NBA

FanDuel Daily Fantasy Picks and Helper: NBA Finals Game 5 (Mavericks at Celtics)

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD

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 Game 5's Dallas Mavericks-Boston Celtics single-game slate on FanDuel.

NBA Finals Single-Game DFS Picks for Mavericks-Celtics

Game 5 Preview

All NBA odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Date and Time: Monday, June 17th at 8:30 p.m. ET

Spread: Celtics -6.5 (-112)

Total: 210.5 (-110/-110)

Studs to Target

Luka Doncic ($18,000) -- Luka Doncic is, again, the top player on the slate. After cooking up 50.5 FanDuel points (FPs) in just 32 minutes last time out, Doncic's salary has ballooned to $18K, $2.5K more than the next-closest player. It's hard to argue with that. He's averaging 51.2 FPPG this series while boasts the game's highest points prop over/under (32.5) on FanDuel Sportsbook and the highest fantasy projection (58 FPs) from FanDuel Research. Still, we've seen Boston's stars outperform him twice in four games, so he's by no means the only MVP choice with the Celtics favored by 6.5 points.

Jayson Tatum ($15,500) -- We've yet to see a true ceiling game from Jayson Tatum this series, but that's not from of a lack of opportunity. Tatum has attempted the most shots on the Celtics in three of four games, and he's running a team-high 28.2% usage rate. But an abysmal 36.5% FG% has kept him under 50 FPs in all four games. Still, it's hard to imagine the First Team All-NBA wing shooting this poorly all series considering he shot 44.2% in the first three rounds. Tatum's 51.2-FP projection makes him the top point-per-dollar value on the slate, and he serves as a viable contrarian play in the 2x MVP multiplier slot.

Mid-Range Options

Jrue Holiday ($10,500) -- Jrue Holiday's salary has dipped following a pair of down performances in Dallas, but there's logic in buying the dip for his return to Boston. Holiday managed 32.1 and 49.7 FPs across Games 1 and 2 -- and that was with Kristaps Porzingis healthy. With Porzingis' Game 5 status in doubt, Holiday could shoulder an even heftier offensive load than he did in the first two games. Between the regular season and playoffs, Holiday has averaged 31.1 FPPG when Porzingis has been out -- up from 28.4 FPPG rate with the unicorn active, per RotoGrinders Court IQ.

Dereck Lively ($10,000) -- Dereck Lively has come alive with Porzingis out the last two games, notching a pair of double-doubles while averaging 31.3 FPPG. Yet, there still feels like some untapped potential here. Despite swatting 1.2 shots per game in the first three rounds, Lively still hasn't recorded a block in the Finals. Having comfortably outplayed Daniel Gafford ($8,500) the last two games, Lively is primed for another strong outing in Game 5. He has +260 odds to record a double-double on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Value Plays

Al Horford ($9,500) -- There's not much we can take away from Boston's Game 4 performance, but Al Horford did have the highest plus-minus (-18) among Celtic starters. He only netted 14.6 FPs across 23 minutes but went for 24 FPs in a 36-minute Game 3. The veteran big man has notably averaged 27.5 FPPG at home this postseason, so we're getting some nice value here provided Porzingis is, indeed, out again. There's not a ton of upside, but Horford has cracked 30 FPs four times in his last seven games without Porzingis.

P.J. Washington ($9,000) -- PJ Washington only put up 6.4 FPs in Dallas' Game 4 win, but two early fouls and the Mavs' subsequent blowout resulted in just 14 minutes for the swingman. He's still played at least 30 minutes in 18 of 21 playoff games, so we shouldn't worry too much about his Game 4 dud. Washington went for at least 23 FPs in each of the series' first three games, and he's averaging 26.5 FPPG for the postseason. You can't ask for much more than that at a $9K salary.


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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.