Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Houston Rockets have been playing at a surprisingly slow pace throughout the 2018 season, ranking only 28th in the NBA in pace thus far. They get a matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, who only rank 20th in the league in pace this season, as well. While their pace has been slow, Houston also ranks third in the NBA in offensive rating through 43 games. Furthermore, Brooklyn only ranks 18th in the league in defensive rating this season. The Rockets are -5.5 point favorites in a game set at 224.5 points, and they feature an implied total of 115 points tonight.
James Harden is the clear chalk on this slate with Chris Paul and Clint Capela out once again. He features a usage rating north of 40%, and he has been unstoppable as of recent. Over the last 10 days, Harden is averaging 41.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 1.0 block, and 2.0 steals (72.4 DK points) in 37.2 minutes per game. He has scored 70+ DK points in seven of his last nine contests, including each of his last four. He also owns games with 88, 91, and 82 DK points over that span. Harden isn’t going to come cheap, but he’s an extremely safe option, who comes with unmatched upside, especially when playing in Houston. Gary Clark is a player that will benefit from the injury to Capela, as Houston will force him into minutes because of his size. On the season, he’s averaging 7.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.4 blocks on a per-36 minute basis. He hasn’t been an elite option, but he scored eight points with three rebounds, one block, and one steal (16.25 DK points) in 26 minutes against the Memphis Grizzlies in his last game. Clark found success in that matchup, and this one will be significantly easier for the young player. He’s a safe way to make Harden’s price tag a bit more manageable. P.J. Tucker may not come with a ton of ownership, but he’s another cheap option for this stack. He has been playing well over his last five games, averaging 10.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.0 steals (26.1 DK points) in 35.4 minutes per game. He found success against Brooklyn in their only matchup this season, scoring 24.25 DK points in 39 minutes that game. He’ll be locked into big minutes for Houston again tonight, and the return of Eric Gordon shouldn’t truly affect him, as he doesn’t play a large role in the offense. Keep in mind, this could simply be a two man stack of Harden and Clark, but Tucker adds another player if you’re looking for three.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans will be playing in one of the fastest paced games on the slate. These two teams currently rank 10th and sixth in the NBA in pace, respectively. Golden State also leads the league in offensive rating, while New Orleans ranks 25th in the NBA in defensive rating. The Warriors are -7 point favorites in a game set at 241 points, giving them the highest implied total on the slate at 124 points.
There are a plethora of options for Golden State tonight. Stephen Curry leads the team with a 31.4% usage rating. He has also caught fire recently, averaging 32.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 6.6 assists (54.8 DK points) in 32.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 45+ DK points in each of his last nine games, including a 74.5 DK point performance against the Dallas Mavericks. Curry also posted a 37/2/9/0/2 line (58 DK points) in 36.5 minutes against New Orleans in their only matchup this season. Kevin Durant is the other focal point of the offense, posting a 30.9% usage rating through 44 games. He has quite been as hot as Curry, averaging 26.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.6 blocks (46.5 DK points) in 33.0 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has flashed elite upside throughout the season, though, and this is a fast paced, high scoring type of matchup that a versatile player like Durant can take advantage of. In his only matchup against New Orleans this season, Durant scored 46.25 DK points in 40.1 minutes. Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala can all be considered to fill out the stack, but Kevon Looney makes the play in this article. He has looked outstanding recently, averaging 6.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 1.0 steal (24.3 DK points) in 22.4 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Looney has scored 20+ DK points in eight of his last 10 games, as well, while scoring 30+ DK points in two of his last three games. Looney makes the price tags of Curry and Durant a bit more affordable in this stack.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
This game has been outlined above, and it won’t feature an elite pace. Each team has the potential to turn this into an offensive battle, though, as the Brooklyn Nets ranks 16th in the NBA in offensive rating. Furthermore, the Houston Rockets rank 26th in the league in defensive rating, and they will be without one of their best defensive players. The Nets are +5.5 point underdogs in a game set at 224.5 points, but they still own an implied total of 109.5 points tonight.
D’Angelo Russell has been playing at a high level for Brooklyn, and he makes a great option tonight. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 22.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 6.0 assists (38.5 DK points) in 29.2 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has been on fire for longer than that, though, scoring 40+ DK points in six of his last eight games, including two games with 55+ DK points. Russell isn’t necessarily the safest option on the slate, but he comes with tremendous upside on a nightly basis, and will likely go a bit overlooked tonight. Jarrett Allen is a player that has featured plenty of ups and downs throughout the season, but he’s averaging 12.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 2.4 blocks (31.1 DK points) in only 25.4 minutes per game over the last 10 days. His biggest struggle has been inconsistent minutes, although he hasn’t truly struggled with fouls. He played 33 minutes in his last game, though, posting a 19/12/2/4/1 line (47 DK points). Allen’s inconsistencies will keep his ownership down tonight, but he comes with more than enough upside to be considered for his price tag. Shabazz Napier is currently questionable for the game tonight, but he makes quite a bit of sense if he’s playing. He has scored 25+ DK points in each of his last four games, but his price tag doesn’t represent that. Over that span, he’s averaging 13.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.3 steals (27.6 DK points) in 27.0 minutes per game. He’s expected to see minutes in the mid-20s again tonight, making him a solid salary relief option.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Iguodala has struggled at times throughout the season, averaging 5.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists (17.8 DK points) in 23.2 minutes per game. He hasn’t truly seen an uptick in minutes recently, but he has seen a major uptick in production. Iguodala has scored 20+ DK points in seven of his last 10 games, including a 36.75 DK point performance against the Los Angeles Lakers.
He’s expected to see minutes in the mid-20s once again tonight. He also gets a great matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans, who have struggled defensively this season, especially on the road. In their only matchup, Iguodala scored 20 DK points in only 19.5 minutes against them. He’s a player that can be considered in all leagues tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Casspi has performed well in very limited minutes this season. Through 31 games, he’s averaging 5.4 points and 3.0 rebounds (11.4 DK points) in only 12.5 minutes per game. In other words, Casspi is averaging 0.91 DK points per minute on the season. He was forced into 25 minutes in his last game, scoring 21.75 DK points, while easily exceeding value.
Casspi is expected to see similar minutes tonight, as the Memphis Grizzlies are dealing with multiple injuries throughout their rotation. He gets a decent matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, who have featured an average defense against small forwards this season. Casspi is extremely cheap, and makes a solid option in all leagues for his current price tag.
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