NBA Playoff DFS Betting: Tips & Best Strategies
The rise in offensive production in the NBA has created a perfect storm for increased popularity of Daily Fantasy Betting. But there are some differences when it comes to betting NBA DFS in the playoffs, so here are six tips to consider when selecting your daily roster during the NBA Playoffs.
Lock In Your Stars
It’s going to sound obvious but it’s critical: The best and most expensive players produce the most points. We’ll get to finding value soon, but don’t try and get too fancy building your roster. You’re going to need heavy lifters – at least one expensive star – to guarantee you a heavy chunk of points.
True, the best scorers in the playoffs are going to be rostered on plenty of teams, but there’s a reason for that. You’ll be able to find solid value later, but always start with a heavy hitter. It’ll give you a solid foundation to go find value.
Plus, all superstars receive a bump in usage – points, assists, etc. – in the playoffs. They’re relied on more heavily, meaning their numbers will only increase.
Value, Value, Value
You can’t simply grab three superstars and fill out the rest of your roster with bottom-tiered players at the cheapest value. You’ll need to go find players who have been on hot streaks for one reason or another – an increase in minutes, their shot is falling, etc. – but whose price tags haven’t increased, either.
Paying attention to a player’s recent games and considering if the conditions are the same for them to repeat such success is critical.
While season-long fantasy numbers are nice to consider, playoff series are different. Usually there’s a key role player – if, for example, a team goes small to match their opponents’ lineup – who see a bump in role and production (and, thus, value) because of the specific series.
If their price doesn’t change, that player is worth pouncing on.
Consider how a certain player will be deployed in a series and go from there. You can usually find good information from what coaches say in the lead-up to the series. While they won’t give too much away, sometimes they’ll hint at a certain player’s involvement.
Blowouts Can Backfire
It might look enticing to see the Warriors hosting a lowly No. 8 seed, or the top seed in the East squaring off against a bottom feeder. Those seem like easy fantasy points, but consider that in this era where rest is more important than ever, blowouts can backfire.
Teams are more likely to rest their players when they get out to enormous leads, reducing usage, counting stats and fantasy points. This is especially the case early in the postseason given that teams hope to be playing into late June.
That’s not to say it’s smart to use an advantageous center matchup because the game will be close, but looking for competitive games ensures your players will maximize their minutes and productivity.
Consider Opponent’s Pace, Defense
Not all opponents are created equal. Not even close. Certain teams play much faster than others, which means fewer possessions for your fantasy players over the course of a 48-minute game. These numbers can range from the mid-90s to the mid-100s.
Ten possessions mean a lot more (or a lot less) fantasy points that could be the difference in your matchup. Checking out oddsmakers’ over-under point total set for the game will give you an idea of how fast or slow they expect the game to go.
Plus, possessions become more important in the postseason so there’s going to be fewer of them on a per-game basis. Don’t just pick a player. Pick a matchup.
Pay Attention to Who’s in and Who’s Out
We’ve put this last, but it might be the most important part of betting daily fantasy sports. Late scratches and game-time decisions can derail a lineup.
NBA head coaches frequently sit players at random times or rule out players after their pregame warm-ups prior to tipoff. While we don’t need to worry about the dreaded load management – teams manage loads in preparation for the playoffs – there’s still a lot that can happen leading up to the start of a game.
The good news is the rise of daily fantasy sports has created myriad outlets on social media that update who’s in and who’s out. Make sure you’re up-to-date on the status of all your players until they’ve tipped off.
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