Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Houston Rockets have been slowing the pace down throughout the 2018 season, ranking only 28th in the NBA in pace through 49 games. They’ll see a massive uptick in pace against the New Orleans Pelicans tonight, as the latter ranks sixth in the league in pace this season. New Orleans also ranks 26th in the NBA in defensive rating, while Houston ranks second in the league in offensive rating. The Rockets are currently -9.5 point favorites in a game set at 234 points, giving them the highest implied total on the slate at 121.8 points.
While Chris Paul is back in the lineup, James Harden is still going to feature plenty of ownership, especially in a plus matchup. His usage rating is expected to drop a bit, but it’ll still be only slightly under 40%. Paul is also playing limited minutes at the moment, and Harden posted a 40/11/6/3/1 line (71.75 DK points) in 37 minutes in his first game with CP3 back. He’s averaging 62.3 DK points in 35.5 minutes per game against New Orleans, and Harden still comes with a reasonable price tag at the moment. Kenneth Faried was eased into the Rockets rotation when he first joined the team, but he has played 36 and 38 minutes in his last two games. In those two games, he’s averaging 16.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 block, and 1.0 steal (40.3 DK points) in 37.0 minutes per game. He still comes with a relatively low price tag for his fantasy potential in big minutes, and he’s an athletic big, who will benefit from the pace New Orleans loves to play at. Eric Gordon is another player, who has seen plenty of minutes, and it seems as if his role will not change with Paul back in the lineup. Over the last 10 days, Gordon is averaging 19.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.0 steal (30.1 DK points) in 33.5 minutes per game. He posted 26.25 DK points in his last game, and Gordon will be locked into 30+ minutes once again tonight. He has also found success against New Orleans this season, averaging 28.4 DK points in 28.1 minutes per game. These three players will see plenty of court time tonight, and there should be plenty of scoring in this game.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are another team that has been slowing the pace down this season, ranking 25th in the NBA in pace thus far. They get a plus matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who currently rank 12th in the league in pace in 2018. San Antonio has also found plenty of offensive success this season, ranking sixth in the NBA in offensive rating. Phoenix, on the other hand, ranks only 29th in the league in defensive rating through 52 games. The Spurs are -13 point favorites in a game set at 226 points, and they feature an implied total of 119.5 points.
San Antonio will be without DeMar DeRozan tonight, which opens plenty of usage for other plays. Derrick White is a player that continues to be underpriced, and tonight is no different. He’s averaging 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.4 steals (29.0 DK points) in 31.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 25+ DK points in eight of his last nine games, including games with 33.5, 36.5, and 46.75 DK points. He has struggled a bit against Phoenix this season, but he’s still averaging 23.6 DK points in 28.1 minutes per game against them. LaMarcus Aldridge has been another major beneficiary of the injury to DeRozan, and the former has caught fire recently. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 25.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.8 blocks (47.6 DK points) in 33.1 minutes per game. He has scored 44+ DK points in four of his last five games, including a pair of games with 55+ DK points. Aldridge is only averaging 25.4 minutes per game against Phoenix this season, but he’s also averaging 25.3 DK points per game in those contests. Rudy Gay is another player, who is a bit too cheap for his recent production. He has taken on a larger role with DeRozan injured, and he’s averaging 18.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.0 steal (34.0 DK points) in 30.2 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 30+ DK points in four of his last five games, while posting a 46.25 DK point performance against the New Orleans Pelicans. Similarly to the above players, Gay is averaging only 23.2 minutes per game against Phoenix this season, but he is also averaging 24.3 DK points per game in those two matchups. This is a high upside stack, although they do come with risk from a potential blowout.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Washington Wizards have been pushing the pace in 2018, ranking eighth in the NBA in pace through 49 games. They’ll see a downtick in pace tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who currently rank 29th in the league in pace. With that being said, Cleveland also ranks last in the NBA in defensive rating, while Washington ranks 17th in the league in offensive rating.
Tomas Satoransky is a high upside player that seemingly goes overlooked on a nightly basis. He has been playing at an extremely high level recently, averaging 15.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and 1.8 steal (37.2 DK points) in 37.2 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He’s locked into big minutes, and quietly comes with triple double potential. Satoransky owns games with 46.75, 46.75, and 54.5 DK points in three of his last seven games. He’s also averaging a healthy 19.1 DK points in only 22.0 minutes per game against Cleveland this season. Bradley Beal has been struggling a bit recently, as he’s only averaging 21.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.0 steals (41.6 DK points) in 37.3 minutes per game over the last 10 days. With that being said, he comes with incredible upside, scoring 93.5 DK points against the Toronto Raptors a few games ago. He’s surprisingly averaging 37.6 DK points in 30.4 minutes per game against Cleveland this season. Still, Beal and Satoransky are two guards that each come with tremendous upside. Trevor Ariza is another player that seemingly flies under the radar on a nightly basis. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 18.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.3 steals (35.6 DK points) in 37.2 minutes per game. He has scored 30+ DK points in six of his last seven games, including games with 42.25, 43.5, and 54.25 DK points. He has yet to play Cleveland this season, but it’s a great matchup for Ariza. The Wizards are in one of the top matchups of the slate, and they make up one of the highest upside stacks of the slate.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Burks has seen an increase of minutes in his last three games, playing 26+ minutes in each of those games. He has also been producing extremely well over that span, averaging 32.3 DK points per game. He’s a player that can contribute in multiple categories, and he has flashed 40+ DK point upside in recent games.
Burks gets a great matchup against the Washington Wizards, who will be looking to push the pace in this game. In their only matchup, he was able to score 31.75 DK points in 34.2 minutes. Burks is expected to play 30+ minutes again tonight, and he should feature some ownership. For his price tag, he’s a player that can be considered in all leagues.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Holmes has been enjoying a great season, as he’s averaging a healthy 1.14 DK points per minute through 46 games. He recently saw 27 minutes in his last game, posting a 12/10/1/4/1 line (37.5 DK points) against the Los Angeles Lakers. Holmes has also seen 20+ minutes in two of his nine games prior to that, scoring 37 and 35 DK points in those games.
Deandre Ayton is doubtful tonight, while T.J. Warren is out, meaning Holmes will likely see minutes in the high-20s once again tonight. He gets a decent matchup against the San Antonio Spurs, who he’s averaging 10.8 DK points against in 13.1 minutes per game this season. Holmes has been playing well enough to be used in all leagues once Ayton is formally ruled out.
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