Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) reacts with teammates after being fouled late in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021, in New York. 76ers won 110-102. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

SNEAKY NBA DFS PICKS FOR JAN. 21

Mike Shara

Tonight, there are 11 games queued up for NBA DFS bettors to have a look at. With only three on the slate last night, I didn’t bother trying to parse out any DFS bargains for you but instead comfortably (arrogantly, even?) predicted that Golden State would comfortably crush Indiana. It was a LOCK, I tell ya. Sigh. Anyhoodles, hopefully things turn out a little better for me tonight in daily fantasy. It would be difficult for it to get worse. Here are a few names I’m seriously considering putting on my roster tonight.

ALEX CARUSO, PG/SG, Chicago, $4,600 on DraftKings
Caruso has missed the last month with a foot injury followed by a bout with COVID and only returned to the Bulls’ lineup on Wednesday, playing 23 respectable minutes against the Cavs. His conditioning level should be a little better tonight (insert tired “He looks like a guy from the Tuesday night YMCA game” joke here) and Chicago is still without both Lonzo Ball and Zach Levine for the next while so they will need Caruso to extend himself as much as possible. Milwaukee is a tough matchup for him, so expectations should be somewhat measured, but his salary is so reasonable that his current playing time opportunity and ability to stuff the sheet in every category make him tough to overlook right now.

MGM NBA Offer

JOEL EMBIID, C, Philadelphia, $11,000 on DraftKings
So let me see if I have this correct…Embiid absolutely GOES OFF on Orlando two nights ago, putting up a 50 piece along with 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks and a steal and his salary on DraftKings tonight…remains unchanged. Hmm. Tonight, Embiid’s 76ers team is at home (again) vs. a Clippers team that is among the league’s worst rebounders and are allowing the third most points in the paint in the entire NBA. L.A. also played two nights ago in the thin air in Denver, then flew two more time zones away to Philly.  Having recommended him as an easy play on Wednesday night, it’s probably a bit lazy of me to recommend him again so soon, but I’m trying to help you win money here. The roll Embiid has been on over the last month is starting to feel historic. Grab a piece of that history for a relatively valuable price while it lasts.

BOBBY PORTIS, C, Milwaukee, $6,700 on DraftKings
Despite scoring at least 32 DFS points in each of his last 4 games, Portis’ salary tonight on DraftKings is actually down a smidge for tonight’s matchup vs. Chicago. This strikes my eye as a bit odd, given that the Bulls are hemorrhaging points in the paint lately and lack a strong defensive presence. Their roster could really use someone to make their lineup more physical and tough. Someone like…Bobby Portis! If only the Bulls had drafted a player like him, their lineup would be much better set up for a serious playoff run. What’s that you say? Portis actually was…oh, well…that’s awkward.  So, Portis, a fiery competitor anyway, also has a bit of a revenge factor tonight at home against his old team, too? Even better.

DEJOUNTE MURRAY, PG, San Antonio, $10,100 on DraftKings
When the Spurs faced the Nets in Brooklyn 12 days ago, Murray absolutely went unconscious. He scored 19 points and had 12 assists, 9 rebounds, a block and two steals despite shooting just 7-for-22. The Nets have been particularly generous to opponents in their last 10 games, allowing over 117 points per game in that span and opposing point guards have been benefitting especially. Tonight’s game is in San Antonio and Murray is on a raging heater right now, having scored 67 DFS points on DraftKings vs. OKC on Wednesday. If he improves his shooting even a little bit from his last matchup with the Nets, he’ll be in for another ridiculous night. His price point won’t absolutely destroy your team’s salary structure, either.

JORDAN POOLE, SG/PG, Golden State, $5,800 on DraftKings
Another player you’ll see recommended on this page fairly frequently, he laid a DFS egg last night, shooting just 1 for 7 in the Warriors’ very surprising (see first paragraph) loss to Indiana. Golden State has already announced that Klay Thompson will sit out for load management in the second half of a back-to-back, which means extra time on the floor for Poole and a chance for he and his teammates to redeem themselves against a flimsy Rockets defense. The Dubs are a serious championship threat this season and neither Head Coach Steve Kerr nor any of the cagy veterans in their lineup will be very happy with lackluster efforts two nights in a row, especially at home. For whatever reason, Poole has played well on the second nights of back-to-backs so far this year and tonight’s situation seems like an ideal bounce-back opportunity for him.

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