NBA DFS Picks: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Sunday, December 31

NBA DFS Picks: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Sunday, December 31

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This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview – Main Slate

LAL at NOP: Lakers 3-7 in last 10 games and face second game of back-to-back; Pelicans 6-4 in last 10 games

BOS at SAS: Celtics on five-game win streak; Spurs 2-13 at home

BKN at OKC: Nets on two-game slide; Thunder on three-game win streak

ORL at PHX: Magic 7-8 on road; Suns on two-game win streak

SAC at MEM: Kings 7-7 on road; Grizzlies on two-game slide

For the latest spreads and over/unders, visit RotoWire’s NBA Odds page. There you can also find player props, futures, picks, articles and sportsbook bonus codes.

Injuries to Monitor  

For all the latest updates, visit RotoWire’s NBA Injury News page and our comprehensive NBA Injury Report.        

LAL – D’Angelo Russell (lower body): OUT 
LeBron James should run the point, while Austin Reaves could have a greater role on offense. 

NOP – Trey Murphy (knee): Questionable 
Naji Marshall and Dyson Daniels could get more opportunities. 

BOS – Jrue Holiday (elbow): Questionable
Payton Pritchard may have to step up. 

SAS – Keldon Johnson (back): Questionable; Zach Collins (ankle): OUT
Julian Champagnie is up for another start. 

BKN – Nic Claxton (ankle): Probable; Lonnie Walker (hamstring), Ben Simmons (back): OUT
Dennis Smith, Cam Thomas and Royce O’Neale remain up for more playing time.      

ORL – Jonathan Isaac (hamstring), Wendell Carter (knee), Gary Harris (calf), Markelle Fultz (knee): Questionable; Joe Ingles (ankle): OUT
Cole Anthony and Anthony Black may continue to get a more opportunity in the backcourt. Moritz Wagner and Goga Bitadze are also in line for a boost if Carter is out.     

SAC – Kevin Huerter (hand): Questionable
Malik Monk and Chris Duarte could see more action. 

MEM – John Konchar (illness), Luke Kennard (knee), Derrick Rose (hamstring): Questionable
Ziaire Williams could get more opportunities. 

Elite Players

Guards

Ja Morant, Grizzlies ($9,600) vs. Kings

Morant tallied 19 points, six rebounds and 10 assists in the previous outing, which marked his return from a one-game absence due to illness. He is averaging 26.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists across five games played this season. Morant also faces a good opportunity to keep his rhythm going against the Kings, who give up the league’s fourth-most points per game to opposing point guards. 

Desmond Bane, Grizzlies ($8,400) vs. Kings

Bane continues to deliver big numbers despite his team’s turbulent rotation to start the season. He topped 50 DK points in two of the last five games, averaging 27.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.0 steals over that span, and should keep it going against the Kings, who give up the league’s eighth-highest field-goal percentage. 

Forwards/Centers

Jaylen Brown, Celtics ($8,700) at Spurs 

Brown delivered 53 DK points in the last game, which marked his return from a one-game absence due to a back injury. He is averaging 24.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 0.9 steals across his last 10 appearances. He has a good chance to shine against the Spurs, who give up the league’s most three-pointers and third-most points per game. 

Kevin Durant, Suns ($9,700) vs. Magic 

Durant continues his scorching play, averaging 26.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 8.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks over the last five games, including a high of 74 DK points. He faces a tough matchup against the Magic frontcourt, but he is likely to pad his stats at the foul line, as the Magic give up the league’s sixth-most free throws per game.  

Kristaps Porzingis, Celtics ($8,000) at Spurs 

Porzingis has been in and out of the lineup lately, but he is averaging 29.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 2.7 blocks over his last three appearances, which all came within the Celtics’ last five outings. He faces a good opportunity to prosper against the Spurs, who give up the league’s third-most points and fourth-most rebounds to opposing centers. 

Expected Chalk 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Thunder ($10,300) vs. Nets 

Gilgeous-Alexander topped 50 DK points in nine of the last 10 games, including three with more than 60 DK points and a high of 67. He’s averaging 34.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 2.9 steals, with just 1.7 turnovers per game over that span. He faces a tough matchup against the Nets, who do a good job of containing the point, but he should find room to get his shot off from deep, as they give up the league’s seventh-most three-pointers per game. 

Mid-Range Money 

Marcus Smart, Grizzlies ($5,800) vs. Kings 

Smart topped 29 DK points in all three games since returning from a five-week absence. He is averaging 13.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.2 steals in 14 games played this season, and he should find an easier time on the court alongside Ja Morant.  

Derrick White, Celtics ($7,500) at Spurs 

White continues to stand out, averaging 19.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.1 blocks over the last 10 games, including five with more than 40 DK points and a high of 52.8. He faces a great chance to keep rolling with a matchup against the Spurs, who give up the league’s third-highest field-goal percentage to opposing shooting guards. 

Josh Giddey, Thunder ($5,500) vs. Nets 

Despite a couple of underwhelming performances, Giddey continues to make an impact across the stat sheet, averaging 10.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists over the last 10 games, including two where he topped 40 DK points. He has a good chance to find his groove offensively against the Nets, who do not do well covering the wing positions.  

Value Picks

Herbert Jones, Pelicans ($4,700) vs. Lakers 

Jones is averaging 6.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists over the last 10 games, including a high of 27.5 DK points. He could also pick up added playing time if Trey Murphy is out, and he has a favorable matchup against the Lakers, who face the second game of a back-to-back on the road. 

Dorian Finney-Smith, ($4,800) at Thunder 

Finney-Smith is expected to pick up his second straight start and is averaging 9.8 points and 4.8 rebounds over his last five outings. He is also likely to pad his stats against the Thunder, who give up the league’s second-most offensive rebounds per game. 

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it’s possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Dan Bruno plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: duelingdan.

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