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NBA DFS and props: How to attack Friday night's slate

·Betting analyst
·3 min read
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Fantasy sports is all about matchups — especially the NBA. You may want to play Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic or LeBron James every night. Yet, no matter how big their names are, they aren’t always worth the money. Friday night in the NBA, a few big players are well worth spending for, while other positions can be substituted for less expensive options.

Picking your center

My first thought for Friday night’s slate was JOEL EMBIID! The Los Angeles Clippers have been atrocious on the boards. L.A. is allowing the second-most rebounds per contest, while in the last 10 games, allowing the most rebounds to opponents. The Clippers also allow the third most points in the paint this season. Their average of 49.8 points per game allowed in the paint has gone up to 54.7 in the last three games.

Embiid is averaging 27.1 points and 12.4 rebounds against teams bottom 10 in points allowed in the paint. He’s also averaging 29.1 points and 11 rebounds against teams bottom 10 in points and rebounds allowed. The Clippers fall into all those categories. This makes for a great spot to pay up for Embiid.

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid plays during an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Joel Embiid should be a force on Friday night's NBA DFS slate, but he is expensive. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

With Embiid’s salary at $52 it did get me thinking. Is there better value on the board at center? The less expensive option is $25 for Milwaukee Bucks center Bobby Portis. The Bucks host the Chicago Bulls who are not just allowing the ninth-most points in the paint this season at 47.8, but that number is up to 56 points in their last three outings. Portis is averaging 17 points and 8.4 rebounds against teams bottom 10 in points allowed in the paint. He could be a great way to save money at center so you can apply the extra salary to let’s say … the point guard position.

Props

Embiid over PTS + REB + AST

Portis over PTS or over PTS + REB

Point guard

For $47 there’s a chance you’re paying for a triple-double. It’s tough to do it two games in a row, but this could be another big game for Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray. The Brooklyn Nets' last 10 games have been terrible defensively. The Nets went from allowing 109.4 points per game to opponents to allowing 117.2 in their last 10. In the last two weeks, the guard leading his team in scoring against Brooklyn is averaging 26.3 points. In the last meeting between the Spurs and Nets, Murray was one rebound away from a triple-double with 19 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists. Spurs shooting guard Lonnie Walker was the leading scorer in that game, putting up 25 points. For the second time around, with a struggling Nets defense, it’s worth spending up for the potential triple-double from Murray.

Props

Murray triple-double

Murray over PTS + REB + AST

Value play

The Golden State Warriors are on the second leg of a back-to-back. Typically I fade players on a second leg, even on the Golden State Warriors. There’s one player on the Warriors who seems to love second legs of back-to-backs and that’s shooting guard Jordan Poole. He’s only $17 on Yahoo Fantasy and is squaring against with the worst defense in the NBA. The Rockets allow 116.5 points per game overall this season, ranking dead last. That number has gone up to 122.3 in their last 10. Poole is averaging 19.2 points, four rebounds and 3.7 assists on the second leg of back-to-backs this year. With the Warriors potentially sitting a star like Steph Curry or Klay Thompson on Friday night, Poole is worth a shot for a value play.

Prop

Poole over PTS