This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
Thursday's seven-game slate is a bit more straightforward as we have fewer game-time decisions to soft through, although a couple of teams (OKC, DET) need a thorough check of their starting lineups today.
LAL @ MIA (-8) O/U: 203.5
CHI @ TOR (+4) O/U: 221.5
CLE @ OKC (+3.5) O/U: 211.5
MIL @ DAL (+1.5) O/U: 228.5
PHO @ LAC (-5) O/U: 224
POR @ UTA (-7) O/U: 231
DET @ SAC (-6.5) O/U: 226.5
Odds are best available US odds and are subject to change
Games to Target in BOLD
Games to Fade in ITALICS
TOR: Fred VanVleet (hip) - OUT
TOR: Kyle Lowry (foot) - OUT
TOR: DeAndre' Bembry (suspension) - OUT
CLE: Jarrett Allen (concussion) - OUT
CLE: Larry Nance (illness) - OUT
CLE: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (foot) - OUT
CLE: Isaiah Roby (concussion) - QUESTIONABLE
CLE: Darius Bazley (shoulder) - QUESTIONABLE
CLE: Luguentz Dort (concussion) - QUESTIONABLE
CLE: Aleksej Pokusevski (hip) - QUESTIONABLE
The Thunder are once again a jumble tonight. Pivot to the starters as they become available before tip-off.
MIL: Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) - DOUBTFUL
We're going to identify key plays for this situation later in the article, but in terms of a direct pivot, Bobby Portis ($5,800) is likely to start in Giannis' place.
POR: Jusuf Nurkic (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
Enes Kanter ($5,800) will garner the start if Nurkic sits out.
DET: Jerami Grant (knee) - OUT
I don't trust the direct pivots, so rev up the projections for the remainder of the starting five here.
LAL: Kyle Kuzma (calf) - Questionable
LAL: Talen Horton-Tucker (suspension) - OUT
With Giannis' injury, only two players reside above 10k on the slate tonight. Although Luka Doncic ($10,300) didn't explode last night, he finds himself in another exploitable position against the Bucks.
Milwaukee is vulnerable tonight without the Greek Freak, and Doncic will be difficult to defend without assistance. Kawhi Leonard ($10,000) joins Doncic at the top. He struggled a bit in his last game against the Suns, but recent output has him beating 5x value at this salary. While not essential to our core, he is definitely someone to consider in tournament lineups.
There's a lot to like in the 9k range, led by Nikola Vucevic ($9,900), as he plays Toronto with the new-look Bulls. Vucevic has completely transformed the Bulls. His ability to control the tempo and spur the offense is unmatched currently, even by Zach LaVine ($7,200), who has seen his numbers fall as Vucevic continues to dominate. Expect great numbers this evening.
These two players will represent the bulk of Milwaukee's offense Thursday, and I have absolutely no issue stacking them as the core of some tournament lineups. I expect one of them to stand out as a member of the perfect lineup tonight, and it's really a toss-up as to which one it will be. Middleton is at a $600 discount over Holiday and will likely be the more popular play.
Paul George, LAC ($8,700) vs. PHO
The Suns keyed in on Leonard in the last matchup, leaving George free range to put up one of his best totals of the season. Although the Suns won't make the same mistake twice, the Clippers line up well against the Suns as their elite strength lies where Phoenix is at its weakest. George is at a typical discount over Kawhi, making him the more obvious avenue to follow for action in this contest.
Chris Paul, PHO ($8,200) @ LAC
Although Paul has had a couple of stops since his tenure with the Clippers, there's definitely some revenge element against the team he spent six seasons with. As we just mentioned, the Clippers have the advantage at certain spots, but the Suns win the backcourt battle. Due to the revenge intangible, I like Paul just a bit over teammate Devin Booker ($9,000), although he deserves an endorsement as well.
Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($7,800) vs. POR
While I wouldn't call Mitchell an absolute lock, he has the potential to make a laughing stock of this meager salary against Portland. Since their last matchup was the first game of the season, I wouldn't put a lot of stock into Mitchell's performance in that matchup. It's tough to make this call on a back-to-back, but I still like him at this salary point despite the quick turnaround. Mike Conley will almost certainly sit in this back-to-back, which further opens up things for Mitchell.
Excellent value exists in the injury section, but here are three value targets also worth considering tonight.
Richaun Holmes, SAC ($6,500) vs. DET
Those looking for a bargain at center need to look no further than Holmes, who has had some up-and-down games of late but put up a 19-17 line when he last faced the Pistons. Once again, the absence of Grant puts Detroit in a vulnerable position, and Holmes has a great opportunity to exploit the situation.
Jordan Clarkson, UTA ($5,600) vs. POR
I'm not sure if this was by design or just a fluke, but Clarkson only played 25 minutes in last night's dramatic OT win. It could have been purposeful with the back-to-back looming. Although there's no official word on Mike Conley sitting out this game, it's an entirely reasonable assumption based on recent history. If that's the case, Clarkson will be in a great position to beat value.
Isaiah Stewart, DET ($3,700) @ SAC
Although several Pistons will take part with Grant out, Stewart's salary is just too low to pass up as he has a shot at leading the team in rebounds and could also put up a nice scoring total. He is Mason Plumlee's direct backup, but he could also slide into the four to replace Grant, which would open up a world of opportunity for him. This cost-saving target will help out any elite-loaded lineup. Stewart leads all rookies in total blocks and total rebounds this season.