Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Utah Jazz have been playing around an average pace throughout the 2018 season, ranking 14th in the NBA in pace through 46 games. They get a matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who only rank 29th in the league in pace this season. With that being said, Cleveland also ranks last in the NBA in defensive rating through 45 games, while Utah ranks 20th in the league in offensive rating. The Jazz are currently -15.5 point favorites in a game set at 215.5 points, giving them an implied total of 115.5 points tonight.
Rudy Gobert has been playing at an extremely high level recently, averaging 15.7 points, 18.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.0 blocks, and 1.2 steals (50.3 DK points) in 35.6 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has been playing at an even higher level over his last three games, scoring 63.5, 58.75, and 52 DK points in those games. The Cleveland Cavaliers have found success against the center throughout the 2018 season, but they are dealing with a plethora of injuries in their front court. Gobert will see the majority of his time in this game against Ante Zizic, who simply isn’t at Gobert’s level at the moment. Donovan Mitchell has seen his role in the offense increase over his last five games, as Utah is dealing with injuries Ricky Rubio, Dante Exum, and Raul Neto. In those games, Mitchell is averaging 31.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.4 steals (49.8 DK points) in 35.8 minutes per game. Mitchell has scored 40+ DK points in each of his last five games, including three games with 50+ DK points. Cleveland has struggled to slow down scorers like Mitchell this season, and that could be the case again tonight. Derrick Favors is another Utah player that has found quite a bit of success recently. He’s averaging 10.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.0 assist (25.7 DK points) in 24.4 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has been playing well for quite some times, though, averaging 28.1 DK points per game over his last 10 games. He needed only 24.6 minutes to score 24.25 DK points in his only matchup against Cleveland earlier this season, and he’s expected to play minutes in the mid- to high-20s once again tonight. There isn’t only “Chalk Stack” on this slate, but Utah makes an outstanding stack in cash games tonight.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers are two teams that love pushing the pace in games, as these two teams currently rank 10th and eighth in the NBA in pace, respectively. Golden State also leads the league in offensive rating through 45 games this season. Los Angeles hasn’t found similar defensive success, ranking only 22th in the NBA in defensive rating thus far. The Warriors are -7 point favorites in a game set at 242 points, and they own the highest implied total on the slate at 124.5 points.
Stephen Curry has caught fire recently, averaging 32.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 6.8 assists (54.8 DK points) in 32.1 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 57.25 and 74.5 DK points in two of his last three games, as well. Furthermore, Los Angeles features one of the worst defenses in the NBA against point guards, and he scored 57.5 DK points in his only matchup against them this season. Kevin Durant is another elite option for Golden State. He’s averaging 26.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.0 steal (48.4 DK points) in 32.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has also scored 63.25 and 50.25 DK points in two of his last three games. Similarly to Curry, Durant has found quite a bit of success against the Clippers this season. In two matchups against Los Angeles, he’s averaging 34.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 2.5 blocks, and 1.0 steal (69.6 DK points) in 38.2 minutes per game. DeMarcus Cousins is expected to make his debut tonight, making him a strong option, as we can likely get him at lower ownership. The issue will be his lack of minutes. Cousins is only expected to play around 20 minutes tonight, but he is expected to draw the start. This will be the cheapest price tag Cousins will likely see this season, and he has the potential to exceed value in 20 minutes. Golden State could potentially be looking to get Cousins touches early and often, as he looks to find his role in the offense tonight. Cousins adds risk to this stack, but he also adds quite a bit of upside in this particular matchup.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Miami Heat have been slowing the pace down in their games this season, ranking only 22nd in the NBA in pace through 42 games. They get a matchup against the Detroit Pistons, who have been playing at a similar pace this season, ranking 21st in the league in pace thus far. Similarly to their pace, Miami only ranks 22nd in the NBA in offensive rating this season, while Detroit ranks 13th in the league in defensive rating. The Heat are currently +2 underdogs in a game set at 206.5 points, and they feature an implied total of 102.3 points tonight.
Justise Winslow is the top option for Miami tonight. He has been playing with the ball in his hands more recently, and he’s averaging 17.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 6.0 assists (37.3 DK points) in 29.2 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has also played 29+ minutes in each of his last three games, scoring 36+ DK points in each of those contests. Winslow also found success against Detroit earlier this season, scoring 30 DK points against them. Josh Richardson is questionable with an illness for this game, but he’ll make an outstanding option if he’s able to start. He only played 25 minutes in his last game, which was a blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Prior to that, he had scored 30+ DK points in seven of his last nine games. He dominated Detroit in their only matchup this season, scoring 48 DK points in 38 minutes against them. Winslow and Richardson are the only Miami players projected to play over 30 minutes tonight, and they are far and away the top options. Hassan Whiteside has seen extremely inconsistent minutes recently, but his upside is undeniable. He’s averaging only 23.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days, but he’s also averaging 13.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 1.3 blocks (30.0 DK points) in that time. He has played 30+ minutes in only two of his last 10 games, but he was able to score 50 and 40 DK points in those games. Whiteside could see a few extra minutes against Andre Drummond tonight, and he comes with elite upside for his price tag. With that being said, he is likely to only see minutes in the mid-20s, and he’s an extremely high risk option on this slate.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
White has been locked into relatively big minutes recently, averaging 31.3 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He’s averaging 14.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.2 assists (28.3 DK points) in that time on the court. White has also flashed elite upside, scoring 36.5 and 46.75 DK points in two of his last four games.
He will see minutes in the high-20s or low-30s tonight. He gets a solid matchup against the Minnesota Wolves, who have featured an average defense against a point guard. He has performed well in two matchups against Minnesota this season, averaging 15.6 DK points in 23.6 minutes per game. White isn’t consistent enough to be considered in cash games, but he makes an outstanding tournament option.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
There isn’t much data on Zizic because of his lack of minutes throughout the season. He has looked outstanding in those limited minutes, averaging 14.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.0 block (33.3 DK points) on a per-36 minute basis. He has also played 20+ minutes in three of his last four games, scoring 31.5, 32, and 20 DK points in those games.
Zizic is one of the only big men for the Cleveland Cavaliers, as they will be without Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, and Larry Nance Jr. tonight. Zizic is expected to play minute in the high-20s, and he gets a great matchup against the Utah Jazz. Utah currently ranks 23rd in the NBA against centers, and this is a matchup Zizic can take advantage of. He will be one of the highest owned players on the slate, and he’s an “avoid at your own risk” type of play tonight.
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