Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks only rank 18th in the NBA in pace this season, but they will see an uptick in pace tonight. They get a matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans, who currently rank third in the NBA in pace. The Knicks have also struggled offensively this season, ranking only 20th in the NBA in offensive rating. With that being said, they get a great matchup, as the Pelicans rank 26th in the league in defensive rating this season. New York is a +7.5 point underdog in a game set at 235.5 points, but they still feature an implied total of 114 points tonight.
Normally, I utilize three man stacks, but this is only a pair today. Trey Burke and Noah Vonleh are two of the most mispriced players on the slate, meaning they will also feature more ownership. Burke has taken on a new role over his last four games, playing 26+ minutes in each of those games. He’s also averaging 25.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.3 steals (39.6 DK points) in 28.3 minutes per game. He needed only 25.5 minutes to score 30.8 DK points against the Pelicans in their only matchup this season, as well. Vonleh has performed well this season, as he’s averaging 8.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists (24.2 DK points) in 24.2 minutes per game. He has played 30+ minutes in each of his last three games, and he’s averaging a 12.3/11.0/2.0/1.7/1.0 line (35.9 DK points) per game. HE has also scored 40+ DK points in each of his last two games, and he’ll be locked into 30+ minutes once again tonight. If you’re looking to add a third player to this “Chalk Stack,” Tim Hardaway Jr. is the next in line, but I’m significantly more interesting in solely pairing Burke and Vonleh together.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
New Orleans Pelicans
As mentioned above, the New Orleans Pelicans are one of the fastest paced teams in the NBA, while the New York Knicks have been playing at a below average pace. New Orleans has also looked outstanding offensively, ranking second in the NBA in offensive rating through 18 games. New York has also struggled defensively, ranking 27th in the league in defensive rating this season. The Pelicans are -7.5 point favorites in a game set at 235.5 points, giving them the highest implied total on the slate at 121.5 points.
Jrue Holiday has been one of the most consistent players in the NBA this season. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 22.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 10.2 assists, 1.0 block, and 1.5 steals (47.7 DK points) in 36.1 minutes per game. He has scored 40+ DK points in nine of his last 10 games, including five games with 49+ DK points. Holiday also scored 49 DK points against the Knicks in their only matchup this season. Anthony Davis is the other star for the Pelicans. He’s been playing at an elite level for the majority of the season, and he leads the team with a 27.4% usage rating. He has also caught fire over the last 10 days, averaging 29.7 points, 13.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2.5 blocks, and 1.7 steals (62.8 DK points) in 38.4 minutes per game. Davis has scored 58+ DK points in seven of his last eight games, as well. He comes with a ceiling nearing 80 DK points, and that was flashed through a 43/17/5/1/1 line against the Knicks in their only matchup this season. Julius Randle is another high upside option on this team. He ranks second on the team with a 25.9% usage rating, behind only Davis. Randle has played less than 30 minutes in each of his last three games, but he has scored 40+ DK points in each of those games. Over that span, he’s averaging 21.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.3 steals (49.8 DK points) in only 26.7 minutes per game. Randle recently triple doubled in only 25 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs, as well. He isn’t a safe option on this slate, but comes with tremendous upside in a plus matchup on one of the fastest paced teams in the NBA.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Toronto Raptors are one of the most overlooked stacks on nearly every slate. They have been playing at an above average pace this season, ranking 11th in the NBA in pace through 19 games. They get a great matchup against the Washington Wizards, who rank sixth in the league in pace this season. Toronto also ranks fifth in the NBA in offensive rating, while Washington ranks 28th in defensive rating. The Raptors are -10.5 point favorites in a game set at 230.5 points, and they own an implied total of 120.5 points.
Kyle Lowry has struggled a bit recently, specifically with Kawhi Leonard on the floor. He’s coming off of a dominant triple double, though, totaling 21 points with 12 rebounds and 17 rebounds in 32 minutes against the Atlanta Hawks. Lowry also found plenty of success against the Wizards in their only matchup this season, scoring 55.3 DK points in 34.5 minutes. Leonard and Lowry have proven that they can work together in the past, and Lowry’s recent struggles may be over after his performance in his last game. Leonard leads the team with a 29.6% usage rating, and that will continue tonight. He has been an inconsistent option recently, but is averaging 23.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.0 steals (43.3 DK points) in 35.2 minutes per game. He also recently scored 62.25 DK points against the Boston Celtics, flashing tremendous upside. Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka can both be considered to fill out the stack, but I’m siding with the upside of Ibaka. His minutes have been inconsistent recently, but he has scored 30+ DK points in six of his last seven games, while flashing 40+ DK point upside. He’s also averaging 1.24 DK points per minute on the season, and Ibaka adds tremendous upside to this stack.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
I have outlined Burke above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. Burke is expected to play upwards of 30 minutes in this game, and he will benefit from the fast paced, high scoring nature of New Orleans games. Burke is a consistent option, who comes with tremendous upside, as well. He’s one of the safest options on the slate, but can also be considered in tournaments because of his upside.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Dedmon has only played in 12 games this season, but he has performed well. In 21.1 minutes, he’s averaging 8.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks (22.3 DK points) per game. He has also seen his minutes increase over the last 10 days, as he’s averaging 9.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.7 blocks, and 1.3 steals (27.8 DK points) in 25.6 minutes per game. He has also scored 23+ DK points in each of his last four games.
Dedmon should continue to play minutes in the mid-20s tonight as a starter. He doesn’t come with a high usage rating, but Dedmon has been an extremely safe option recently. He gets a tough matchup against the Boston Celtics, but Dedmon is averaging 1.12 DK points per minute in Atlanta this season. He has been playing well enough to be considered in cash games and GPPs on this slate.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)
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