Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Houston Rockets have been playing at a slightly above average pace, ranking 14th in the NBA in pace early this season. Tonight, they get a matchup against the Portland Blazers, who only rank 18th in the league in pace. Portland also ranks as an average defense, while Houston has struggled offensively at times this season. Still, the Rockets are -4 point favorites in a game set at 223.5 points, giving them an implied total of 113.8 points on this slate.
James Harden has been ruled out once again, which is the main reason Houston is the “Chalk Stack.” Chris Paul only scored 33 DK points in 34 minutes in his last game without Harden, but he’ll still be owned at an extremely high rate tonight. He’s expected to see a usage rating north of 30% in this game, and Paul comes with sneaky triple double potential. Clint Capela saw a major price bump tonight, but looked outstanding with 14 points, 15 rebounds, one assist, one block, and two steals in 34 minutes in his last game. Capela has consistently seen minutes in the mid- to high-30s, and that will be the case again tonight. He’s nearly a lock for a double double with added peripherals once again tonight. Gerald Green is the final part of this stack. He needed only 23 minutes to score 27.75 DK points in his last game without Harden, and he’s expected to see minutes in high-20s in this game. He’s a player that can score in a hurry, and he adds a bit of salary relief to this stack.
NOTE: Carmelo Anthony is another solid option for this stack if you need a cheaper option.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Toronto Raptors only rank 18th in the NBA in pace, but they also rank fourth in offensive rating this season. They’ll see a uptick in pace tonight, as they matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers, who rank eighth in the NBA in pace this season. Philadelphia also ranks ninth in the league in defensive rating, but they have flashed true defensive holes at times through seven games. The Raptors are -6 point favorites in a game set at 227.5 points, and they feature the highest implied total on the slate at 116.8 points.
Kawhi Leonard has only played in five games this season, but he features a 29.1% usage rating in those games. He has played 35+ minutes in four of those five games, and he’s averaging 27.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.7 steals on a per-36 minute basis this season. Kyle Lowry has been another dominant option for the Raptors this season. He’s locked into big minutes, and has scored 40+ DK points in six of his seven games this season. Overall, he’s averaging 18.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 11.0 assists, and 1.4 steals in 34.4 minutes per game this season. Serge Ibaka has seen surprising usage this season, as he owns a 25.4% usage rating through seven games. He’s only averaging 27.4 minutes per game this season, but he has turned those minutes into 16.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 1.3 blocks per game. Ibaka is a salary relief option for the Raptors, and he is a safe option, who also comes with tremendous upside for his price tag.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Sacramento Kings have been pushing the pace early this season, ranking second in the NBA in pace through seven games. They have also found offensive success, ranking 11th in the NBA in offensive rating, as well. The Kings get a matchup against the Orlando Magic, who rank only 24th in the NBA in pace, but also rank 19th in the league in defensive rating. The Kings are small underdogs in this game, but they still feature an implied total of 107.8 points.
Nemanja Bjelica has only posted a 17.0% usage rating this season, but he has been playing on another level recently. He has played 30+ minutes in each of his last three games, and he’s averaging 18.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.3 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.7 steals (45.7 DK points) in 33.7 minutes per game. De’Aaron Fox is another player that has been locked into big minutes over his last three games. He’s leading the Kings in usage rating (24.5%) this season, and he’s averaging a healthy 40.1 DK points per game over his last three games. Orlando has struggled against the point guard this season, as well. Buddy Hield and Willie Cauley-Stein are two more players that have been locked into big minutes, as well. Both players can be considered, and this is a stack that could potentially feature four players. Hield has been scoring at a high rate recently, and he’s averaging 38.2 DK points in 37.7 minutes per game over his last three games. He still comes with a ridiculous price tag, as well. WCS has double doubled in each of his last three games, while scoring 45+ DK points in each of his last two. It looks as if Sacramento has somewhat locked in their rotation, but their price tags simply have not adjusted.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
I have already outlined Green above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He’s expected to play a bigger role in the Houston rotation with James Harden out, and he could see minutes in the high-20s tonight. Green is a scorer, and he needed only 23 minutes to score 19 points in his last game. He can add a few peripheral stats on a nightly basis, as well. Green is a safe option, who can be considered in all leagues.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Turner only features an 18.9% usage rating this season, and he’s averaging 24.1 minutes per game. He has turned those minutes into 10.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. He’s averaging 1.02 DK points per minute this season, and he has scored between 21 and 30 DK points in each of his six games.
Turner has played 25+ minutes in four of his last five games, and that should be the case again tonight. He has a solidified role in the Blazers offense, and he gets a great matchup against the Houston Rockets in a game that should feature plenty of scoring. Turner can be considered on FanDuel, but he makes an elite option for his price tag on DraftKings.
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