On Thursday, December 7th, we have a two-game NBA DFS main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel. It's the semi-finals of the NBA in-season tournament as the Indiana Pacers take on the Milwaukee Bucks and out west, the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers battle it out. This is what the tournament is all about. The team's like the Pacers and Pelicans in a one-and-done scenario are making a Cinderella run to the finals. The games have been incredibly fun and we get to spotlight stars such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis, while watching players blossom into superstars right before our eyes. We see you, Tyrese Haliburton.

NBA DFS Tools to dominate tonight's NBA DFS slate!

Make sure to check out today's NBA DFS projections and NBA DFS ownership projections before finalizing your lineups today. We also have the NBA Consistency Report to help identify players that have exceeded value based off their current price tag this season and of course our NBA DFS Lineup Generator!

Here's the NBA DFS Podcast for today's slate. Like the video and subscribe to our channel!

Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Total: 257.5

Spread: MIL -5

NBA Injury Report

Milwaukee Bucks Injuries

Indiana Pacers Injuries

Bucks NBA DFS Breakdown

Pace: 5th

Defensive Rating: 21st

The Bucks offense is humming right now and Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo have figured something out. On top of that, they’re getting mid-to-upper 20’s in minutes from Khris Middleton and things are going very well for them.

Damian Lillard has been awesome lately posting 47+ DKP in six consecutive games and his price has dropped $400 on DraftKings during that span. He’s averaging 1.26 FP/min on the year. Playing alongside Lillard right now is Malik Beasley who continues to space the floor extremely well for the Bucks. For a fifth consecutive game, Beasley made at least four three’s. He’s playing big minutes and is providing an extremely safe floor for his price right about now. Cameron Payne is a least piece in if you’re interesting in players that have single-digit fantasy point floors but 20+ fantasy point upside.

You have to like Khris Middleton’s minutes where they are where you can see them going. He played just a tick over 26 last game but lost out on the final 2+ due to the blowout. He was clearly going to close that game and would’ve nearly hit 29. There’s a case he plays that, maybe 30 here, and his price dropped $100 on DK. In the 181 minutes with Antetokounmpo and Lillard this year, Middleton’s averaged 1.1 FP/min.

The Bucks run a three-man big rotation with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez, and Bobby Portis. Unless there’s foul trouble, Portis will settle into 22-24 minutes on a night-to-night basis. Antetokounmpo is the best spend up, probably of the slate, but are you comfortable with the rest of your lineup? Brook Lopez has a massive ceiling when his shot is falling because of how elite he on the defensive end of the floor.

Top Play(s): Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton

Secondary Play(s): Malik Beasley, Bobby Portis, Cameron Payne

Pacers NBA DFS Breakdown

Pace: 1st

Defensive Rating: 28th

Tyrese Haliburton is really elite and that’s basically how I’m starting every write-up involving the Pacers. In my opinion, getting to Haliburton here is feasible on this slate considering how badly Milwaukee defends guards.

The rest of the Pacers guards and wings are interesting. TJ McConnell played more than Andrew Nembhard and that’s hard to predict who plays and who doesn’t here. Avoiding them completely. 

Bennedict Mathurin looked good off of the Pacers bench playing 27 minutes and put up 26+ DKP, which is now the second straight game he’s done so. With the Pacers not using a traditional backup center, everyone is in line for extra run. He’s averaged .92 FP/min, which is actually better than Bruce Brown this year, but Brown’s minutes are definitely more secure from slate-to-slate. Brown’s a nice cash piece and has GPP appeal too, but I don’t expect 30+ FP from him if he shoots 3-for-10 again.

When Buddy Hield’s shot is falling, he’s likely going to stay on the floor. If he’s not, he’ll be replaced by other pieces Indiana has in their back pocket. He’s a smidge under 1.00 FP/min, but he’s the most expensive of their wings. Obi Toppin has not only started at PF, but has been operating as the backup center. Can they do that with how big Milwaukee’s front court is? We’ll see, but that’s benefitted Toppin and Aaron Nesmith conversely. Both guys are in play with Nesmith likely being more popular due to price.

Love the 34 minutes out of Myles Turner last time out as he stayed completely out of foul trouble, and he played 37 minutes against the Bucks earlier this year. He has a very high ceiling when he’s able to stay out of foul trouble and on the floor. Will Isaiah Jackson actually play minutes? You can really only play him in MME settings. It feels like a spot they’d need size, but there’s no guarantee.

Top Play(s): Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin, Myles Turner (GPPs), Bruce Brown (Cash), Aaron Nesmith, Obi Toppin

Secondary Play(s): Buddy Hield, Isaiah Jackson (MME only)

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Total: 231

Spread: LAL-2

NBA Injury Report

New Orleans Pelicans Injuries

Los Angeles Lakers Injuries

Pelicans NBA DFS Breakdown

Pace: 12th

Defensive Rating: 15th

The Pelicans ran an extremely short rotation in their quarter final game against the Kings are you best believe they’re going to run it back in this spot again. CJ McCollum is going to play 35+ minutes here and is extremely safe. He’s averaged 1.05 FP/min with both Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram across 106 minutes. Jose Alvarado has been quite a solid FP/min guy this year averaging .98 FP/min and was one of seven guys that saw legit minutes in their last game.

Brandon Ingram has been fantastic over the last two games averaging 47 DKP/game, but he still averages the fewest FP/min between all the big names on New Orleans when they’re all on the floor together. 1.15 FP/min is fourth on the year this season.

Trey Murphy III and Herbert Jones are going to get ownership whether you like it or not. A lot of it. Murphy played 29 minutes in his second game of 2023 and his price decreased. Jones has three straight 30+ FP outings and is an absolute MENACE defensively, but how does he handle the LeBron James matchup, assuming that’s his assignment (and that is what I’m assuming). Foul trouble in his future?

I’m willing to go back to Zion Williamson here and I’m going to have a short memory from the last game. It hasn’t been all roses of late, but for the year he’s averaging 1.25 FP/min, and that leads the Pelicans. I’ve never felt better about how consistent Jonas Valanciunas’ minutes have been, for what that’s worth. All we’ve ever asked for is 30+ and here we are. 31.3 minutes and 35.7 DKP/game over his last five games.

Top Play(s): Trey Murphy III, Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram

Secondary Play(s): Herbert Jones, Jonas Valanciunas, Jose Alvarado

Lakers NBA DFS Breakdown

Pace: 11th

Defensive Rating: 9th

Another team in the in-season tournament shrunk their rotation. The Lakers basically played eight guys and two of them played 40 minutes. You guessed it; LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

At guard, D'Angelo Russell is a wild card. He has a very high ceiling, but he doesn’t close in competitive games because he’s bad defensively. We saw that in the quarterfinals with him going 3-for-11 and only playing 24 minutes in a one-possession game down the stretch. GPPs only.

The other guard options we have on the Lakers are Austin Reaves and Cam Reddish. Reaves has a solid ceiling because he can do almost everything on the floor and has been especially good at the offensive end in each of the last two games. He’s a .97 FP/min producer on the year. Cam Reddish was awful in the quarterfinal game, but the key was he played 30 minutes and guarded Devin Booker all night. He’ll have his hands full tonight with the likes of Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum, but the Lakers might need to keep him on the floor because of that. If he plays 30 minutes again, there is at least mild reasons to think he can stumble into more FP than he put out last game.

LeBron James is quite literally trying to beat father time and he might be winning. He’s just….yeah. Limited, was the word I was looking for. A 40 minute limit, that is. Max Christie was basically removed from the rotation last game with the masked Rui Hachimura taking his place. Hachimura is interesting at 4.1K because we know he can be a pretty high usage player. He’s also at .86 FP/min, which is solid. Taurean Prince is out there and has random games where he makes shots, but is typically a guy we can avoid.

Anthony Davis is an elite play averaging 1.42 FP/min and is now less than LeBron James. Davis has been incredibly consistent and has constantly surpassed 5X at this price point. Jarred Vanderbilt seems limited to 15 minutes or so, and it’s a pass from me at this time.

Top Play(s): Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Austin Reaves

Secondary Play(s): D'Angelo Russell, Cam Reddish, Rui Hachimura