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Vegas Plays: Fantasy Projections Using Sports Betting Lines

In Daily Fantasy, we use mostly statistics and a little bit of what we see with our eyes to project the performance of players. We have to ignore intangibles and things we can’t measure, because… well, we can’t measure them. But Vegas sports bettors are very good at perfectly weighting and measuring matchups, including these intangibles, to set an almost perfect line for every NBA game. By using the Vegas line as well as the over/under projection, we can see how sports bettors think the teams will matchup and see how it’s different than a simple projection based on points score and points allowed. Here are the results:


Best Matchup

Denver +8.1 points scored – This projection makes a lot of sense, they are facing the ultra fast-paced Lakers and when two fast paced teams collide the score exponentially increases. With an over under of 229 tonight you have to like players like Lawson, Foye, Chandler, and Faried.


Surprise Projection

Houston +6.5 – Keep in mind that this projection is versus how much Houston is projected to score against Indiana, so they’re still only projected to score 103 points. Still, clearly the sports bettors in Vegas like the Rockets offense in this game even though the Pacers D is very good. On a site like Draftstreet, where matchups skew salaries significantly, look to target some Houston players.

Worst Matchups

Portland -2.75 – One would think against the fast-paced Mavs Portland would be projected to score a lot, but they’re only projected to score 107 points, only 4 more than Houston. At full strength with bloated salaries, you may want to avoid all Portland players.

Indiana -1.4 – Clearly Vegas thinks the Pacers will do poorly tonight, they’re still projected a little higher than normal against the fast paced Rockets but you shouldn’t weight it too much, Vegas isn’t.

Here’s all the numbers (Diff is the difference in the simple points projection against the Vegas projection):

Team Opp Points Proj Vegas Proj DIFF
DEN LAL 108.4357152 116.5 8.064284766
HOU IND 96.54170541 103 6.458294594
MIN DET 108.6622393 114 5.337760659
GSW ATL 104.5485456 109 4.451454376
NYK UTA 98.20557179 102 3.794428211
LAL DEN 104.8222872 108.5 3.677712844
TOR SAC 102.8873688 106 3.11263116
DET MIN 101.9161243 105 3.083875681
NOP MIL 100.9947868 104 3.005213176
BKN BOS 96.05458892 99 2.945411077
CHA CLE 96.06614424 99 2.933855758
SAC TOR 97.37797184 100 2.622028158
DAL POR 107.6368044 110 2.363195644
MIL NOP 94.05591712 96 1.94408288
BOS BKN 94.1652942 96 1.834705804
CHI MEM 87.26577235 89 1.734227653
MEM CHI 87.35223801 89 1.647761987
CLE CHA 93.24505246 94 0.754947536
UTA NYK 94.3453978 95 0.654602205
ATL GSW 99.6935184 100 0.306481604
IND HOU 100.3965002 99 -1.396500199
POR DAL 109.7527228 107 -2.752722805

Good Luck!

View all posts by Max J Steinberg
Max J Steinberg

About the Author

Max J Steinberg Max Steinberg is a professional poker player and a top Daily Fantasy player who uses his creativity and mathematical abilities he cultivated as a poker player to win money on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He already has several big tournament scores to his name including the Victiv Bowl and countless MLB Monster wins. Follow him on twitter @maxjsteinberg.

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