AC+ NBA 5/18


1) Today is the first day of the NBA Playoffs! You'll notice we've added a brand new section to our newsletters titled 'Playoff Blueprint'. This is the most in depth section we've ever done and we hope it provides you with everything you need to know for tonight's playoff games! 

2) It’s NBA Playoff time at @MKF – Play at least $10 each of the next four days (Tue – Fri) and get a FREE $20 NBA ticket! Learn more here.

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4) If you're looking for an DFS Discord server, we have our very own channel in a rapidly growing group with over 1,000 active DFS members! Join here: DFS Coach/Analytic City Discord!

Today's Optimizers and Datasheets

 5/18 Excel Optimizer/Datasheet

(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)

(Google Sheets will be updated around 5:30 today)


- Today's main slate features 2 games. Nobody is on a back to back.

- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is WAS v BOS at 232.5 points. The game with the lowest over/under is CHA v IND at 227 points.


Welcome to our brand new section for the NBA Playoffs! This section will provide you with a full breakdown (or 'blueprint') of both players and strategies we like for tonight's games. Our goal is for this section to replace our usual 'Need to Know' and 'Core Plays' sections, as there is typically much less injury news in the playoffs and we want to focus in more on matchups and lineup construction! 

Tonight's Lineup Construction: 

This sub-section will briefly breakdown lineup construction strategies to consider for tonight's slate. Are there high tier must plays? Is there a ton of cheap value? Should you go Stars and Scrubs? Etc.

I don't see any VERY clear plays tonight in Tier 1. Westbrook/Beal is up in the air due to Beal's injury and Westbrook's playoff woes, and i'm not that confident that Sabonis will step his game up like he must do in the playoffs. I would look to the mid-tier (Tier 2) guys tonight, because I think there is a lot of value to be found there. Perhaps you could grab either Tatum or Beal and then try and optimize your lineup around 3-4 mid-tier guys.  

Tier 1 ($8,000 +)

Each of the following tiers will provide our top 2-3 value plays of the night from within the specified price range.

Note: We will be using DraftKings prices for the price-range classifications. 

1. Bradley Beal ($9,000 DK)

I understand the fear that people have regarding Beal's hamstring - it's tough to play effectively with that injury, and he even recently stated that it's been bothering him. But, Beal is an absolute gamer and I think he COMES TO PLAY tonight against his St Louis buddy Jayson Tatum. I'm liking Beal's value more than Westbrook, mainly because of the differences between the regular season and playoffs; Westbrook goes all out in every single regular season game, which is a large reason why he puts up such ridiculous number on a nightly basis. In the playoffs, however, the pace will slow down and Westbrook won't be able to completely overpower people with his transition explosiveness like he normally does. Instead, the Celtics will place an emphasis on getting back defensively, therefore limiting Russ. Beal, on the other hand, has a game that caters perfectly to the playoffs; he's an unbelievable isolation scorer, and when the game slows down and they need a bucket late in the game, WAS will be going to Beal, not Westbrook. You can take my word on that.

2. Jayson Tatum ($9,800 DK)

Tatum, like Beal, gets the benefit of playing against his hometown buddy, who he always seems to bring it against. These two love playing against each other and they certainly bring an extra edge when they do so. Besides the awesome matchup that Tatum has (he's playing against the fastest-paced, 2nd worst defensive team in the NBA), Tatum gets tons of value from his player profile against a WAS team that is really bad at defending players like himself. Rui is a decent defender, but they certainly don't have an elite perimeter defender that they can shadow Tatum with all game; Tatum should be able to pound Rui (or whoever guards him) in the post and on the three point line. 

Tier 2 ($5,000-$7,900)

1. TJ McConnell ($6,200 DK)

Even before Levert was ruled out today, I would've probably written about TJ in this mis-tier range. McConnell has proven himself time and time again in the playoffs; he defends at a high level and is an excellent floor general - a coach can always be confident when TJ has the ball in his hands. I think those skills will certainly be needed for IND tonight, especially without the playmaking and scoring of Levert, who probably has the most playoff experience on this IND team. Simply stated, I think the Pacers opt for TJ as opposed to Lamb, Justin/Aaron Holiday, Brissett, etc in important minutes. These other guys haven't seen enough playoff minutes yet and are not as confident with the ball as TJ is. TJ is as steady as they come, and that's what will be needed in this play-in game tonight.

2. Robert Williams ($5,200 DK)

A lot of the strategy in picking the Celtics big men is trying to figure out who matches up well with the opponent and will therefore get more minutes. WAS certainly doesn't have a dominant big that will get lots of touches in the post, which is usually the type of player that Tristan would draw the matchup against (Embiid, Sabonis, AD, KAT, etc). The Wizards also aren't a good rebounding team, so they shouldn't need Tristan too much tonight. On the contrary, I think this is a really good matchup for Rob. Both Alex Len and Daniel Gafford are very good shot blockers, so that should open up lots of lob opportunities and put backs for Rob Williams tonight (when a team has a shot blocker, the player that he is guarding is often able to get put backs and lobs due to the hyper aggressiveness of the shot blocker which leaves the weak side wide open). 

Tier 3 ($3,000-$4,900)

1. Doug McDermott ($4,400 DK)

Obviously with the bottom tier players you aren't going to get any guys that have eye popping value. But, I think McDermott could be a solid play tonight with the news of Levert sitting. Although we don't necessarily think of Doug as a 'primary scorer', he actually is at the center of the offense oftentimes, in a similar way that Joe Harris, Duncan Robinson, or JJ Redick might be the focal point of their offenses at times. McDermott is lethal coming off of screens, and I think the Pacers could opt for that a lot tonight, especially without the playmaking of Levert and with Brogdon still battling an injury. Also, CHA gives up the most three pointers in the NBA, so IND will certainly try and exploit that tonight with Doug's movement.

2. Robin Lopez ($3,100)

I don't LOVE Robin tonight (just like I usually won't love anyone that's $3,100, but I think he has a decent chance to smash his price tag tonight. As I stated earlier, I think the Celtics will primarily go with Rob Williams. As a result, I could see WAS opting for Robin Lopez as a counter to the lack of post defense that Rob brings. Robin should be able to get to his patented hook-shot on Rob Williams, and I could see WAS going to him a decent amount, especially early in the game. The more that WAS can establish someone else besides Beal and Westbrook early in the game, the better their stars will be off in the 4th quarter, and I think Lopez could be the guy that WAS goes to.


NBA Playoff are upon us, so it's a great time to get involved with MKF! I'll be walking you through a few of my favorite NBA Prop plays across some of the many daily MKF contests. If you haven’t seen the types of contests MKF offers, you should really check it out - super fun and easy contests that don’t require much time or research! 

Disclaimer: The lines that we are using are the lines at the time of this writing, so those are subject to change (the lines are updated in real time on the MKF website); this is one of the many differences between DK/FD and MKF.

Robert Williams (+2.5 Rebounds) MORE rebounds than Tristan Thompson

I'm not going to spend too much time on this, because you can look at our playoff blueprint to see why I think Rob will play above Tristan tonight, especially in important moments. If these two played equal minutes, I would like Rob Williams' chances to win this line. If Rob plays MORE minutes than Tristan (which I think he will), he should knock this out of the park quite easily.  

TJ McConnell MORE than 6.5 Assists

As I stated earlier, I think TJ gets a lot of minutes tonight due to his playoff experience and how his game caters perfectly to big playoff moments (he's a floor general and plays great defense). Without Levert (and potentially Brogdon), I expect TJ to be one of the primary playmakers for IND tonight, and I could see him getting 6+ assists in the first half tonight. 

Thanks for reading our MKF Plays of the day! And remember, if you sign-up here and use the promo code AC, your first deposit will be 100% matched (up to $50). That means if you deposited an initial $25 and used our link/code, you'd be credited with an additional FREE $25 to use on the site!

Promo Code: AC 

Each days newsletter will be posted no later than 2 hours before the main slate of games tips-off, see you tomorrow!