Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors have been playing at a surprisingly low pace this season, ranking 17th in the NBA in pace through 20 games. They’ll see a major uptick in pace tonight, though, as they face off against the Sacramento Kings, who currently rank second in the league in pace. Sacramento also ranks 20th in the NBA in defensive rating, while Golden State ranks second in the league in offensive rating. This is an elite matchup for Golden State, who is a -6 point favorite in a game set at 225.5 points. They own an implied total of 115.8 points.
Stephen Curry has been out for quite some time, and that’s going to continue tonight. Quinn Cook has been playing bigger minutes since then, and he has been performing well recently. Over the last 10 days, Cook is averaging 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists (26.4 DK points) in 28.3 minutes per game. He has also played 29+ minutes in each of his last three games, and he’s averaging 28.3 DK points per game over that span. He should be locked into big minutes once again tonight, making him a safe option in a plus matchup for a low price tag. Klay Thompson has also been playing extremely well recently, and he’ll command ownership tonight. He has scored 30+ DK points in nine of his last 10 games, including five games with 39+ DK points. Thompson is averaging 23.3 shot attempts per game over his last four games, and this is the type of game that a scorer like Thompson can thrive in. Draymond Green looks unlikely to play tonight, leaving plenty of opportunities for Kevin Durant on the floor. Durant has caught fire recently, as he’s averaging 28.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 1.3 steals (56.3 DK points) in 36.7 minutes per game over his last three games. Damion Lee makes another solid option for Golden State tonight, and he can be considered in a four man stack. He won’t feature as much upside as the other players, but he comes with an extremely low price tag, and can help average out the higher price tag of Durant.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Washington Wizards and New Orleans Pelicans are two of the fastest paced teams in the NBA this season. Thus far, these two teams rank sixth and third in the NBA in pace, respectively. Washington has struggled offensively this season, ranking only 20th in the league in offensive rating through 18 games. With that being said, New Orleans ranks 26th in the NBA in defensive rating, and Washington is a -1 point favorite in a game set at 239 points. They feature the highest implied total on the slate at 120 points.
John Wall has been struggling a bit recently, but he comes with undeniable upside. He leads the team with a 27.9% usage rating in 2018, while also leading the team with 35.0 minutes per game. Overall, he’s averaging 20.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 8.1 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.2 blocks (42.9 DK points) per game. He has scored less than 40 DK points in four of his last five games, but he has also scored 48+ DK points in six of his last 10 games. Wall is an athletic player that will benefit greatly from the pace of this game. Bradley Beal is the other focal point of the offense, recording a 26.4% usage rating this season. He has struggled at times recently, similarly to Wall, but Beal has posted 38 and 42.25 DK points in his last two games. He’s another player that will benefit from the high scoring nature of New Orleans games tonight, as well. Jeff Green is another high upside option for the Wizards. He has been playing well recently, as he’s averaging 9.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 steals (23.0 DK points) in 24.3 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Overall, he has caught fire over his last seven games, and he’s averaging 26.3 DK points per game over that span. He has been a better option at home this season, and he makes Wall and Beal’s price tags a bit more manageable.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Milwaukee Bucks have been pushing the pace early this season, ranking fourth in the NBA in pace through 18 games. They get a matchup against the San Antonio Spurs, who currently rank 25th in the league in pace this season. The Spurs have featured a below average defense this season, ranking 19th in the NBA in defensive rating. Milwaukee has been playing at an elite offensive level, as well, leading the league in offensive rating thus far. The Bucks are -10 point favorites in a game set at 226.5 points, giving them an implied total of 118.3 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has posted an elite 32.9% usage rating through 17 games this season. He has struggled at times on the road, but has played at an elite level in Milwaukee. Through 10 home games, Antetokounmpo is averaging 28.7 points, 13.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.2 steals (58.4 DK points) in 32.4 minutes per game. He has also played at home in each of his last five starts, and he has scored 50+ DK points in each of those games. Eric Bledsoe is coming off of his worst game in some time, but he was still able to score 29.25 DK points. Over the last 10 days, Bledsoe is averaging 18.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.8 steals (37.5 DK points) in 29.5 minutes per game. Excluding his last game, Bledsoe has scored 32+ DK points in seven consecutive games, including three games with 40+ DK points. He has also been playing at a much higher level in Milwaukee, where he’s averaging 1.27 DK points per minute. Malcolm Brogdon is a cheap option, who makes this stack a bit more affordable. He has scored 24+ DK points in seven of his last eight games, including four games with 30+ DK points. Brogdon is expected to play 30+ minutes tonight, and he is averaging 33.4 DK points in his last four games with 30+ minutes. He certainly comes with some risk, but he’s a cheap option, who comes with solid upside for his price tag.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Blakeney has quietly posted a dominant 26.3% usage rating through 19 games this season. He’s only averaging 19.1 minutes per game this season, but he is also averaging 10.9 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. On a per-36 minute basis, he’s averaging a 20.6/4.1/1.2/0.7/0.4 line. He has also played 20+ minutes in three of his last four games, although he’s only averaging 15.8 DK points per game over that span.
Blakeney is only expected to play around 20 minutes tonight, but it’s difficult to avoid someone at his price tag with his usage rating. He gets a great matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves in a game that should be relatively high scoring. The Wolves have been an average defense against guards, and Blakeney is a high upside tournament option for a low price tag.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Marvin Bagley III
Bagley has yet to be unleashed as a rookie, as he’s only averaging 23.0 minutes per game on the season. He has found success in that time, though, averaging 12.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks (23.7 DK points) per game. He has played 26+ minutes in each of his last three games, though, and he’s averaging 31.8 DK points per game over that span.
Bagley is expected to see similar minutes in the mid- to high-20s tonight, as well. He gets a good matchup against the Golden State Warriors, who are dealing with multiple injuries. Bagley is an athletic big man, who will benefit from the pace of this game. He can contribute in multiple categories, and Bagley is a safe option, who comes with quite a bit of upside for his new role in the offense.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)
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