheapies seems like another quintessential thing to get right tonight.
- Marcus Morris finally had solid offensive night in Game 5 despite the loss. Should this cause his ownership to inflate past the likes of Nicolas Batum or Dorian Finney-Smith, capitalizing on the recency bias and having a bit less of Morris feels like the correct way to go.
- Just play Reggie Jackson.
Check out today’s NBA Strategy Show with Loughy and Josh Engleman!
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