NBA DFS picks tonight: Best teams to stack on DraftKings for main slate on Friday, April 9


We have a nine-game schedule in the NBA on Friday, which means there are endless opportunities for your prospective lineup in DFS. The first game tips off at 7 p.m. ET with the Indiana Pacers playing the Orlando Magic. There’s also a doubleheader on NBA TV, which starts at 7:30 p.m. ET between the Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks. And then at 10 p.m. ET, the Washington Wizards will head out west to play the Golden State Warriors.

Sometimes with a plus-matchup on the NBA game slate, we get an opportunity to slot multiple players from the same team into our DFS lineups. You can read more about the concept of stacking here, but the main goal is to take advantage of this plus-matchup and use the salary cap to your advantage.

Here, we’ll break down three of the best team stacks for the NBA slate on April 9th.

Wizards vs. Warriors, 10:00 p.m. ET

Stephen Curry ($9900)
Andrew Wiggins ($7100)
Kelly Oubre ($6300)
Jordan Poole ($5100)
James Wiseman ($4800)

Friday night’s game between the Washington Wizards and Golden State Warriors could have a ton of points scored, hence why the O/U is currently at 239.5 total points on DraftKings Sportsbook. There will be a lot of temptation to put Russell Westbrook in your lineup as he’s been a triple-double machine. However, he’s the highest-priced guard in DFS at $11,000 that might be too rich to pay.

Therefore, a stack featuring Curry may be a good way to go. He has scored at least 30 points in the Warriors’ last four games and averaging 53.3 fantasy points per game. Then you could get cheap value with Poole, who takes a good amount of shots off the bench, and Wiseman, who is coming off a double-double vs. the Bucks.

Sixers vs. Pelicans, 8:00 p.m. ET

Ben Simmons ($8400)
Tobias Harris ($8000)
Danny Green ($4600)
Seth Curry ($4400)
Shake Milton ($4200)

This is another game that could see a ton of points scored on Friday night. The Sixers will travel down to the Big Easy to face the Pelicans. Joel Embiid would be an easy pick to play in an NBA DFS stack, but to save a couple of dollars, we will go to Ben Simmons. His scoring production has been up and down. However, he can stuff the box score with ease, which makes him a perfect DFS play.

Outside of him and Harris, Green and Curry, in particular, could find some success from behind the arc. The Pelicans are allowing opponents to shoot a league-worst 49.1% from three-point range in their last three contests. We saw in their latest road trip, when Green is cooking from distance, it could be a long night for the other team.

Timberwolves vs. Celtics, 7:30 p.m. ET

Karl-Anthony Towns ($10900)
Anthony Edwards ($7700)
D’Angelo Russell ($6300)
Jaden McDaniels ($4800)
Naz Reid ($3900)

In one of the first few games to tip-off on Friday night, we have the Minnesota Timberwolves taking on the Boston Celtics. The Timberwolves are looking to bounce back from a 141-137 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. Despite the T-Wolves being one of the worst teams in the league (record-wise), they have a trio of good players that can put up points.

Towns is a no-brainer to play in your stack as he is averaging 58.8 fantasy points in the T’Wolves’ last five games. Then you have first-overall pick in Edwards, who has scored 30-plus fantasy points in Minnesota’s last seven games. With Malik Beasley on the shelf, there should be more minutes for him and others at the guard/forward spot.



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Bracket Analysis: Success against best teams in your league guided NCAA Selection Committee; travel wasn’t major consideration | College Hockey


Junior defenseman Nate Clurman is serving as Notre Dame’s captain for the 2020-21 season (photo: Notre Dame Athletics).

With Selection Sunday now in the rear-view mirror and the tourney a few days away from beginning, Jayson Moy and Jim Connelly analyze the bracket.

Jayson: Let’s start off and say that even without the PairWise this year, I still managed to correctly pick all 16 teams in the tournament with one caveat – that Notre Dame took the last spot instead of St. Lawrence, who unfortunately had to withdraw.

But, if you look at my bubble analysis, Notre Dame was the last team out when I set the bracket. Therefore, I will pat myself on the back and take the win.

Let’s look a little at some of the differences. They mainly occurred in the seeding.

Massachusetts and Michigan were given No. 2 seeds and Minnesota Duluth and Quinnipiac were given No. 3 seeds.

I should have seen the Massachusetts seeding coming with its win of the Hockey East title and Quinnipiac not winning the ECAC title. It seems that Massachusetts was given the overall fifth seed, higher than I thought. Quinnipiac was not as high as I had thought they would be, as others have pointed out.

For Michigan, I was a little surprised about how it was given a two seed over Minnesota Duluth, but in the end it doesn’t matter as they are playing each other in Fargo, meaning that they were the 8 and 9 seed overall.

The other change in seeding was Lake Superior moving to the third band – again, I underestimated winning the WCHA title with it, and Omaha placed in the fourth band – which I should have seen coming.

For the bracket itself, while the protection of the number seed is always a priority, I did not think it would be so much the case in this strange year. But, I was proven wrong and AIC was sent to Fargo to play North Dakota. I did think it would be the other way around with Notre Dame possibly going to play in Fargo and AIC facing Boston College, but it was not the case.

As for the other thing, I think there could have been some more movement to keep teams closer. For example, Quinnipiac could have been in Bridgeport playing Massachusetts, if St Cloud moved to Loveland and Lake Superior to Albany (which would have been interesting, as it is 3-1 in that building including the 1992 National Championship).

Otherwise, you can’t really complain about the field this year.

JOIN THE 2021 USCHO NCAA COLLEGE HOCKEY BRACKET CHALLENGE

Jim: Maybe you can’t complain, but people will and are.

First, I’ll look at my bracket and point out my one major error: trusting that the committee would consider teams that were under .500 in winning percentage. It’s pretty obvious that they didn’t do that and it was confirmed to me last night.

Thus, me having Connecticut taking the final seed not only was incorrect, it never was a consideration. And Denver fans can also rest easy as they weren’t considered.

But once you got to that point, the approach we were taking was correct (and why your 16-team field was spot on). Committee chair Mike Kemp confirmed on the special live edition of the USCHO Weekend Review podcast (Matt, please link to the podcast), that bubble teams were compared to one another by looking at each team’s record against the other teams from their conference that were already in the tournament field.

Let’s look at that breakdown when looking at each conference’s bubble team:

Bemidji State: 4-5-2 (.455) vs. Minnesota State and Lake Superior
Omaha: 3-6-1 (.350) vs. North Dakota, Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud
Notre Dame: 4-7-1 (.375) vs. Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan
Providence: 1-5-2 (.250) vs. Boston College, UMass and Boston University
Bowling Green 0-4-0 (.000) vs. Minnesota State and Lake Superior (also 2-0-0 vs. Quinnipiac, a team that is in the field from ECAC)

Originally, the committee was trying to fill two spots and took Bemidji State and Omaha. When St. Lawrence dropped out, Notre Dame was next in line (though you could question why Notre Dame wasn’t originally the 16th team instead of Omaha).

Mike Kemp did confirm that should any further team have to withdraw due to COVID protocols prior to 7 p.m. tonight (Monday), the replacement team will be Providence. After 7p.m. on Monday the field is set and further withdrawals would result in games being declared “no contest” and the remaining team advancing.

The other component, once the field was selected, was maintaining bracket integrity rather than attempting to limit travel due to COVID. The split was even greater between east and west (five eastern teams, 11 west), so the NCAA was already placing a few teams on airplanes.

With that in mind, the priority became setting up the tournament to maintain the 1 vs. 16, 2 vs. 15, 3 vs. 14, etc. in the first round. Though only the first four seeds are actually defined, you can make sense of some of the others and see that this looks like near perfection in maintaining the integrity of the bracket.

Let’s take the Bridgeport Region. Wisconsin is the top seed, fourth overall. It’s pretty obvious that the committee had Wisconsin just ahead of Massachusetts, or the fifth seed. UMass is the number two seed in Bridgeport.

You would then want the 12th and 13th seeds. Lake Superior is the three seed and probably the weakest of the four teams in that band (Michigan, Boston University and Quinnipiac) and, as we outlined above, Bemidji State is the highest of the four seeds once you place the Atlantic Hockey champion AIC at 16 (something that historically has occurred – AIC is also playing the number one overall seed).

So to me, it is obvious that the NCAA was fine flying teams wherever they had to in order to make the bracket as close to perfect as possible.

Of note, one thing we would talk about in a typical year is protecting the gate. Only two of the four regionals will have fans – Fargo and Albany. Fargo, well with North Dakota and only 1,500 available tickets (25% capacity), sold out a while ago. Albany, a larger arena with a 15% capacity, allows for 2,135, still got some protection with Boston College and Boston University a three-hour drive away and Notre Dame, a school with plenty of national alumni.

In the end, I will tip my cap to you, Jayson. Though you began bracketology this year with some crazy theories, in the end you got it right.

And now that we’ve broken down the numbers and the process, it seems the NCAA committee did as well.



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2021 NCAA Tournament: Five positive tests for COVID-19, but no replacement teams expected to be needed


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USATSI

The NCAA announced Tuesday that five positive COVID-19 cases have been identified out of 2,300 tests conducted so far this week ahead of the NCAA Tournament. Those tested so far include members of team’s traveling parties — not just players and coaches — as well as officials from the NCAA. The positice case count of five is up from zero positives that had been identified as of Monday.

Because of the breadth of who has been tested, NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt reiterated that it shouldn’t be assumed the positive tests came from players or coaches.

“An assumption shouldn’t be made about any individuals, or even any groups, because the overall testing numbers include both official travel parties of the teams as well as working staff and committee members,” Gavitt said.

Additionally, Gavitt said tournament officials are not expecting to need one of the four replacement teams on standby in the event of a team needing to drop out due to COVID-19. 

“We are not anticipating that right now,” Gavitt said Thursday afternoon. “But again, we are living in a pandemic. So we do take things day to day, and even hour to hour. But fortunately, we are not aware of any situations that would result in a replacement team coming in.”

Later, Tuesday’s 6 p.m. Eastern deadline for a replacement team to be chosen passed without Louisville, the top replacement team, being contacted, a source told CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander. With no teams forced to withdraw from the tournament, it essentially “locks.”

Gavitt confirmed that 67 of the 68 tournament teams have arrived, with Virginia as the lone exception. The Cavaliers were forced to withdraw from the ACC Tournament last week due to a positive COVID-19 case but are expected to arrive in time to complete the necessary protocols to play their first-round game Saturday night against Ohio.

The Cavaliers have been planning to arrive in Indianapolis on Friday, but Tier 1 personnel must register seven consecutive negative tests before arrival. Once on site, Tier 1 personnel must register an additional two consecutive negative tests on separate days before leaving quarantine. That timeline would mean the Virginia personnel that make the trip will be getting out of quarantine some time in the hours before their scheduled 7:15 ET tip against Ohio on Saturday.





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2021 NCAA Tournament: Five positive tests for COVID-19 with 67 of 68 teams in Indianapolis


ncaa-logo-black.jpg
USATSI

The NCAA announced Tuesday that five positive COVID-19 cases have been identified out of 2,300 tests conducted so far this week ahead of the NCAA Tournament. Those tested so far include every member of a team’s 34-person travel party and officials from the NCAA, and the case count of five is up from zero positives that had been identified as of Monday.

Because of the breadth of who has been tested, NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt reiterated that it shouldn’t be assumed the positive tests came from players or coaches.

“An assumption shouldn’t be made about any individuals, or even any groups, because the overall testing numbers include both official travel parties of the teams as well as working staff and committee members,” Gavitt said.

Additionally, Gavitt said tournament officials are not expecting to need one of the four replacement teams on standby in the event of a team needing to drop out due to COVID-19. 

“We are not anticipating that right now,” Gavitt said Thursday afternoon. “But again, we are living in a pandemic. So we do take things day to day, and even hour to hour. But fortunately, we are not aware of any situations that would result in a replacement team coming in.”

In no teams are forced to withdraw from the tournament by this evening, no replacement teams will be used and the tournament essentially “locks”

Gavitt confirmed that 67 of the 68 tournament teams have arrived, with Virginia as the lone exception. The Cavaliers were forced to withdraw from the ACC Tournament last week due to a positive COVID-19 case but are expected to arrive in time to complete the necessary protocols to play their first-round game Saturday night against Ohio.

The Cavaliers have been planning to arrive in Indianapolis on Friday, but Tier 1 personnel must register seven consecutive negative tests before arrival. Once on site, Tier 1 personnel must register an additional two consecutive negative tests on separate days before leaving quarantine. That timeline would mean the Virginia personnel that make the trip will be getting out of quarantine some time in the hours before their scheduled 7:15 ET tip against Ohio on Saturday.





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Moody on NABC and USBWA All-District Teams


INDIANAPOLIS – Arkansas freshman guard Moses Moody was named All-District by both the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).

Moody is the first Razorback freshman to be named first team All-District by the NABC and Arkansas has had t least one player on the USBWA All-District team since its inception in 2004.

The USBWA District VII team features 10 players from the states of Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. The NABC District 20 team includes 10 members – five on the first team and five on the second team – from SEC schools.

Moody’s Honors To Date:
^ Second team All-American (Andy Katz NCAA March Madness)
^ Kyle Macy National Freshman of the Year Finalist
^ USBWA All-District VII
^ NABC first team All-District 20
^ SEC Freshman of the Year (Coaches)
^ SEC Newcomer of the Year (AP)
^ First team All-SEC (Coaches)
^ First team All-SEC (AP)
^ First team All-SEC (USA TODAY Sports Network)
^ SEC All-Freshman Team
^ 3x SEC Freshman of the Week
^ SEC Men’s Basketball Community Service Team

For more information on Arkansas Men’s Basketball, follow @RazorbackMBB on Twitter.





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NBA remains committed to all teams playing 72 games as it announces the second half of its schedule


The NBA released its schedule for the second half of the regular season live on ESPN’s The Jump on Wednesday afternoon, laying out how it plans to have all 30 teams play 72 games despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The NBA unveiled only its first-half schedule in early December, allowing it flexibility to adjust as the pandemic inevitably wreaked havoc on its attempts to play games outside of the safe confines of a bubble like the one the league finished last season in. To try to make things as fair as possible, each team was scheduled to play either 37 or 38 games across the 73 days that first-half schedule was set to run.

Due to the pandemic, however, and the ongoing issues it has caused some teams, there is no such equity in the second-half schedule. It is no coincidence, for example, that the four teams playing on the first night back — the Washington Wizards, who will be in Memphis to take on the Grizzlies, and the San Antonio Spurs, who will travel to Dallas to play the Mavericks — all have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 in the first half of the season.

The Spurs and Grizzlies have the most games to be played, with each having to cram 40 games into a 68-day stretch of the calendar. On the other end of the spectrum are the LA Clippers, who will have only 34 games to be played in a 67-day period.

Although the NBA’s goal is to have every team play its scheduled 72 games, sources said the league is cognizant of the fact that all 30 teams might not be able to reach that number. There is limited flexibility within the schedule to add games, or to add dates on the calendar, as the NBA wants to get the playoffs completed on time before the scheduled start of the Olympic Games in late July.

As a result, the second-half schedule will conclude on Sunday, May 16, setting up a play-in tournament from May 18 to 21, which will feature the teams that finish from seventh through 10th in the Eastern and Western conferences playing for the final two playoff spots on each side of the bracket.

In the first games of the tournament, the seventh seed will host the eighth seed in each conference, with the winner of each conference’s game getting one playoff spot. The losers of those first games will then host either the ninth or 10th seed in their respective conference — depending which of the lowest seeds wins the games played between those two teams — for the second playoff spot.

The NBA playoffs will then begin on Saturday, May 22.

There will be five ABC games over the second half of the schedule, all featuring marquee matchups of the league’s top teams. Those are:

* The Clippers hosting their Staples Center co-tenants, the Los Angeles Lakers, on April 4.

* The Lakers traveling to Brooklyn to face the Nets on April 10.

* Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors traveling to Boston to play the Celtics on April 17.

* The Lakers playing Luka Doncic and the Mavericks in Dallas on April 24.

* And the Nets going to Milwaukee to face Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks on May 2.

As with the first-half schedule, the NBA has resumed using baseball-style scheduling in the second half, with teams playing two games in one city against the same opponent in order to minimize travel when possible. One prominent example of that is the league-leading Utah Jazz playing in Los Angeles against the Lakers on Saturday, April 17, and Monday, April 19, with both games being on ESPN.

After the two-game opening night featuring Wizards-Grizzlies and Spurs-Mavericks — the latter being on NBA TV — TNT opens the second half of the season on Thursday, March 11, with the Celtics playing the Nets in Brooklyn and the Clippers hosting the Warriors.

The opening ESPN broadcast of the second-half schedule has the Clippers traveling to New Orleans to face newly minted All-Star Zion Williamson and the Pelicans on Sunday, March 14 — followed by the surprising New York Knicks going to Brooklyn and playing the Nets and the Lakers traveling to San Francisco to play the Warriors the next night.



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Skyhawk hoops teams soar into state tournament


Meanwhile, the girls travel to perennial power Princess Anne for their state semifinal contest. The Cavaliers have won seven consecutive state crowns, including last year’s awarded co-championship for a title game that was never played due to the pandemic. L.C. Bird entered the region tournament as the fourth seed, but rolled past top-ranked Meadowbrook in the semifinals and held off Midlothian in the title game to punch its ticket to the state tournament.



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How college basketball teams travel during COVID-19, from battling boredom in hotels to rising at dawn for testing to no snacking on the bus – Galesburg Register-Mail



How college basketball teams travel during COVID-19, from battling boredom in hotels to rising at dawn for testing to no snacking on the bus  Galesburg Register-Mail



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Basketball Teams Travel to Nashville for Thursday-Night Doubleheader at Belmont


Basketball Teams Travel to Nashville for Thursday-Night Doubleheader at Belmont

RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University women’s and men’s basketball teams will kick off a Nashville road trip with a doubleheader at Belmont on Thursday night at the Curb Event Center. The women tip at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN+, followed by the men at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

Women’s Preview

Live Stats | ESPN+  | Game Notes | Live Audio

INSIDE THE SERIES

– This is the 27th all-time meeting between the two teams.

 

– Belmont leads the all-time series between the two teams, 22-4.

 

– The Bruins have won 15 straight in the series.

 
THE COLONELS

–  Eastern comes in at 6-10 (5-7 OVC), after falling to Murray State, 82-66, on Saturday at McBrayer Arena.

 

–  Jayla Johnson led the way for the Colonels posting 22 points and five rebounds against the Racers.

 

–  Johnson was named Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week for the second time this year after her performance against Murray State.

 

–  EKU ranks 22nd in the country in three-point field goal percentage defense on the season.

 

 
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT

–  Belmont comes into the contest at 10-5 (7-3 OVC), after falling to Southeast Missouri, 70-66, on Tuesday in Nashville.

 

–  The Bruins were led by freshman Destinee Wells, who scored a team-best 19 points and dished out nine assists against the Redhawks.

 

–  Wells was named OVC Freshman of the Week for the second time this year on Tuesday.

 

–  Belmont ranks sixth in the country in steals per game.

 
UP NEXT

Eastern Kentucky rounds out the Nashville swing on Saturday when the Colonels take on Tennessee State. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.

 
Men’s Preview

Live Broadcast (ESPN+)  |  Live Stats  |  Game Notes (PDF)  |  Live Audio 

Social Media – @EKUHoops  

WHAT TO KNOW

 

EKU (15-4, 9-3 OVC) comes into the game in third place in the OVC standings. The Colonels bounced back from two straight home losses by defeating SIUE, 78-74, on the road on Monday afternoon.

 

All five EKU starters scored in double figures in the win over SIUE. Freshman Wendell Green Jr. led the way with 18 points.

 

Green Jr. was voted the OVC Co-Freshman of the Week for the fourth time on Monday. He averaged 23.7 points, 8.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds-per-game last week.

 

Green Jr. leads all freshmen in the country with 105 assists.

 

Sophomore Michael Moreno now leads the OVC in three-point field goal percentage (50% / 34-of-58) and three-point field goals-per-game (2.8) during OVC play.

 

Eastern ranks in the top-25 in the NCAA in 10 categories – including 1st in steals-per-game (11.2), 2nd in turnover margin (+7.2), 2nd in turnovers forced-per-game (20.2), 12th in scoring (82.6) and 22nd in three-pointers-per-game (9.8).

 

 
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT

 

Belmont (20-1, 14-0 OVC) has not lost since Dec. 5.

 

Nick Muszynski paces five Bruins averaging double figures at 15.1 points-per-game.

 

This is the 22nd all-time meeting between EKU and Belmont. The Bruins lead the series, 16-5, and have won ten straight over the Colonels. EKU’s last win over Belmont came on Feb. 6, 2016 at the Curb Event Center.

 

 
UP NEXT

 

EKU stays in Nashville to play Tennessee State on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

 

 

 





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