Monday, March 21, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 21, 2016

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If you read my Sunday plays and followed me for Twitter updates, you probably did quite well in both cash games and tournaments; I know I did. Humble-brag aside—hey, everybody gets lucky, right?—we’re back to nine games on Monday’s NBA slate, so let’s check out the Vegas lines to get started. 

Vegas lines and totals

Philadelphia @ Indiana (-15.5) – total of 208.5
Denver @ Cleveland (-11) – total of 214
San Antonio (-6) @ Charlotte – total of 199.5
Milwaukee @ Detroit (-7.5) – total of 205.5
Orlando @ Boston (-8.5) – total of 214
Washington @ Atlanta (-6.5) – total of 206
Sacramento @ Chicago (-7) – total of 217.5
Golden State (-11.5) @ Minnesota – total of 231.5
Memphis (-2) @ Phoenix – total of 204.5

The 76ers-Pacers total isn’t high enough for me to want to touch that blowout, but most of the other games are in play on a similar level. With every spread but two between six and 11.5 points, it’s difficult to differentiate them from each other besides the two outliers. Grizzlies-Suns should be a close game, but it won’t be that high-scoring, while Warriors-Wolves is likely going to get out of control. Other than that, Kings-Bulls is the top target followed by Magic-Celtics and Nuggets-Cavs on a lesser scale considering the increased blowout potential, although Cleveland has been playing down to opponents of late. Find my top plays of the day below.

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 20, 2016

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Sunday ends what has been probably the most balanced scheduling week in NBA history. Every night had between six and nine games, a remarkable feat that provides for plenty of DFS intrigue as well as no oversaturated slates. With six games in play Sunday, you’ll have just enough to build top-notch DFS teams without the level of randomness that a 10-game night brings. To start, let’s get Vegas’ thoughts.

Vegas lines and totals

Portland @ Dallas (PK) – total of 213
Orlando @ Toronto (-10) – total of 210
Boston (-11) @ Philadelphia – total of 215.5
L.A. Clippers (-8) @ New Orleans – total of 212.5
Utah @ Milwaukee (-1.5) – total of 193.5
Sacramento @ New York (PK) – total of 213.5

A couple of high-scoring pick ’ems lead the way Sunday, with both Blazers-Mavs and Kings-Knicks looking like close, high-scoring games. The top five totals are all within a few points of each other, but three of the games have the potential to get ugly, though none project as a complete blowouts where starters don’t play the entire fourth quarter. For the most part, Jazz-Bucks is certainly one to avoid with a total under 195.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 16, 2016

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We’re back with nine NBA games Wednesday, including a few teams that have been stricken by injury at this late juncture in the season. Mining value from those situations is always key to DFS success, but so is understanding how a game is likely to be played. The Vegas lines always help with the latter scenarios. 

Vegas lines and totals

Orlando @ Charlotte (-9) – total of 210.5
Dallas @ Cleveland (-9.5) – total of 208.5
Chicago @ Washington (-5) – total of 212.5
Oklahoma City (-3.5) @ Boston – total of 219
Atlanta @ Detroit (-1) – total of 197.5
Minnesota (-3) @ Memphis – total of 206
L.A. Clippers @ Houston (-3) – total of 214
New Orleans @ Sacramento (-2.5) – total of 222.5
New York @ Golden State (-15.5) – total of 220.5

There are two especially nice lines Wednesday, with Thunder-Celtics and Pelicans-Kings playing near 220 total points with close spreads. The Warriors should blow the Knicks out of the water, but add Clippers-Rockets as an appealing DFS game on this nine-game slate as well. The Grizzlies’ situation will likely factor into many DFS lineups, but let’s take an early look at the top plays with what we do know.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 15, 2016

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Tuesday’s six-game slate lacks the excitement of Monday’s nine-gamer, and just two teams find themselves on the second end of a back-to-back set. Scores are unlikely to be quite as high Tuesday as they have been lately, as least before any injuries or rest that comes about during the day. Let’s see how Vegas projects what could be a rather tame night in DFS.

Vegas lines and totals

Boston @ Indiana (-2) – total of 207.5
Denver @ Orlando (-5) – total of 211
Philadelphia @ Brooklyn (-7) – total of 208.5
Toronto (-2) @ Milwaukee – total of 206.5
L.A. Clippers @ San Antonio (-9) – total of 200
Sacramento (-2.5) @ L.A. Lakers – total of 217.5

After a loaded Monday which saw a spread over 230, one over 220 and one over 215, Tuesday offers just one above 211; Kings-Lakers is a battle of teams who struggle defensively, which makes it a prime DFS target. Clippers-Spurs looks like a game to avoid, which the largest spread and the lowest total, while the rest of the games project within five points of each other in terms of spread and total. That means much of Tuesday’s action will be determined by injuries and streaks, which leads us right into the top plays.

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 11, 2016

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DFS scores are getting juicy as the season winds down and teams continue to rest players with nagging injuries or for no reason at all. That may happen Friday as well, but there are already a few key absences that will play a big part on a 10-game slate. Let’s see which games Vegas has pegged as the top ones to target. 

Vegas lines and totals

Brooklyn (-3) @ Philadelphia – total of 211
Detroit @ Charlotte (-4.5) – total of 201.5
Houston @ Boston (-6) – total of 223
New Orleans @ Memphis (-1) – total of 204
Minnesota @ Oklahoma City (-12) – total of 225.5
Miami @ Chicago (-1) – total of 201
Washington @ Utah (-4.5) – total of 201
Orlando @ Sacramento (-1) – total of 220
New York @ L.A. Clippers (-10) – total of 202.5
Portland @ Golden State (-12.5) – total of 227

There are four monster lines Friday and only one other within 15 points of them. That’s going to lead to a serious focus on about half the slate tonight, but two of those games are projected as blowouts, while two should play pretty tight. Rockets-Celtics and Magic-Kings are easily the top two targets of the night, which will be reflected in the top plays below.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 9, 2016

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We’ve got nine NBA games on tap for Wednesday, and without wasting any time, let’s take a look at Vegas’ projections for these tilts.

Vegas lines and totals

New Orleans @ Charlotte (-9) – total of 210
Memphis @ Boston (-9) – total of 207.5
Houston (-9.5) @ Philadelphia – total of 217.5
Miami (-3) @ Milwaukee – total of 200.5
Detroit @ Dallas (-2.5) – total of 205
New York (-1) @ Phoenix – total of 207
L.A. Clippers @ Oklahoma City (-5.5) – total of 215.5
Cleveland (7.5) @ Sacramento – total of 216
Utah @ Golden State (-12.5) – total of 208

Another night where we see no spreads under 200 is upon us, as the average scores in the league continue to rise as the season goes on. Targeting Clippers-Thunder isn’t a bad idea in a few examples, and the same goes for Rockets-76ers as well. There are a couple blowout concerns but besides the Warriors, those teams are playing on the road, which makes a complete shellacking all the less likely. Even the Warriors are facing a playoff team, so 12.5 might be more of a late cover than an early blowout. Enough about the lines, though, and let’s take at the top plays at each position.

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Monday, March 7, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 7, 2016

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A high-scoring weekend has come to an end, and there’s a chance scores may drop a little bit on Monday. There’s one game that DFS owners will most likely be all over, and a couple others that may be somewhat easy to avoid. The Vegas lines should give us a clue which games are which.
Vegas lines and totals
Minnesota @ Charlotte (-9.5) – total of 211.5
Memphis @ Cleveland (-10) – total of 203.5
San Antonio (-6.5) @ Indiana – total of 196.5
Sacramento @ New Orleans (-1.5) – 220
Milwaukee @ Chicago (-6) – total of 208
L.A. Clippers (-4) @ Dallas – total of 210
Orlando @ Golden State (-14.5) – total of 222.5
Kings-Pelicans is a great target Monday, especially with New Orleans continuing to be beset by injuries. The latest Eric Gordon ailment as well as some back issues for Norris Cole could open up some extra usage and value for teammates in a prime matchup. The Warriors might be out for blood after losing to the Lakers on Sunday, so it will be tough to go too big on a late game that could get ugly. A few others project in the middle tier, while Spurs-Pacers and Grizzlies-Cavs seem like ones to avoid on the surface. Let’s see how this analysis holds up in top plays below.

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 6, 2016

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After Saturday’s rest epidemic—special thanks go out to the Nets and Spurs—Sunday’s slate brings us seven games with a rare afternoon start time. Most Sundays have one or two matinee games, but four of the seven games on this slate start at 5 p.m. or earlier. Let’s take a look at Vegas’ lines on the Sunday slate.

Vegas lines and totals

Golden State (-16.5) @ L.A. Lakers – total of 222.5
Oklahoma City (-7.5) @ Milwaukee – total of 219
Phoenix @ Memphis (-10.5) – total of 207.5
Dallas (-3.5) @ Denver – 210.5
Portland (-1) @ Detroit – total of 206
Philadelphia @ Miami (-14.5) – total of 212
Houston @ Toronto (-7.5) – total of 214

The Warriors should crush the Lakers, especially if Kobe Bryant and Jordan Clarkson sit, while Thunder-Bucks has a high total as well but should be a much closer game, as OKC tends to play down to its opponent on the road. None of these games scream “Fade!” except maybe Suns-Grizzlies, but there’s always a good way to take advantage of the dumpster-fire Suns on any slate. With five of the seven games having spreads of at least 7.5 points, avoiding possible blowouts will be nearly impossible. My top plays below reflect that.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 2, 2016

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Big Wednesday returns to the NBA schedule with the first slate of at least nine games since the same day last week. Hopefully that’s a trend for the rest of the season, as four games or fewer are generally boring—although not as much lately—while nights with 10-plus tend to have some information overload. Speaking of having too much knowledge, let’s check in with the Vegas lines.

Vegas lines and totals

Chicago @ Orlando (-3) – total of 209
Charlotte (-8.5) @ Philadelphia – total of 209
Portland @ Boston (-5) – total of 219
Utah @ Toronto (-6) – total of 193.5
Sacramento @ Memphis (-5.5) – total of 214.5
New Orleans @ Houston (-5.5) – total of 219
Washington (-3.5) @ Minnesota – total of 220
Indiana (-2) @ Milwaukee – total of 202.5
Detroit @ San Antonio (-10.5) – total of 200.5
L.A. Lakers @ Denver (-7) – total of 211.5
Oklahoma City @ L.A. Clippers (-1) – total of 220.5

Four lines in particular stand out Wednesday: Blazers-Celtics, Pelicans-Rockets, Wizards-Wolves and Thunder-Clippers. Kings-Grizzlies stands alone in the next tier, but the first four games all project to be pretty close with over/unders around 220 and all make for decent GPP stacks—you never know when a projected tight game hits OT and explodes for crazy fantasy-point totals. You can be assured most of those games will be covered below at least once in the top plays.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: March 1, 2016

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The NBA calm before the storm continues Tuesday with just six games on the slate. We haven’t seen more than eight games since last Wednesday, which is just fine if you ask me. Not only are there less back-to-backs to deal with, but there are also less games to analyze and write up as well. It also makes the top plays of the day more clear. Wednesday will be a disaster though. Anyway, let’s gauge Vegas’ feelings on Tuesday’s slate.

Vegas lines and totals

Phoenix @ Charlotte (-13) – total of 205.5
Portland (-5) @ New York – total of 207.5
Chicago @ Miami (-5.5) – total of 200.5
Orlando @ Dallas (-5) – total of 212.5
Brooklyn @ L.A. Lakers (-1.5) – total of 212.5
Atlanta @ Golden State (-11.5) – total of 225

Hawks-Warriors has easily the highest total of the night, and the 11.5-point spread isn’t exactly as likely for a blowout as the 13-point spread on Suns-Hornets. It projects as a game that’s played in the 8-to-10-point range all night, but the Dubs can always hit you with a late barrage to cover. There are no games to totally fade on this slate, which is always nice when it’s a short one in terms of games in action. Keep reading to find out Tuesday’s top plays.

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