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Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton (24) handles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Saturday March 19, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

SNEAKY NBA DFS PICKS FOR MARCH 22

Mike Shara

There are only four games on the NBA schedule tonight and I seriously considered taking today off from making recommendations, but there are enough opportunities tonight to make some smart DFS plays that I changed my mind. “Okay, wise guy – let’s see what you’ve got”, you think to yourself. Fair enough. Let’s have a look this morning and tomorrow we can check back and see if I should have just taken the day off.

ANDREW WIGGINS, PF/SF, Golden State ($6,700 on FanDuel, $7,100 on DraftKings)
I had him as a sneaky pick two days ago against San Antonio, when he was returning to the lineup after missing two games – and Steph Curry was out with a foot injury – and he was…okay, but he certainly didn’t win me any money that day. To be fair, 16 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals is a pretty decent line, especially with just 1 turnover and no personal fouls. My mistake – I guess I should have known better than to expect more from a guy who started the All-Star Game this year. I’m not bitter, though – I’m staying open minded. Tonight he has an even softer opponent in the Orlando Magic and Steph will be out for a while, so his minutes and usage should stay higher than usual. I’m betting he has a better showing tonight at the same relatively low price and that his ownership won’t be too high after that mediocre showing. I am already regretting making picks today. Sigh.

WENDELL CARTER JR, C/PF, Orlando, ($8,400 on DraftKings, $7,300 on FanDuel)
Obviously this is more of a recommendation for FanDuel than DraftKings because of the rather gigantic price discrepancy between the two platforms tonight. DK’s price seems to be overreacting to Carter’s huge game vs. OKC two nights ago when he went off for 30 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks while shooting 80% from the floor. FanDuel’s reaction seems to be a big “Meh – prove you can do it against a good team!” They are almost daring him to repeat and for you to bet on it happening. I don’t think such a big night is possible again vs. Golden State, but I look for the Magic to show up and fight tonight. Their management may be already looking ahead to the draft, but their players haven’t quit yet and facing a top playoff seed at home should bring out their best. Carter being priced just above the average salary on FD is just too good for me to resist. 

PAT CONNAUGHTON, PF/SF, Milwaukee ($3,700 on DraftKings, $4,500 on FanDuel)
This pick is much sneakier on DraftKings, but he’s perfectly affordable on both formats tonight, especially with the roster situation unfolding for the Bucks. Milwaukee will be without All-Star shooting guard Khris Middleton for this evening’s key divisional game vs. Chicago. Connaughton just returned to active duty on Saturday after missing nearly six weeks with a finger injury. He acquitted himself very nicely, finishing with 15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal with no turnovers in just 20 minutes. He’ll have had three days to rest and recover (and the Bulls played a tough one last night vs. Toronto), so he should be ready to at least play the same number of minutes tonight – and maybe more with Middleton out. At that low price he’s hard to resist – especially with such a small slate of games.

BONES HYLAND, PG/SG, Denver ($5,300 on DraftKings, $5,800 on FanDuel)
He’s not as cheap as he was a few weeks ago, but there are good reasons for that. The rookie from VCU is starting to play more consistent minutes and to be more reliable for Nuggets Head Coach Michael Malone. He’s been worth over 1.2 DFS points per game over his last four and has scored in double digits in each of his last 11 games. The Clippers are near the bottom of the NBA in defending opposing point guards, though they should be well-rested after having three full days off. Hyland is actually Denver’s second-highest priced player today, but if you squint you can still see him getting some return for you at that price. Like I said, tonight the pickings are somewhat slim, so you have to roll the Bones a bit. See what I did there?

KLAY THOMPSON, SG, Golden State ($8,100 on DraftKings, $7,000 on FanDuel)
This is a bit of a contrarian play on DraftKings, because Thompson is more expensive than teammate Jordan Poole on DK but he’s forecast for about half the ownership numbers that Poole will have – and on a four game night that makes a significant difference. Klay played over 38 minutes last game and hasn’t played less than 33 in any of his last six games, so clearly the training wheels are off as far as his return from injury goes. He has a 27% usage rate without Curry on the floor and averages nearly 1.2 DFS points per minute in those times, too. Poole is the exact same price on both formats today, while Klay has a big difference between salaries. Instead of being a contrarian play, on FD he’s actually probably going to be a bit of chalk because of the lower price. That’s okay. His potential to go nuts and drain 10 three-pointers in a game makes him always interesting and tonight his opponent and volume spikes just increase that interest for me.

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