Sunday features Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors at 7 p.m. ET on TNT.
If you’re new to single-game formats, be sure to check out my previous work on the subject:
- 5 Tips to Dominate the DraftKings NBA Showdown Format
- How Does the Single-Game NBA Format on FanDuel Differ From DraftKings?
Milwaukee Bucks @ Toronto Raptors (-2) – 220.5 total
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard are the two highest priced players on today’s slate. They lead the slate in median, ceiling, and floor projections in our NBA Models, and both players have posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of the first two games of this series.
Giannis is the most expensive option — he costs $18,300 if you want to roster him at Captain — but he still seems like a bargain. He’s logged at least 60.0 DraftKings points in each of his past two games, and he’s done it by filling up the box score. He’s averaged “just” 27.0 points per game but has combined that with 15.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 2.5 blocks. Giannis averaged a stout 1.74 DraftKings points per minute this season and has played upwards of 39 minutes during the playoffs.
You need to have him in your roster tonight, and he obviously makes for a very strong choice at Captain on DraftKings.
Leonard hasn’t been able to pile up the peripherals like Giannis in this series, but he’s averaged a strong 31.0 points per game. He’s done it in different ways as well. He relied in volume in Game 1, shooting just 10-of-26 from the field, but he was a much more efficient 10-of-18 in Game 2. If he can combine his volume from Game 1 with his efficiency from Game 2, he could be looking at a monster performance in Game 3.
There’s really not much more to say about these guys. Not having 100% exposure to both is a mistake.
This is the weakest area to target on today’s slate. Kyle Lowry exploded during Game 1 of this series, scoring 46.5 DraftKings points, but predictably regressed in Game 2. He posted roughly the same usage rate in each contest, but shot 66.7% from the field in Game 1 and 30.8% from the field in Game 2.
His expected outcome in Game 3 lies somewhere in between those performances. He’s averaged 1.05 DraftKings points per minute this season, but that figure has dipped to just 0.86 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. Still, he seems like the best value in this range on DraftKings at $7,600.
Khris Middleton and Pascal Siakam are both more talented than the previous results indicate, which makes them potential buy-low candidates. That said, I’m bearish on both. They each have massive responsibilities on the defensive end during this series — Middleton has to deal with Leonard while Siakam has been matched up with Giannis — so expect them to focus the majority of their energy on that end of the court.
Raptors’ Head Coach Nick Nurse has hinted at some possible lineup changes for Game 3, and Serge Ibaka is the most logical candidate to move into the starting lineup.
He was a strong contributor in Game 2, scoring 23.0 DraftKings points in 27.3 minutes, and he’s averaged 1.09 DraftKings points per minute this season. He’s an elite option across the industry, although he does figure to be highly-owned if he is confirmed as a starter before lock.
Eric Bledsoe doesn’t figure to be nearly as chalky, and he’s an interesting buy low target. He’s been priced down to $6,400 on DraftKings after getting as high as $9,000 in Round 1 vs. the Pistons, and he seems like a prime candidate for some positive regression.
He’s shot just 27.3% from the field through the first two games of this series after shooting 48.4% during the regular season. He has massive upside at his current salary if his jump shot starts to fall.
The appeal of paying up for Giannis or Kawhi at Captain is increased by a strong group of value options on today’s slate:
- George Hill ($3,800): He’s become a really important member of the Bucks’ rotation and has posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past five games. That said, he has negative correlations with Middleton, Bledsoe, and Malcolm Brogdon, so you may want to avoid those options if you choose to roster him.
- Ersan Ilyasova ($3,400): He was the hero for the Bucks in Game 2, recording 17 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals over 21.3 minutes. He also drew three charges after leading the league in that department during the regular season. He might be a fade from a game theory perspective – he’s been priced up and should command higher ownership after his last performance – but he’s still priced very fairly on DraftKings.
- Norman Powell ($2,200): He’s another candidate to enter the starting lineup for the Raptors, but he should see more minutes today regardless. He’s averaged 0.85 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so he can do some damage with increased playing time. He’s an elite value option on today’s slate.
- Fred VanVleet ($1,800): It’s been a major struggle for VanVleet during the postseason, but he did play 23.9 minutes in their last contest. He’s been priced down all the way to $1,800, so he doesn’t need to do much to pay off that small of a price tag.
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Pictured: Raptors SF Norman Powell
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports