4 NBA Defenses to Exploit in Daily Fantasy Basketball

Monta Ellis and the Indiana Pacers have become an ideal team to pick on in NBA DFS. Which other defenses should we target?

If you're a follower of the NBA, you probably remember when the Indiana Pacers were a defensive powerhouse in the Eastern Conference. After all, they're just three years removed from have the best defensive rating in the league for two consecutive seasons (2012-13 and 2013-14). Recently, though, you would think that was 10 years ago.

The Pacers have quickly fallen from their place among the top defensive squads in the NBA. Currently, their defensive rating of 111.4 (according to Basketball Reference) rates 28th out of 30 teams, and just the other night, they allowed 75 points in the first half and 122 over the entirety of their road game against the Charlotte Hornets.

For DFS players, that yells, "Start players against me!" If it doesn't, I don't know what does. So, with that being said, where are the Pacers among the top defenses to target players against in NBA DFS?

In order to discover which teams are the best of the worst, we utilized the following stats from Basketball Reference: opponent points per game, pace (possessions per 48 minutes) and adjusted defensive rating (points per 100 possessions, adjusted for opponent offense). Opponent points per game isn't the best measure because it doesn't account for pace, which is why we will use it more so as a reference. Defensive rating isn't an accurate indication, either, because not every team averages 100 possessions a game.

To understand a team's true points against per game, we multiplied adjusted defensive rating by pace. For example, if a team has an adjusted defensive rating of 105 points allowed per 100 possessions, and a pace of 101, this is what the math looks like: 105 x 1.01 = 106.05 (true points allowed per game).

A preliminary finding that I want to disclose is that all four of these teams are competitive and at least average. They have a combined record of 15-12 to start the season and are all expected to, at the very least, be in the hunt for a playoff spot in their respective conference.

Each of them also take the court tonight.

Without further ado, here are the four defenses to take advantage of on a nightly basis in NBA DFS.