This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
Thursday's slate features five games on DraftKings and three on FanDuel, with DK offering up a $2k first prize in its $10 Big Jam, and FanDuel countering with a $500 top prize in its $7 All-American. Let's take a look at implied totals before diving into the plays.
Keegan Murray, F, Iowa ($7,900 DK, $8,500 FD)
Murray is the primary go-to player for the Hawkeyes, and it's not close. He's taking over a third of his team's shots when on the court and also leading the team in rebounds. Tonight's contest against Iowa State has a good chance at being the highest scoring game on the slate, making Murray a pivotal player if Iowa meets scoring expectations. Murray is currently ranked third on KenPom's Player of the Year Standings, and I'm thinking he has a chance at improving his standing with a strong performance in tonight's game. Either way, Murray provides a safe bet while still offering significant upside.
Julian Strawther, G, Gonzaga ($7,200 DK)
Merrimack has both the worst offensive and defensive adjusted efficiency on today's slate, making Gonzaga a prime DFS candidate. Merrimack also has the worst rebounding rates on the slate, so any Gonzaga front-court player has a major advantage in this matchup. Chet Holmgren is probably the best play, but Strawther is second on the team in total rebounds, so he has a chance at a double-double assuming he gets enough minutes in what should be a blowout.
Posh Alexander, G, St. John's ($6,600 DK)
The Red Storm are expected to score around 80 points tonight, and Posh Alexander should be heavily involved throughout. Last season as a freshman, Alexander recorded the eighth-highest assist rate among all Big East players during conference play in addition to posting the highest steal rate in the conference. Alexander has continued where he left off from last season, scoring double-figures in every game this season. Alexander shouldn't have any trouble racking up the stats today in what is a highly favorable matchup.
Sasha Stefanovic, G, Purdue ($6,100 DK, $6,400 DK)
Purdue now boasts the highest adjusted offensive efficiency rating in the country, per KenPom, so it's not a bad idea to take a Boilermaker. In this matchup, Rutgers is stronger in its frontcourt, so I'm thinking perhaps Purdue's guards might have more opportunities in this contest. Jaden Ivey is probably the best option, but if you're looking for someone at a lower salary, I'd suggest Stefanovic, who's always a candidate for going off in any given game. Now in his fourth year, Stefanovic has made 40 percent of his three-point field goals on 400-plus attempts in his career. He's already had two games this season scoring 20-plus points, and I think there's a chance he'll have three of those games after today.
Shavar Reynolds Jr., G, Monmouth ($5,400 DK)
The Hawks might not win today, but they're still expecting to score a fair amount of points, and Reynolds should contribute a good amount to the final total. Reynolds easily leads the team in usage rate, taking 31 percent of his team's shots when he's on the court. Reynolds has scored double-figures in seven of eight games this year and, barring anything unforeseen, he shouldn't have any problem passing that threshold once again.
Tray Jackson, F, Seton Hall ($4,800 DK, $5,000 FD)
Seton Hall and Texas match up pretty evenly, although Seton Hall appears to have a clear rebounding edge, having higher rebounding rates against Texas on both sides of the court. For this reason, I like any of Seton Hall's front-court players in this matchup. Tray Jackson might not start, but he's one of the leading rebounders on the team in spite of his limited playing time. Reynolds is taking over 21 percent of his team's shots when on the court, in addition to recording the second-highest offensive efficiency rating on the team, so he certainly makes the most of his opportunities, even though they might be limited.