NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Finals Game 1, Thursday, June 6 (2024)

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

After some unusually long amount of down time, the NBA Finals are finally ready to tip off Thursday night at TD Garden. The Celtics are unsurprisingly the clear series favorite, but there seems to be plenty of sentiment that this will be far from a lopsided tussle, given the Mavericks' impressive postseason showing thus far. There will be no shortage of star power to consider when constructing our single-game DFS lineups, so identifying viable mid-salary and value plays will be critical for putting together winning combinations.

With only one matchup, we're dealing with FanDuel's single-game contest rosters comprised as follows:

MVP- (Garners points at 2x the normal rate)

STAR- (Garners points at 1.5x the normal rate)

PRO- (Garners points at 1.2x the normal rate)

Two Utility spots- (Garner points at normal rate)

With salaries also being different than in conventional FanDuel contests on multi-game slates and top players inevitably headed for heavy rostering, there are definitely strategic elements particular to single-game lineups. Finding key value plays for the two utility spots is undoubtedly key, as it enables you to fill out the multiplier spots with some of the top projected producers.

Slate Overview

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.

Listed spreads/totals are from FanDuel Sportsbook and current as of Thursday, June 6 @ 12:00 a.m. EDT:

Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics (-6.5) (O/U: 215.0)

In line with their status as solid series favorites (-225 as of Wednesday night), Boston also carries a clear projected advantage for Game 1. Nine of the Celtics' 12 postseason wins thus far have come by seven points or more, while the Mavericks have covered a +6.5 spread in nine straight postseason games, and in all but two of their 17 playoff games.

As far as the projected total, the two regular-season meetings between the teams – which the Celtics prevailed in by nine and 28 points – finished with totals 229 and 248 points, so the number does seem on the lower side. However, both teams have played excellent defense in the postseason, and with the long layoff for both teams at play Thursday, shooting may not be optimally efficient.

Injury Situations to Monitor

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

Luka Doncic, DAL (knee/ankle): PROBABLE

Doncic is a virtual certainty to suit up and play without restrictions Thursday, as the pair of nagging injuries he's dealing with are ones he's played through on much less rest this postseason.

Elite Players

The two highest-salaried players on the slate are Luka Doncic ($17,000) and Jayson Tatum ($15,500).

Doncic finished the WCF against the Timberwolves with averages of 60.4 FD points, 32.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 2.2 steals per contest. Doncic also picked up his shooting in what was a very tough defensive matchup on paper, draining 47.3 percent, including 43.4 percent from three-point range, across the five contests. He shot an identical 47.3 percent against Boston in two regular-season games while averaging 35.0 points, 15.0 rebounds and 12.0 assists.

Tatum had his own stellar conference finals, putting up 53.9 FD points and shooting 46.3 percent in his four games against the Pacers. Tatum has eclipsed 50 FD points in half of Boston's 14 postseason games overall, including three 61+ FD-point efforts in the last five contests. The Mavericks also struggled to slow down Tatum during the regular season, allowing him to average 35.5 points (on 52.5 percent shooting, including 41.2 percent from distance), 9.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks across two games.

Expected Chalk

With only one matchup, the likes of Jaylen Brown ($14,000), Kyrie Irving ($13,500) and Derrick White ($12,500) should also be very popular. All three make for great options in the STAR or PRO slots.

Brown is fresh off ECF MVP honors after averaging 46.3 FD points per contest in the series. He's averaging 38.6 FD points while shooting 54.1 percent over Boston's 14 postseason contests, affording him an outstanding floor versus a Dallas squad he shot 57.1 percent against in two regular-season games.

Irving takes on his old Celtics squad after eclipsing 40 FD points in three of his last five postseason games. The perennial All-Star did have one tally of 39.7 FD points against Boston during the regular season as well, but he was held to 41.7 percent shooting in the two contests versus the Celtics and scored just 25.8 FD points in the one contest at TD Garden.

White turned in between 41.5 and 50.8 FD points in four ECF games, with his work on the defensive end (2.3 blocks and 2.0 steals per game) helping offset his mediocre 43.4 percent shooting. White is averaging an impressive 35.2 FD points per contest overall in the postseason while shooting 40.7 percent from behind the arc, but he was notably held to just 9.5 points per game on 31.8 percent shooting in his two regular-season meetings versus the Mavericks.

Key Values

The following players make for strong candidates for the Utility spots:

Jrue Holiday, BOS ($11,500)

Holiday is an interesting play Thursday that might be best suited for tournaments, as the return of Porzingis will almost certainly lead to a reduction in offensive usage for the veteran guard. Holiday has averaged 11.3 shot attempts per 36 minutes without Porzingis on the floor since the start of the regular season, but just 8.3 in the three full games Porzingis has played thus far in the postseason. However, Holiday did average 14.0 points on 52.6 percent shooting, including 53.3 percent from distance, in his two games against Dallas this season. The Mavs have also conceded a Western Conference-high 29.9 offensive efficiency rating to point guards during the postseason (out of the original 20-team playoff field), furthering Holiday's case.

Kristaps Porzingis, DAL ($10,500)

Porzingis could well turn out to be one of the best fantasy-point-per-dollar plays of the night, as he's returning on a salary that's well below his upside. The big man scored 31.3 to 36 FD points against the Heat in the three full games he played before his calf strain, and he'll certainly be well rested in his return to the floor after last having played April 29. Naturally, that long layoff could well have resulted in some rust, but Porzingis lit up his old Mavericks teammates during the regular season with averages of 24.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocks, along with 57.1 percent shooting, including 50.0 percent from three-point range.

P.J. Washington, DAL ($9,500)

Washington is another player carrying a salary he could well deliver a strong return Thursday, as he comes in averaging 27.8 FD points per contest in Dallas' 17-game postseason run thus far. That sample includes four tallies of over 32 FD points, and Washington also averaged 16.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in two games versus Boston during the regular season. Washington will naturally have a tough matchup no matter where he is on the court, but his ability to space the floor, salary and average of 11.3 shot attempts in the postseason keep him firmly in play as a value option.

ALSO CONSIDER: Dereck Lively, DAL ($10,000)

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. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Finals Game 1, Thursday, June 6 (2024)


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