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NBA DFS: James Harden and best FanDuel, DraftKings daily Fantasy basketball picks for Thursday, Dec. 5

Even though the No. 1 overall draft pick still has yet to play for New Orleans, the Pelicans are still hopeful about the future and providing plenty of talent to the daily NBA DFS player pool. Zion Williamson’s knee surgery has kept him out six weeks already, and his absence could go beyond eight weeks. Replacing Williamson’s assumed presence in the lineup is challenging, though Brandon Ingram is doing his part — pumping in 25.4 points and grabbing 7.2 rebounds per game. The emergence of Jrue Holiday has also been a bonus, as he is adding 19.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 6.9 assists per outing. The Pelicans get the Suns at home Thursday, a team they beat 124-121 on the road two weeks ago. Are Ingram or Holiday viable selections as part of your NBA DFS strategy Thursday? And which NBA DFS stacks can lead you to victory? Before locking in your daily Fantasy basketball picks and lineups for any tournaments, cash games, or 50-50s on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings on Thursday, see what SportsLine’s Mike McClure has to say. 

McClure is a DFS professional with nearly $2 million in career winnings. He’s also a predictive data engineer at SportsLine who uses a powerful prediction model that simulates every minute of every game 10,000 times, taking factors like matchups, statistical trends and injuries into account. This allows him to find the best NBA DFS values and create optimal lineups that he shares only over at SportsLine. They’re a must-see for any NBA DFS player.

McClure rolled through the 2018-19 NBA season, producing multiple lineups that led to huge returns for followers, including as much as 40x on FanDuel and 84x on DraftKings. Now, he’s off to a blistering start to the 2019-20 NBA season, cashing on both sites on Tuesday’s Opening Night 2019 and then following that up with returns as high as 20x on DraftKings the next night. Overall, his lineups have cashed a whopping 60 percent of the time so far on DraftKings and FanDuel. Anybody following him has seen huge returns. 

Now he’s turned his attention to Thursday’s NBA DFS slate and revealed his top picks and NBA DFS lineups over at SportsLine

For Thursday, we can tell you McClure is high on Harden at $12,200 on FanDuel and $12,000 on DraftKings. Harden leads the NBA in scoring by a shocking 8.5 points, and his 39.5 points-per-game average is the highest in the NBA since Wilt Chamberlain went for 44.8 per game for the Philadelphia Warriors in 1961-62. 

Harden’s last two games have been especially potent, as he went for 50 against the Spurs on Tuesday and 60 in just three quarters against the Hawks on Saturday. Harden’s Tuesday effort against the Spurs was especially healthy, given his perfect 24-of-24 free-throw shooting, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals. Harden and the 13-7 Rockets are on the road Thursday against the Raptors, a team he went for 35 on twice last season. The game’s most dominant offensive star is at top form, and McClure loves him for your Thursday NBA DFS team.

Part of McClure’s optimal NBA DFS strategy for Thursday includes rostering Philadelphia 76ers small forward James Ennis III ($3,700 on FanDuel, $3,700 on DraftKings). Ennis put up a season-high 20 points — including three 3-pointers — in Friday’s victory over the Knicks. Ennis got 22 minutes as Josh Richardson (hamstring) and Al Horford (rest) were out. 

Richardson remains unavailable Thursday as the 15-6 76ers take a four-game winning streak down the road to play at Washington, which is just 6-13 and has lost three straight. That offers a superb matchup for Ennis, as the Wizards are dead-last in the NBA defending his position and are 19th in the league in point differential. Ennis’ chances to shine are high Thursday and McClure figures he is worth the NBA DFS investment.

McClure is also targeting another player who has a dream matchup on Thursday. The stars are aligning for him to return 50, even 60 points on DraftKings and FanDuel. This pick could be the difference between winning your tournaments and cash games or going home with nothing.

So who is DFS pro Mike McClure putting in his optimal NBA DFS lineup for Thursday? Visit SportsLine now to see the full NBA optimal tournament and cash game lineups from a professional DFS player who has almost $2 million in career winnings, and find out.

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