This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
The two major sites share eight games today. We'll focus on those matchups, and also give some attention to the three exclusive games later in the article.
Ohio State (-6.5) @ Rutgers O/U: 125.5
Auburn (-7.5) vs. Alabama O/U: 159.5
West Virginia (-2) vs. Kansas O/U: 136
SMU (-4.5) vs. Connecticut O/U:136.5
Louisville (-6) @ Georgia Tech O/U: 137
Villanova (-5) vs. Marquette O/U: 144
Michigan (-6.5) @ Northwestern O/U: 137
Oklahoma (-10) vs. Iowa State O/U: 144.5
Pittsburgh (-3.5) vs. Clemson O/U: 122.5 (DraftKings only)
Florida (-5.5) @ Texas A&M O/U: 125.5 (DraftKings only)
Providence (-2) @ St. John's O/U: 142.5 (FanDuel only)
I'm not going to bore you with Markus Howard or Devon Dotson today. We all know that they are excellent, albeit high-priced targets, and I have no problem rostering them whenever they are on the slate. If you want some tournament cashes, you'll need to look for slightly lower ownership, however. I'd be doing you a disservice if I just rolled out the slate-toppers, so here are my elite recommendations that go a little bit beyond the obvious.
Kira Lewis, Alabama (DK $8,300, FD $7,600) @ Auburn
The sophomore point guard is coming off a career-high 37-point game against Georgia, and the Crimson Tide head into Auburn for one of the biggest intra-state rivalries in the country. Both of these teams run it fast, and it's no surprise that the game has one of the highest o/u totals on the slate. Lewis is always going to give you a decent assist total, but a good outing from beyond the arc will be the key to his success, and he's facing an Auburn team that ranks 164th in opposing the three.
Collin Gillespie, Villanova (DK $7,600, FD $6,800) vs. Marquette
Gillespie did not have one of his better games against Marquette earlier this season, scoring only six points in what was a rough 2-for-9 night from the floor. Gillespie won't soon forget his worst showing of the season, and I expect him to bounce back in the rematch. You can definitely take his recent performance to the bank, as he's averaged 18.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists over his past five games.
Brady Manek, Oklahoma (DK $7,700, FD $6,500) vs. Iowa State
While I could also give Kristian Doolittle (DK $7,900, FD $$6,800) a look here, I like Manek's ceiling a bit more. Manek's prolific 35-point tour-de-force against Oklahoma State is an example of how high he can go, especially if his 3-point shot gets humming. While you can't expect him to drill seven threes like did against the Cowboys, he did nail 5-of-6 from beyond the arc when he last faced Iowa State. That's an encouraging indicator for the junior center.
Samir Doughty, Auburn (DK $6,800, FD $6,600) vs. Alabama
I'll keep hammering away at this game and its lightning-fast pace. I've gone to Doughty a couple of times in this column, and his recent success over the past three games can't be ignored. Against three tough opponents, he averaged 24 points and 4.3 rebounds over that span. That's a full eight points over his seasonal averages.
Isaac Okoro, Auburn (DK $6,500, FD $5,500) vs. Alabama
I have no shame in loading up on the Tigers tonight. While I considered going elsewhere, Okoro stood out at the median price point on DraftKings, and I think he's a bargain on FanDuel. The freshman stumbled a bit against LSU a few days ago, but otherwise, his stat lines are stuffed full. In his last game against Alabama, he added three steals to a 13/4 line, which is excellent production at this price.
Eli Brooks, Michigan (DK $5,900, FD $5,100) @ Northwestern
As an everyday starter in the Wolverines' backcourt, Brooks is averaging 32.8 minutes on the floor, so he doesn't lack in opportunity. His numbers fluctuate, and that usually corresponds with his temperature from beyond the arc. He came just shy of a rare double-double in his last game against Michigan State, and while he's definitely a variance play, I'll lean on his usage and give him some exposure tonight.
Boo Buie, Northwestern (DK $5,700, FD $6,000) vs. Michigan
Buie is an intriguing add on the other end of this game. He returned to the starting lineup against Rutgers and drilled five threes on the way to a 19-point total. He seems to do well when he's in the starting five, though that's only happened a few times for the freshman. He missed five games with an ankle injury that put a halt to his excellent production, but it appears that the injury is behind him.
Montez Mathis, Rutgers (DK $5,200, FD $4,700) @ Ohio State
The sophomore's minutes and production fluctuate quite a bit, but we are lucky to find a starting point guard at this low price on the slate. Granted, I'm not thrilled with the O/U here and the Buckeyes are tough defensively, but Mathis has scored double-digit point totals in three of his last five games, which isn't bad for a guard at this price.
David Johnson, Louisville (DK $4,900, FD $4,600) @ Georgia Tech
Johnson's 29-point game against Boston College put the freshman guard on the fantasy radar, and although he hasn't matched that kind of production, he's definitely earned a larger role of the Louisville bench. He put up 10 points and three steals in his first meeting against the Yellow Jackets.
Pittsburgh vs. Clemson, 9 p.m. EST, o/u 122.5
I'd stay away from this matchup. As my bio indicates, I grew up in Clemson and I bleed orange no matter the sport, but this should only make you trust my recommendation all the more. Brad Brownell plays possession basketball, and his syrupy-slow pace makes targeting anyone on the team a risky proposition.Pitt's Justin Champagnie ($7,100) is a guy I've gravitated to before, and he might be the only target I'd consider in this game.
Florida @ Texas A&M, 8:30 p.m. EST, o/u 125.5
This is another clunker of a game with a low O/U, but I think Scottie Lewis ($5,400) is a decent value add for the Aggies, who I actually like as the underdog in this contest. Florida's elites are viable but I like other opportunities on the slate overall.
Providence @ St. John's, 8:30 p.m. EST, o/u 141.5
This is a treat of a game for FanDuel players. It's chock-full of targets like L.J. Figueroa ($6,600) and Alpha Diallo ($6,200), and decent values like David Duke ($5,700) and Rasheem Dunn ($5,600). I'm comfortable with anyone in this quartet.
GAME TO TARGET
Villanova (-5) vs. Marquette, 8:30 p.m. EST, o/u 144
The Auburn/Alabama game was the obvious favorite play for me, but this game has a lot of targets that we overlooked. Saddiq Bey (DK $7,400, FD $6,400) is probably my favorite play in this game beyond obvious targets like Markus Howard and the aforementioned Gillespie. I'm also a fan of Koby McEwen's (DK $6,600, FD $5,700) consistent production.
GAME TO FADE
Ohio State (-6.5) vs Rutgers, 7 p.m. EST, o/u 125.5
While you could be tempted to go with an elite like Kaleb Wesson, I think you have better options elsewhere. It isn't a night to go to the Buckeyes or the Scarlet Knights.
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