NBA DFS: James Harden and top FanDuel, DraftKings daily Fantasy basketball picks for Jan. 18, 2020

With superstars like James Harden, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis (questionable, tailbone), the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers are two of the top teams in the Western Conference. On Saturday the squads will go head-to-head for the first time in the 2019-20 season. The game has a whopping 233.5 total so daily Fantasy basketball players will likely be looking at those superstars for NBA DFS stacks. However, affording them means you'll have to dive deeper into the NBA DFS player pool to find value.

Meanwhile, Trae Young and the Hawks take on the Pistons in a game where the over-under is 230. Young is averaging 29.2 points and 8.5 assists per game and he'll be a popular pick for NBA DFS lineups on Saturday. But before making any NBA DFS picks for Saturday, be sure to check out the optimal NBA DFS strategy from daily Fantasy pro Mike McClure, who has won almost $2 million in his career. 

McClure is 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. He saw multiple huge cashes again early in the 2019-20 NBA season and got 2020 off to a blistering start with his optimal lineup returning at least 7x on DraftKings on three of the first five days of the year. Anybody following him has seen huge returns. 

Now, he's turned his attention to the Saturday NBA DFS slate. Head to SportsLine now to see his optimal NBA DFS picks. Here are five of the most expensive players in Saturday's NBA DFS player pool. Get pricing and projections for every player at SportsLine:

McClure's top NBA DFS picks for Saturday

For Saturday, McClure is high on Harden at $11,500 on FanDuel and $11,200 on DraftKings as the Rockets take on the Lakers in a potential playoff preview. The former MVP and two-time defending NBA scoring champ is well on his way to another scoring title this season, averaging 37.2 points per game, while shooting 44.6 percent from the floor and 37.3 percent from the 3-point line. 

Perhaps most importantly, Harden is getting to the free-throw line a career-high 12.3 time per game and hitting 86.0 percent from the charity stripe. Saturday is Harden's first matchup of the season against the Lakers, but last year he averaged 41.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game in four head-to-head meetings.

Part of McClure's optimal NBA DFS strategy Saturday also includes rostering Phoenix Suns point guard Ricky Rubio ($6,300 on FanDuel, $7,500 on DraftKings). Rubio is coming off a massive game against the Knicks where he had 25 points, 13 assists, eight rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot.

That was good for a 9.1x return on DraftKings and 10.3x on FanDuel. Rubio has now had 10 games where he's returned at least 6x on FanDuel and has 14 double-doubles and a triple-double this season. He'll take on a Celtics squad that allowed 128 points to the Bucks on Thursday night.

How to set your NBA DFS lineups on Saturday

McClure is also targeting another player who has a dream matchup on Saturday. 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 Saturday? 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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