Friday wraps up the week with a stellar six-game featured slate, tipping off at 7 p.m. ET on DraftKings and FanDuel. There are several options in the player pool worth analyzing to find the top NBA DFS building blocks and NBA DFS picks. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Trae Young, Alperen Sengun and Tyrese Maxey.
NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Friday, February 9
NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks
Giannis Antetokounmpo should be relatively fresh since he played a scant 27.3 minutes last night as The Bucks were trounced 129-105 at home by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Both Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez took to the bench midway through the third quarter and watched as their comrades lost for the fifth time in six games. On a fun note, this dismal stretch coincides with new coach Glenn Rivers taking over.
The Bucks are 14-point favorites and going against a Charlotte squad that is depleted from the trade deadline, but that should not dissuade anyone from rolling with Antetokounmpo tonight. Damian Lillard (ankle) has missed the last two games, and the team may not have Patrick Beverley cleared in time to play tonight. The Bucks moved Cameron Payne out as part of the trade, so that means Marjon Beauchamp and Andre Jackson Jr. are the only point guards on the roster. Last night they combined for a grand total of 23 minutes, with nearly half of that occurring in the final frame during mop-up duty.
But wait, there’s more … Khris Middleton (ankle) is expected to be out through the All-Star Break, so that means more minutes for Bobby Portis and Jae Crowder, plus Pat Connaughton could get another spot start if Beverley is not available. Giggity!
Tonight Tyrese Maxey is project for nearly 50 fantasy points, which is about the same as what he has actually tallied over the last two games combined. For those clinging to the “Maxey isn’t good without Joel Embiid” trope, this has been a wonderful four-day stretch.
Let those fools have their fun and take solace in actual data from NBA WOWY, which shows that Maxey is averaging 1.06 fantasy points per minute with Embiid and 1.26 when the Cameroonian center if off the court.
As mentioned above, the Payne-for-Beverley trade may not be officially finalized in time for Payne to suit up for Philadelphia, and the team is in a similar situation with Buddy Hield, whom it acquired for Furkan Korkmaz and Marcus Morris Sr. However, neither was playing much anyway, so it is more about Hield getting minutes.
The 76ers could potentially have eight active players tonight, which means Tobias Harris and Kelly Oubre Jr. would need to assume additional scoring responsibilities, while KJ Martin Jr. and Ricky Council IV could become intriguing punt plays if the new players are not ready for tonight. De’Anthony Melton, Nicolas Batum and Robert Covington Jr. are out with injuries, and Jaden Springer was traded to Boston, so he is out of the picture as well. UPDATE: Payne and Hield will be available, Maxey, Harris, Oubre still solid – Martin, Council lose some luster.
This game has a 245.5-point total, with Atlanta actually a 3.5-point road favorite. Trae Young is always live in tournaments, and this could be another game without Dejounte Murray (back), who was scratched prior to the Hawks’ last game. That could have just been a convenient designation as the team was also entertaining trade offers. If Murray plays, both he and Young are secondary options who are likely to be somewhat overlooked in the mad rush for the inevitable stars-and-scrubs roster construction tonight.
Onyeka Okongwu will be in the starting lineup with Clint Capela on the shelf, and he is another intriguing piece for tournaments, particularly where he has power forward eligibility. This environment also bodes well for Jalen Johnson, who is a great rebounder and won’t have to battle Embiid or Capela for errant caroms.
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NBA DFS Picks: Key Games
Houston Rockets at Toronto Raptors
Fred VanVleet is likely to be out through the All-Star Break, so that has opened up a starting slot, which looks to be filled by rookie Amen Thompson. In his two starts this season, he has cleared 40 fantasy points in both. Alperen Sengun is also a desirable tournament play, and at some point everything is going to click in the same game and we are going to see him with a triple-double and 60-plus fantasy points.
Jabari Smith is in play on DraftKings ($5,400), but he is not overly enticing on FanDuel ($6,200). While Jalen Green looks a little better on FanDuel ($7,500) than DraftKings ($7,300).
Scottie Barnes, Immanuel Quickley and Jakob Poeltl are steady plays in all formats, though if this were an eight-game slate, they would fall out of consideration. Houston has a much improved defense, and that is not impacted by the absence of VanVleet.
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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick
Cody Martin is someone to target in the DFS world with his increased role for the Charlotte Hornets, but we can hedge out some of that downside risk by looking to the under on his 5.5 assists prop, which is currently available at odds of -115 on Bet365.
This is a good example that demonstrates the power of letting OddsShopper do the heavy lifting when researching favorable bets.
The next best odds at most books are all the way down to -145, which is easily a 2% to 3% drop in the expected value of this wager.
Per the true odds of -131 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a solid 6% positive expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.
NBA Bet Pro currently has Martin projected for 30.1 minutes and 4.77 assists. That median projection is favorable when compared to the 5.5 threshold tonight, but keep in mind a range of outcomes is far different than one specific projection.
Martin is averaging a career-high 4.8 assists per 36 minutes, and he does pick up some secondary facilitation duties with LaMelo Ball (ankle) out of commission. The 28-year-old is constantly dinged up, and it seems like the team is content to keep him in the 27 to 28 minute range, even though he starts. In his last 13 games, Martin has averaged 27.3 minutes with 3.9 assists. The only real concern here is that he has six or more assists in four of his last five games without Ball.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today
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