This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
The Milwaukee Bucks surged back from a 2-0 deficit in the NBA Finals with a tremendous two-game homestand, and they now travel back to Phoenix with the series deadlocked in a 2-2 tie. Home-field advantage has been crucial for both teams throughout the playoffs, and the sportsbooks have responded accordingly. Saturday's Game 5 shows a -4 spread in Phoenix's favor.
Let's begin with a look at a winning Game 4 lineup from one of FanDuel's more popular GPP tournaments.
Giannis Antetokounmpo 137.6
Khris Middleton 87.3
Jae Crowder 52.92
Pat Connaughton 22.3
Jrue Holiday 39.9
I cashed with an identical winning lineup from Game 3 with Holiday in the multiplier and Crowder/Cameron Johnson in the utility. That combo put my top lineup at only 10 points off the pace, but this was the winning combination for Game 4.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL ($16,500)
Chris Paul, PHO ($14,000)
Khris Middleton, MIL ($12,500)
Deandre Ayton, PHO ($13,000)
Devin Booker, PHO ($12,000)
Jrue Holiday, MIL ($13,500)
The rollback of some Phoenix elites makes them palatable plays when you combine the obvious home advantage for Game 5. Giannis is firmly established as the favorite 2x candidate for this series, and there's no reason to deviate despite the change in circumstances. The more pressing question is where to go with the 1.5x and 1.2x multipliers. With Devin Booker surging back to a 45.2 FDFP score in Game 4, his 12k price makes him a suitable swap from the Game 4 winning lineup, but the price difference isn't going to help move the needle much. Rather than utilizing price as a determining factor, single-entry participants must make a judgment call on the game's outcome and usage for the players in multiplier consideration. MME players should play both sides of their matchup as usual.
Khris Middleton hasn't played his best on the road, so I consider him the most reasonable swap for a Phoenix player. I can see an argument for taking Paul, Ayton or Booker as a swap and using one of these three in the 1.2 multiplier. Regardless of how you build the multiplier, you're going to have room for almost any utility player you want. There are a couple of exceptions to that when it comes to including Jae Crowder, however.
Jae Crowder, PHO ($10,000)
Cameron Johnson, PHO ($9,000)
Pat Connaughton, MIL ($8,500)
P.J. Tucker, MIL ($7,500)
In many situations, you will be forced to go with Tucker if you want to get Jae Crowder involved again. It's important to note that Tucker is as low as you can go in this player pool, and you shouldn't consider anyone below him. Crowder's minute allotment has been massive in this series, and while he also has merit as a multiplier candidate, the home boost will favor players like Paul, Ayton and Booker slightly more.
You can manage a Crowder/Connaughton stack if you assemble a multiplier combo like Giannis, Ayton/Holiday and Booker. Still, anything involving Paul and Giannis will force a Crowder/Tucker utility combo in most circumstances. As always, Johnson is consistently viable, but he's only going to have use in builds that don't include Crowder. You will have to sacrifice too much at the top to allow for a Johnson/Crowder stack.
Tonight, the featured contrarian play should involve a Giannis swap, in my opinion. I don't see a way to move him out of the pool, but shifting him into a lower multiplier will be a viable method for uniqueness in contests this evening. There's every possibility that Paul or Booker could put up comparable numbers in Game 5, but there is obvious variance involved by taking that avenue. There is no doubt that the public favors an increased load of Phoenix players tonight, so the other contrarian option is to just play business as usual for the Bucks. Sticking with a Giannis/Middleton/Holiday stack will be at its lowest popularity for Game 5. Still, the combo has shown an ability to cash throughout the playoffs and should be considered if you're fielding multiple lineups.