The NBA season kicks off with a 3-game slate, which gives us a high variance start to the NBA DFS year. There aren’t a whole lot of options for us to choose from tonight which makes our value picks tonight that much more important. Tonight’s plays will be on DraftKings. Let’s get right into it.
Detroit @ Atlanta
Spread: Atl -7
Andre Drummond- $8,200 on DK
Drummond heads into his 4th season with all the opportunity in the world to break out. The Pistons moved on from Greg Monroe and brought in Ersan Ilyasova to better compliment Drummond in the post. After a preseason of averaging 15.9 points and 12.6 rebounds, he looks ready to embrace his role as the best player on the Pistons.
Drummond is the chalk play at center tonight for several reasons. Other than Horford, there is little depth at the position. Drummond will be in for a major rebounding night with the 3rd highest rebounding rate last season against a Hawks squad that was one of the worst rebound teams in the NBA last season. Tiago Splitter will help, but Drummond is in a great position to start off the year with a double-double. Drummond is a strong cash game play tonight.
Kent Bazemore- $3,000 on DK
Bazemore becomes one of the best plays on the board tonight with him slated to be the starter at SF. At minimum price, he doesn’t have to do a whole lot to justify his salary in tonight’s game. Reports from this offseason say that Bazemore has vastly improved his game all facets which lead him to earning his spot over the veteran Sefolosha. But really, the name in this situation really doesn’t matter. Minimum salary, starting and an offense that shares the ball like ATL is far too much value to pass up on a short slate.
Bazemore will be incredibly popular in all formats for good reason. Don’t overthink it and use him as the best salary relief play on the night.
Cleveland @ Chicago
Spread: Chicago -3
Kevin Love- $7,500 on DK
With Kyrie out, the uncertainty of LeBron’s health after missing most of the preseason and TT working himself into game shape, Love will be asked to shoulder a big offensive responsibility vs the Bulls. He’s in a favorable match-up against Nikola Mirotic, who adds offensive prowess to the Bulls starting lineup, but is a significant downgrade defensively and on the boards from Joakim Noah. Love will also want to prove that he’s healthy and that he can still be one of the best players in the NBA.
Davis will be the dominant play at PF tonight, which does give Love a boost in tournaments. Use him confidently in all formats.
Jimmy Butler- $7,600 on DK
Butler established himself last season as a fantasy superstar because of how many categories he contributes in and him being one of the leaders in the NBA in minutes. He’s exactly the type of player we want to target in DFS: loads of opportunity and contributes in all statistical categories. There’s nothing to suggest that will change heading into the season as he remains the top dog in Chicago, even with Rose healthy.
He finds himself in a favorable match-up against J.R Smith with little SG depth after him. Unless LeBron starts defending him, the Cavs do not have an answer for slowing Butler. Butler is the better cash game option tonight while I’d look towards Eric Gordon or Klay Thompson for tournaments.
New Orleans @ Golden State
Spread: GSW -9.5
Steph Curry- $9,500 on DK
I have Steph as my top-rated play tonight as the injury depleted Pelicans won’t come close to having an answer for him. You can never go wrong with playing Anthony Davis, but I think there’s a little more value in saving some money tonight and taking the player with just as high a ceiling, if not higher. With Jrue Holiday on a minutes limit, Tyreke Evans and Norris Cole hurt, the Pelicans will be giving a lot of minutes to Nate Robinson tonight. That bodes extremely well for Curry to have a huge night and get the Warriors started off strong towards their title defense.
The big worry here is that the game becomes a blow-out as the Vegas line suggests and Curry sits in the 4th quarter. It’s not enough to fade Curry in an incredibly favorable match-up for him.
Harrison Barnes- $4,600 on DK
Barnes isn’t as much an elite play as one of the only small forwards we can rely on tonight. His consistency and the high total of this game elevates him to elite status on the short slate. Barnes also does play in the Warriors “blow-out” lineup at the end of games which can help him exceed his value on the night.
SF is pretty simple for me tonight. Barnes is the strong cash game play while someone like LeBron makes more sense in tournaments.
For more questions about tonight’s slate, message me @AsmusSports. Good luck!