NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Thursday, May 2

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Thursday, May 2

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We have a pair of intriguing Eastern Conference Game 6 clashes on tap Thursday night, with the Bucks and 76ers looking to stave off elimination for a second straight game. Milwaukee once again faces long odds due the likely absences of its two star players, while Philadelphia's outlook is a bit more optimistic considering it could be at full strength and will be on its home floor.

Slate Overview

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Listed spreads/totals are from FanDuel Sportsbook and current as of Thursday, May 2 @11:15 a.m. EDT:    

Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers (-8.5) (O/U: 214.0)
New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers (-3) (O/U: 202.0)

The Pacers' status as big home favorites is unsurprising given the skepticism the Bucks will be able to successfully navigate the expected absences of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard for a second straight game, and on the road at that.

Meanwhile, oddsmakers have understandably changed their view on the 76ers after their gutsy overtime win at Madison Square Garden in Game 5, and the home-floor advantage and likely availability of Joel Embiid despite his nagging knee issues is enough to make Philly a slight favorite.

Injury Situations to Monitor   

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

Joel Embiid, PHI (knee): QUESTIONABLE

Embiid continues to struggle with his knee, but he's managed to suit up in each game of the series thus far and is likely to continue doing so in the high-stakes environment of Game 6.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL (calf): DOUBTFUL

In Antetokounmpo's likely absence, Bobby Portis will draw another start at power forward and the rest of the starting five will also see a big jump in opportunity.

Damian Lillard, MIL (Achilles): DOUBTFUL

In Lillard's likely absence, Patrick Beverley (oblique-PROBABLE) will draw another start at point guard and the rest of the starting five will also see a big jump in opportunity.

Tyrese Haliburton, IND (back): QUESTIONABLE

If Haliburton, who played through this same tag in Game 5, were to sit out, T.J. McConnell should draw the start at point guard, while the rest of the starting five will see big jumps in usage.

Other notable injuries:

Khris Middleton, MIL (ankle: PROBABLE
Patrick Beverley, MIL (oblique): PROBABLE
Mitchell Robinson, NYK (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Elite Players

We have three players with five-figure salaries on Thursday's slate – Joel Embiid ($11,900), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,100) and Jalen Brunson ($10,500).

Embiid is likely to continue gutting out his knee injury, and if he's in there, he'll be looking to extend a series-long streak of 50-plus FD-point tallies, which includes 59.2 on the strength of a triple-double in Game 5.

Antetokounmpo continues to look very unlikely to suit up due to his calf injury.

Brunson has scored at least 56.9 FD points in each of the last three games of the series and is averaging a jaw-dropping 29.6 shot attempts per contest, which should help ensure another output befitting his five-figure salary.

Expected Chalk

Other likely chalk plays include:

Tyrese Maxey, PHI ($9,500)

Maxey was one of the primary stars of Game 5 and scored 62.5 FD points, and he should remain extremely popular at his salary Thursday. 

Khris Middleton, MIL ($9,200)

Middleton boasts a 37.3 percent usage rate and is averaging 48 FD points per 36 minutes without Antetokounmpo and Lillard on the floor, and he checks in having just scored 48.9 FD points across 39 minutes in Game 5. 

Tyrese Haliburton, IND ($9,000)

Assuming Haliburton is confirmed available, he should remain highly rostered despite somewhat underperforming relative to salary except for one game in the series.

Bobby Portis, MIL ($8,500)

Portis is averaging 45.4 FD points per 36 minutes without Giannis and Lillard on the floor and bounced back to score 44.5 FD points in Game 5 after an early ejection in Game 4.

Josh Hart, NYK ($7,800)

Hart picked his scoring back up in Game 5 and netted 35.8 FD points overall, giving him over 35 in each game in the series thus far. 

Key Values  

OG Anunoby, NYK at PHI ($6,200)

Anunoby has developed into a solid source of complementary production as the series has unfolded, averaging 16.7 points on 56.4 percent shooting over the last three games. Anunoby has also averaged 33.3 FD points per contest in that span, including a showing of 40.8 FD points in Game 4. While Jalen Brunson's usage is through the roof, Anunoby is still averaging a solid 13.0 shot attempts per contest since Game 3 while also contributing 8.0 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.0 steals per game in that stretch, giving him an opportunity to round out his fantasy contributions outside of the offensive categories.

Kelly Oubre, PHI vs. NYK ($6,000)

Much like Anunoby, Oubre is offering his squad key production from his wing spot, averaging a well-rounded 12.4 points (48.0 percent shooting), 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.2 blocks per contest during the series while eclipsing 31 FD points on three occasions. Oubre naturally plays a complementary role behind Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid, but his ability to contribute on the defensive end and the fact he's taken double-digit shot attempts in each of the last two games gives him a relatively solid fantasy floor. 

Patrick Beverley, MIL at IND ($5,900)

Beverley was one of several players to step up for the Bucks and help them remain alive in the series in Game 5, posting 42.8 FD points on the strength of a 13-point, 12-assist double-double. The wily veteran should draw another start at point guard for Lillard on Thursday, and he also has tallies of 22.3 and 30.4 FD points in this series. With Milwaukee once again down to its proverbial last out, Beverley, who's now averaging 33.8 FD points per 36 minutes without his two superstar teammates on the floor, should have a good chance to outpace his salary once more.

ALSO CONSIDER: Malik Beasley, MIL at IND ($5,200)

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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