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NBA Basketball DFS Advice

NBA DFS Picks For December 31, 2020

Ben Simmonds NBA DFS Pick
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 05: Boston Celtics Guard Terry Rozier III (12) guards Philadelphia 76ers Guard Ben Simmons (25) in the first half during the Eastern Conference Semifinal Game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers on May 05, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

You saw the date, so it’s very easy to churn out a well-worn cliché about ending the year on a high note and all that stuff. But why should today be any different from the previous 364? At least from a DFS perspective that is as we need to treat each day exactly the same.   

Tonight we have a five game slate but the first thing we need to note is that it starts a half hour earlier than we are accustomed to; at 6:30 eastern. While there are some players on the slate we clearly like at the upper level, we are lacking from a true star power perspective. James Harden($11,000 DK, $11,500 FD) is the one obvious option that stands out and then Joel Emblid ($10,000 DK, $10,600 FD) appears as the only other player greater than the $10,000 mark on Draft Kings with just Ben Simmons ($9,200 DK, $8,900 FD) eclipsing $9,000. 

Especially on the short slate it begs an interesting question as to in what direction we should proceed. With 39 points and 12.5 assists per game Harden clearly has gotten off to a strong start but tonight we are introducing new variables into the equation. I know it is surprising but Emblid is dealing with an injury (back) but for now he is listed as probable. With 14 points, 9.3 rebounds, and six assists per game Simmons is contributing across the board but his lack of true offensive upside is slowing his potential. Of this group Harden is likely the only option I would consider but he is more of a GPP than 50-50 play. 

For those who have yet to subscribe, what are you waiting for? Until then you will get one free pick to whet your appetite. De’Aaron Fox ($7,800 DK, $7,900 FD) alleviated any concerns about his 12-point performance against the Suns by following that up with 24 points against the Nuggets two nights ago. With nine assists Fox came close to his first double-double of the season while bringing his average for the season to 20.3 points and 6.8 assists per game. The fact that Fox and the Kings are taking on the Rockets in the game with the highest projected point total of the night at 229.5 also comes into play as a game stack wouldn’t be the worst idea in a GPP.  

Subscribers can now expect us to continue digging into today’s slate. Where will we find tonight’s bargains below $6,000 and who is making their season debut tonight? So, keep on going and take a look at what we have to offer. This is just the beginning though. For a one-time fee of $99 per year we have all sports covered here including NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, PGA, NASCAR, and League of Legends. We know how profitable these picks can be so you can even try it out for one month for free.

Continuing on with that Houston game two key players for the Rockets are slated to make their season debuts tonight in John Wall ($7,100 DK, $7,000 FD) and DeMarcus Cousins ($5,000 DK, $6,500 FD). Wall will be inserted right into the starting lineup and his return does help to remove some of the lower cost value options we had previously been using to round out our lineup. It remains to be seen how he will interact with Harden but there is no disputing Wall’s skill set and at this price it is a much cheaper GPP alternative and he likely will be highly motivated in his debut with his new team. Cousins is slated to come off the bench, his price also clearly reflects that, and he is no longer the player he once was in the prime of his career. It has been hard to ask for a better start to the season than we have seen from Christian Wood ($7,300 DK, $8,800 FD) and he is still the front court player to own. Wood has benefited from Cousins’ absence though and I might give this situation a game to sort itself out. 

Another option to capitalize on all of the expected offense would be Buddy Hield ($6,800 DK, $5,400 FD) who is averaging 16.3 points per game. The value option that stands out is Tyrese Haliburton ($4,900 DK, $4,900 FD). Thus far in his rookie season Haliburton is averaging 27 minutes per game with 10.5 points and 5.3 assists. It hasn’t taken long for him to secure a sizable role in Sacramento’s offense and tonight’s game lines up perfectly for his skill set off the bench. 

Next in expected offense output are the Utah Jazz at 112 points along with the Toronto Raptors. Despite the Knicks recent success the Jazz game against Phoenix projects to have more offense overall and that leads us to Donovan Mitchell ($7,600 DK, $7,900 FD). So far this season Mitchell has scored either 20 or 21 points per game as he has yet to truly have a break out performance. Going against Devin Booker ($8,600 DK, $7,500 FD) that very well could change. Booker has also gotten off to a rough start with his shot so far in the young season averaging just 19 points per game although he has chipped in with 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Both high usage, high output guards are generally good targets despite them not finding their groove just yet. Between the two tonight, I’ll take the cost savings depending on the site.

In the backcourt we can always go back to our friends in Oklahoma City. Once again Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($8,100 DK, $8,400 FD) led the Thunder in scoring and that is a trend we will see repeated throughout the year. He is averaging 23.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game as part of a well-rounded effort. His partner in crime in the backcourt, Lu Dort ($5,100 DK, $5,600 FD) is averaging 18.3 points per game and still presents a value opportunity. 

As we look towards the middle of the court Deandre Ayton ($7,500 DK, $7,100 FD) is an intriguing option as he is coming off his second straight double-double. Ayton is averaging 11.5 points and 11.8 rebounds a game as a key part of Phoenix’s game plan. Depending on positional eligibility we also can’t ignore Julius Randle ($8,800 DK, $8,000 FD) who is playing at a truly elite level. Not only is Randle scoring at an elite level (24.5 points per game) but he is also averaging 10.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game following a triple-double against Cleveland on Tuesday.

Should Ayton or Randle prove to be too expensive then Steven Adams ($5,700 DK, $5,400 FD) is a viable option. Adams only averages 8.3 points per game but with 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, and 1.5 steals per game there is enough here to give you some well-rounded production.

OG Anunoby ($5,800 DK, $6,500 FD) is poised to take the next step in his development and Toronto certainly believes in him based on the contract extension he received prior to the season. In the first two games of the season, Anunoby took things slowly but he has played 36 minutes in all three games and in his last time out against Philadelphia the forward scored 20 points while also chipping in six rebounds. 

Anytime you see a starter for less than $4,000, it always is going to catch our attention as Royce O’Neale ($3,800 DK, $3,800 FD) is worth a look. Playing time isn’t an issue as O’Neale averages 32 minutes per game but with just 4.7 points per game isn’t a large part of the offense. He does make up for it on the boards though 8.7 rebounds per game.

So, what did you think?

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