Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Toronto Raptors have been playing at an above average pace this season, ranking 12th in the NBA in pace through 16 games. They get a matchup against the Chicago Bulls, who only rank 22nd in the league in pace, but they also rank 24th in defensive rating. Furthermore, Toronto ranks third in the NBA in offensive rating this season. The Raptors are -8 point favorite in a game set at 216.5 points, and they feature an implied total of 112.3 points tonight.
Kawhi Leonard has been ruled out for tonight, along with Norman Powell. OG Anunoby and C.J. Miles are also questionable tonight, opening value on their team. Delon Wright comes with an extremely low price tag, but he played 26 minutes in his last game. In his career, Wright is averaging 13.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.8 steals on a per-36 minutes basis. While he likely won’t get that many minutes tonight, he should see time in the mid-20s, easily hitting value for his price tag. Danny Green is another cheap option, who has seen inconsistent minutes this season. Overall, he’s averaging 9.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.2 steals (20.7 DK points) in 27.6 minutes per game. He’s expected to play 30+ minutes tonight, making him another great option for a sub-4K price tag on DraftKings. Fred VanVleet is the final sub-4K player that will see plenty of ownership tonight. He has performed well in limited time on the season, averaging 8.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 4.3 assists (19.3 DK points) in 23.2 minutes per game. While he has been struggling recently, he’s expected to see minutes in the mid-20s tonight, making him a great option for another low price. This stack would allow virtually anything with roster construction, or you could simply plug in Kyle Lowry or Serge Ibaka for one of the other players to add a bit more upside to the stack.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Houston Rockets only rank 29th in the NBA in pace in 2018, but they will see a massive uptick tonight. They’ll face off against the Sacramento Kings, who rank second in the league in pace this season. Surprisingly, Houston has struggled offensively, ranking 17th in the league in offensive rating thus far. Sacramento currently ranks 15th in the NBA in defensive rating, but the Rockets are -12 point favorites in a game set at 219 points. They own the highest implied total on the slate at 115.5 points.
James Harden has featured plenty of ups and downs early this season, but he owns a ridiculous 34.9% usage rating. Through 11 games, he’s averaging 27.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 2.3 steals (50.8 DK points) in 35.6 minutes per game. Harden also recently scored 65.75 DK points, displaying tremendous upside for his current price tag. This should also be a high scoring game, which is the type of game that Harden tends to thrive in. Sacramento has also struggled against the point guard, making Chris Paul a great option for a reasonable price tag. He has struggled a bit recently, but he’s averaging a 17.0/5.2/7.5/0.4/2.6 line in 34.4 minutes per game. Even with his recent struggles, he has been close to hitting value for his price tag, and similarly to Harden, he comes with 60+ DK point upside. Clint Capela is a potential candidate to round out this stack, but I’m inserting the lower price tag of P.J. Tucker here. He’s locked into big minutes, as he’s averaging 36.4 minutes per game over the last 10 days. While he doesn’t always produce on the court, Tucker is averaging 10.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 2.2 steals (23.8 DK points) in 35.2 minutes per game in Houston. He’s an athletic player that will be able to take advantage of this pace, and he adds a bit of salary relief for two high priced options.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Charlotte Hornets have been playing at a below average pace this season, ranking 18th in the NBA in pace through 14 games. They’ll see an uptick against the Philadelphia 76ers, who currently rank ninth in the league in pace. Charlotte has also featured a dominant offense, ranking fourth in the NBA in offensive ranking. Philadelphia has struggled defensively at times this season, but they currently rank 12th in the league in defensive rating. The Hornets are -2.5 point favorites in a game set at 225.5 points, giving them an implied total of 114 points on this slate.
Kemba Walker has been the leader of the Hornets offense, posting a team-high 30.8% usage rating this season. He has historically been a better player in Charlotte, and he has looked elite against Philadelphia this season. In two games against Philly, Walker is averaging 33.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 1.0 block, and 1.0 steal (57.9 DK points) in 37.4 minutes per game. Miles Bridges has performed well when given the opportunity this season, and he could see extended minutes with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist injured. He has played 20+ minutes in four of his last five games, and he’s averaging 19.3 DK points per game in those games. He’s also averaging over 20 DK points per game against the Sixers this season. He’s a cheap option, who will go overlooked and comes with tremendous upside. Cody Zeller’s foul troubles have kept his minutes inconsistent, but he comes with plenty of upside when he’s on the court. He’s averaging 22 DK points in 25.1 minutes per game against Philadelphia this season, and he could see upwards of 30 minutes tonight if he’s able to stay out of foul trouble. Still, Zeller has scored 20+ DK points in eight of his last 10 games, and he also makes for a relatively consistent option for his current price tag.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Ball has found success in somewhat of a limited role this season, as he’s averaging 8.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.2 steals (24.6 DK points) in 26.1 minutes per game. His minutes have been a bit inconsistent recently, but he has played 32 and 27 minutes in his last two games, scoring 25.5 and 35.5 DK points in those contests.
Ball is expected to see minutes 30+ once again tonight, as Rajon Rondo recently underwent surgery and has been ruled out for multiple weeks. Ball also gets a solid matchup against the Orlando Magic, who have featured a below average defense this season. His price tag is likely to skyrocket as he plays big minutes on a consistent basis, but he’s an elite option until that happens.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Muscala has produced fairly well in a bench role for the Philadelphia 76ers. Through 11 games, he’s averaging 7.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists (16.3 DK points) in 22.4 minutes per game. He has been locked into big minutes recently, though, playing 26+ minutes in each of his last five games. He also needed only 17.1 minutes to score 14 DK points against the Charlotte Hornets in their only matchup earlier this season.
With Dario Saric in Minnesota, Muscala has been forced into a bigger role, and that will continue tonight. His minutes should sit in the high-20s, but they will reach the 30s if Joel Embiid is unable to suit up. That’s highly unlikely, but Muscala will see plenty of court time for a near minimum price play. He can easily outproduce his price tag, and he makes a great value option on this slate.
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