NBA DFS: Damian Lillard and top DraftKings, FanDuel daily Fantasy basketball picks for Dec. 31, 2021

Former New York Knicks first round draft pick Obi Toppin raised plenty of eyebrows with his play in the NBA Summer League, but he is in line to show what he can do as a starter on New Year’s Eve. With both Julius Randle and Nerlens Noel (health and safety protocols) out for tonight’s game against Oklahoma City, Toppin could be a sneaky addition to NBA DFS lineups on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. Toppin has yet to start a game in his young career, and last season, he was on the floor for just under nine minutes in his only game against the Thunder.


Toppin has doubled his points per game average from last season, and is up to 8.6 per contest this year. In his last four games since taking his turn in the league’s health and safety protocols, he’s shot 64 percent from the field and is going up against a bottom-five Fantasy defense against opposing power forwards tonight. Before rolling the dice on Toppin or any other NBA DFS picks on Friday, be sure to check out check out the NBA DFS advice, player rankings, stacks and top daily Fantasy basketball picks from SportsLine’s Mike McClure

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.

On Thursday, McClure included Nets superstar James Harden as one of his top NBA DFS picks on both DraftKings and FanDuel. The result: Harden rose to the occasion in a premier matchup with Philadelphia and scored 33 points to go with 14 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals. His performance returned 71.5 points on DraftKings and 64.8 points on FanDuel. Anybody that included him in their lineups was well on the way to a profitable day.

Now, McClure has turned his attention to the Friday, December 31 NBA DFS slate and locked in his top daily Fantasy basketball picks. You can only see them by heading to SportsLine.

Top NBA DFS picks for Friday, December 31

One of McClure’s top Friday NBA DFS picks is Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard ($10,900 on DraftKings and $9,100 FanDuel). The Portland playmaker has been on a torrid run of play over his last five games and averaged 34.4 points and 5.8 assists in those starts. Against a tough Utah defense on Wednesday, he scored 32 points with six rebounds and four assists.

The Trail Blazers take on the Lakers on Friday, who Lillard played well against when the two teams last met on November 6. Lillard scored 25 points and had six assists in the matchup, and while his team continues to battle through several injuries and players out due to health and safety protocols, he can be counted on to keep shooting on New Year’s Eve. The Lakers have lost six of their last seven games and just watched Memphis’ Ja Morant drop 41 points on them in their last game on Wednesday.

Another part of McClure’s optimal NBA DFS strategy includes rostering Miami small forward Caleb Martin ($4,300 on DraftKings and $5,800 on FanDuel). Prior to missing seven games (protocols), Martin had been on a pretty good run in his preceding three games, which included one start. During that stretch, he averaged 18.3 points and shot over 60 percent from the field. He was impressive in his return as well, with 17 points and five rebounds against the Magic on December 26.

Martin had an underwhelming performance in his last outing against Washington, but he was in the starting lineup. With numerous players out again for the Heat on Friday, he should get another crack as a starter in a plus-matchup against the hapless Houston Rockets. Against Charlotte on Tuesday, the Rockets allowed Jalen McDaniels to score 16 points in his first start of the season.

How to set NBA DFS lineups for Friday, December 31

McClure is also targeting a player who could go off for massive numbers on Friday because of a dream matchup. This pick could be the difference between winning your tournaments and cash games or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.

So who is DFS pro Mike McClure putting in his optimal NBA DFS lineups for Friday? Visit SportsLine now to see optimal NBA DFS picks, rankings, advice, and stacks, all from a professional DFS player who has almost $2 million in career winnings, and find out.

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