We have a small five-game NBA DFS slate on Thursday. There are a few totals over 220 points, as well as some solid potential value picks to help you jam in studs like Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Kevin Durant, or Stephen Curry in your DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.
The headline game of the slate is the Spurs-Warriors, which also so happens to be the hammer game of the night. Spurs center Pau Gasol is set to miss the game with an arm injury, which opens up plenty of minutes in the frontcourt for guys like Joffrey Lauvergne and Davis Bertans. The best matchup of the night goes to the Thunder, who take on the Suns in a game with a 229.5-point total, 8.5 points higher than the next closest game. Russell Westbrook is in an eruption spot in this game, but don’t sleep on the Suns players in this matchup.
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NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel, DraftKings values for Thursday, March 8
Ben Simmons, PG/SF, 76ers @ Heat (DK: $8,000, FD: $8,800)
Simmons’ price is down across the industry in a difficult matchup with the Heat. While the matchup with the Heat is certainly tough on paper, Simmons has excelled against them, averaging 42.3 fantasy points per game in three contests this year, and he leads the Sixers in usage rate over the past five games (33.5 percent). Simmons will likely be low owned despite the price drop due to this game having by far the lowest total at 209 points.
Josh Richardson, SG/SF, Heat vs. 76ers (DK: $5,300, FD: $6,000)
Despite meeting or exceeding value in five of his past seven games, Richardson is another guy who has seen his price drop. His discount is likely due to the return of Wayne Ellington, but it’s hard to see Ellington eating into more than two or three minutes of Richardson’s playing time. The Sixers-Heat game will likely be the lowest owned game of the night, but Richardson, along with a few others, provides great value.
Joffrey Lauvergne, PF/C, Spurs @ Warriors (DK: $4,200, FD: $3,900)
The Spurs will be without center Pau Gasol for their key matchup with the Warriors, which will open up minutes and usage for guys like Lauvergne and Davis Bertans. While Bertans is a better cash option, I like Lauvergne’s upside in tournaments. He has shown that he can rack up fantasy points in a hurry and should benefit from the fast pace we’ll see in this game. He is also likely to stay out there in garbage time if this one gets out of hand late in the fourth quarter.
Dragen Bender, PF/C, Suns @ Thunder (DK: $3,900, FD: $3,900)
Bender continues to see big minutes for the Suns and offers a great mix of floor and upside at his price point. He has averaged 31 minutes per game since being slide into the starting lineup in early February, but he's at his lowest price point on DraftKings in over a month. The Thunder have faltered defensively since the All-Star break, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Suns are able to keep this game close.