NBA

FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Thursday 4/4/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Thursday 4/4/24

Since NBA DFS is easier to predict than baseball or football, it would likely get plenty of votes as the best sport to play on FanDuel. Basketball players usually stick to the same minutes and produce at roughly the same rate. Sounds easy, right? Trust me -- it's not!

As a result, NBA daily fantasy is highly reliant on a player's opportunity, so you'll need to ensure that you're up to date with key injuries. Our projections -- which are powered by numberFire -- update throughout the day to reflect current news. You can also turn to numberFire for player news updates as well as a matchup heat map and lineup optimizer to help give you an edge.

On top of all that, here at FanDuel Research, we'll come at you each day with this NBA DFS primer, which breaks down some of the day's top plays at each position.

Let's dive into today's main slate on FanDuel.

Betting lines via the NBA odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. Projections and betting odds may change after this article is published.

NBA DFS Picks

Thursday's main slate on FanDuel features four games. For a full breakdown, see numberFire's matchup heat map.

Top matchups:

Other games:

Guards

Top Plays

Luka Doncic ($12,500) -- As a reminder, here's what happened the last time Luka Doncic faced the Hawks. His 73 real-world points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists came out to 94.5 FanDuel points (FPs). Pretty good! While we can't expect Doncic to do that again, this is an Atlanta defense that just let up 50 actual and 69.7 FanDuel points to Malachi Flynn -- another dominant Luka outing is certainly on the table. It doesn't hurt that Dallas has the slate's highest implied total (120.50) while Luka's points prop is set way up at 34.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Miles McBride ($6,600) -- After logging 44 minutes on Tuesday, Miles McBride has now played at least 40 minutes in seven of his last eight games. He's averaging a ludicrous 44.9 minutes per game over that stretch, chipping in 19.8 actual and 32.6 FanDuel points for good measure. Having exceeded 35 FPs in half of those outings, McBride is a high-floor option against the Kings. Sacramento has allowed the 10th-most FPPG to SGs over their last 15 games, per FantasyPros.

Dante Exum ($4,200) -- It's been a gradual return to fantasy relevance for Dante Exum, but he's now played over 20 minutes in three of his last four games. That should come in handy against a Hawks team that's dipped to 21st in defensive rating over their last 10 games. As of Thursday morning, numberFire projects Exum for 21.8 FPs, making him the top point-per-dollar value among guards (5.19 FPs per $1,000).

Others to Consider

Stephen Curry ($8,600) -- Stephen Curry has cracked 40 FPs just twice in his last eight games, but a must-win game against Houston could deliver a throwback performance. Though Houston has jumped to 10th in defensive rating over the last 15 games, they've surrendered the third most real-world points to PGs over that span. A tight spread (Warriors -3.5) and high total (227.5) adds to Steph's intrigue.

Keon Ellis ($5,200) -- Early draft percentage projections from around the industry suggest Keon Ellis will have a high roster rate tonight, and I can't argue with it. With Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk going down the last month, Ellis has stepped up to average 28.3 minutes and 22.9 FPPG over his last 12 games. He's flashed upside with a trio of 30-FP outings over that span but has done enough on the defensive end (1.8 steals per game) to keep him relevant on a nightly basis.

Wings

Top Plays

Jimmy Butler ($8,400) -- Wing is pretty lackluster tonight, with Jimmy Butler the lone SF with a salary north of $8K. Jimmy's exceeded 35 FPs just once over his last eight outings, though that one time was a 52.3-FP blowup. That's the kind of upside we're looking for against his former team, Philly, tonight. Opposing SFs have fared well against the Sixers of late, as they've allowed the third-most actual points and seventh-most FPs to the position over the last 15 games.

Jalen Johnson ($7,600) -- Jalen Johnson wasted no time shaking off the rust from a six-game absence, posting a 28-point, 14-rebound, 11-assist triple-double in his second game back. That culminated in 73.3 FPs and makes him worth a look against Dallas. The Mavericks have given up the eighth-most FPPG to PFs this season, and Johnson cooked up 25 actual and 39.1 FanDuel points when they squared off in January.

Harrison Barnes ($5,300) -- Harrison Barnes took a step back following a pair of 20-point games, but I'm optimistic he can turn the scoring back up at Madison Square Garden tonight. The combo forward posted a clean 28.7 FPs the last time he faced the Knicks and should continue to see heavy minutes with Sacramento's recent injuries. numberFire projects Barnes for 14.2 actual and 23.5 FanDuel points tonight. His points prop is down at 12.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Others to Consider

Donte DiVincenzo ($7,700) -- A nightly threat for 50 FPS, Donte DiVincenzo went for 31 actual points and 49.8 FPs in Tuesday's loss to Miami. That marked the third time in six games he's exceeded 49 FPs. DiVincenzo's tied with Jimmy Butler for the top value among wings thanks to a 37.1-FP numberFire projection (4.82 FPs per $1,000) and should benefit from a Kings defense that's allowed the seventh-highest three-point field goal percentage since the All-Star break (37.9%).

Andrew Wiggins ($6,500) -- There's a pretty wide range of outcomes for Andrew Wiggins game-to-game, but he's the kind of high-upside player I want to take chances on in larger tournaments. Just look at his FP totals for the last eight games -- 41.5, 18.5, 23.8, 31.9, 34.7, 48.6, 9.0, 33.8. That level of upside is what we're looking for on smaller slates, especially at a manageable salary.

Bigs

Top Plays

Domantas Sabonis ($10,800) -- Tough matchup for Domantas Sabonis against New York tonight -- the single-best fantasy defense against centers. They "held" him to 38.8 FPs last month, although he still went for 21 points and 14 rebounds. Even on off nights, Sabonis is still a near-lock for 40 FPs. There are some better values further down the list, but from an upside perspective, Sabonis still takes the cake. His points + rebounds prop is set at 32.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

PJ Washington ($6,200) -- Industry roster rate projections suggest that Daniel Gafford will be a bit more popular than PJ Washington tonight, but I prefer PJ. Washington has averaged 33.2 minutes, 1.7 made threes, and 26.2 FPPG over the last 10 games -- playing time that should prove valuable against a soft Atlanta interior. The Hawks have given up the fourth-most FPPG and threes to PFs on the year. numberFire projects him for 1.9 threes tonight, but his made threes prop is set at 1.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Others to Consider

Joel Embiid ($11,100) -- Personally, I can't get myself to play Joel Embiid in his second game back from injury against the second-worst fantasy matchup for centers, Miami. Yes, Embiid went for 44.7 FPs over 29 minutes in his return to action on Tuesday, but we're not getting any sort of salary discount here. I get the appeal, and there's certainly upside in larger tournaments, but I'd rather allocate this much of my cap to Doncic or Sabonis at similar salaries.

Trayce Jackson-Davis ($6,500) -- Rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis played his way back into Golden State's rotation last month, averaging 24.9 minutes and 29.3 FPPG over the last 15 games. He popped for 40 FPs twice over that span, hinting at real upside at a mid-range salary. He's in a nice spot against an undersized Houston interior. Since Alperen Sengun went down on March 12th, the Rockets have given up the eighth-most points in the paint yet rank seventh in pace.


Catch two NBA on TNT games tonight! All customers get a 30% Profit Boost to use on a 3+ Leg Same Game Parlay for the Kings vs Knicks or Nuggets vs Clippers happening April 4th. See the promotions page for more information.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.