Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Denver Nuggets have featured one of the slowest paces in the NBA this season, ranking 26th in the league in pace through 26 games. They’ll see a slight downtick in pace tonight, as they get a matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies, who currently rank last in the NBA in pace this season. Memphis also ranks fifth in the league in defensive rating, while Denver ranks ninth in offensive rating. The Nuggets are -2 point favorites in a game set at only 198.5 points, giving them an implied total of 100.3 points.
Denver doesn’t make a chalky stack because of their Vegas odds, but rather because of their injuries. Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, and Will Barton are all out, while Jamal Murray is currently questionable. Trey Lyles could potentially feature the highest ownership of any player on the slate, which is the major reason this stack slides into the chalk category. He started Denver’s last game for Paul Millsap, scoring nine points with 10 rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal (28.5 DK points) in 38 minutes. This is around his floor, though, as he only shot 15.4% from the field. In his only matchup against Memphis this season, Lyles scored 31.75 DK points in 28.1 minutes, and there’s no reason to avoid him for his price tag tonight. Juan Hernangomez has been locked into big minutes, and he’s averaging 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.2 assists (30.2 DK points) in 34.1 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has also scored 36 and 38.5 DK points in his last two games, but his price tag has yet to truly rise. Nikola Jokic is another player that will benefit from all of the injuries. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 18.0 points, 9.4 rebounds, 9.8 assists, and 1.4 steals (49.5 DK points) in 33.4 minutes per game. He has scored 44+ DK points in each of his last four games, including games with 53.25 and 66.75 DK points against the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors. In their last game, this trio combined for 117.75 DK points with a $17.7K price tag.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Boston Celtics are another team that has been slowing the pace down this season, ranking 22nd in the NBA in pace thus far. They get a great matchup against the New Orleans, who currently rank third in the league in pace. Boston’s offense has been heating up recently, and they rank 11th in the NBA in offensive rating through 25 games. This is also a plus matchup, as New Orleans ranks only 24th in the NBA in defensive rating, and they have found even less success on the road. The Celtics are currently -4.5 point favorites in a game set at 224 points, and they own an implied total of 114.3 points.
The Celtics will be another chalky stack because of their injuries. Aron Baynes and Kyrie Irving have been ruled out, while Gordon Hayward and Al Horford have been labeled as doubtful. They will be running an extremely short rotation, and all of their players can be considered. Terry Rozier has been playing at a higher level recently, as he’s averaging 10.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.3 steals (27.1 DK points) in only 22.4 minutes per game. He has played 25 and 24 minutes in his last two games, scoring 35 and 32.75 DK points in those games. He’ll be forced into 30+ minutes tonight, making him a high upside option tonight. Daniel Theis will be forced into big minutes as the only true “center” on the team. On the season, he’s averaging 1.01 DK points per minute in only 13.1 minutes per game. He was forced into 32 minutes in his last game, scoring 22 points with 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals, and one steal (54.5 DK points). He’ll see similar minutes tonight, and Theis quietly makes an elite option for a low price tag. The remainder of the Boston rotation can be considered depending on the price tag you’re looking to pay. Specifically for this article, I’ll side with Jaylen Brown, who still comes with a relatively low price tag. He has scored 25+ DK points in each of his last three games, including a 38.75 DK point performance against the Chicago Bulls. He’ll be locked into big minutes, and Brown will see a massive uptick in usage tonight. He saw a 24.6% usage rating in the playoffs last season, while averaging 20.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists on a per-36 minute basis. He’s a high upside option, who will be relatively safe at his current price tag.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons have both been playing at an above average pace this season, ranking seventh and 14th in the NBA in pace, respectively. Detroit currently ranks 11th in the league in defensive rating, while Philadelphia ranks 13th in the league in offensive rating. The Sixers are -10 point favorites in a game set at 219.5 points, and they own an implied total of 114.8 points.
Joel Embiid has been the focal point of the Sixers offense, sporting a 32.1% usage rating this season, although he has suggested a serious displeasure with his new role with Jimmy Butler on the court. He has looked elite against the Detroit Pistons this season, averaging 36.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 2.5 blocks (65.0 DK points) in 36.1 minutes per game. It’s known that Embiid loves beating Andre Drummond, and he’s an elite option, assuming he suits up in this game. J.J. Redick is a player that will likely go overlooked in Philadelphia, but he has been playing at a high level recently. He has scored 29+ DK points in four of his last five games. He’s also averaging 21.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 5.0 assists (33.8 DK points) in 34.1 minutes per game against Detroit this season. He has been locked into 30+ minutes per game, and he makes an outstanding option tonight. Ben Simmons is another player that has found success against Detroit this season, and he’s averaging a 13.5/9.5/5.5/1.5/3.0 line (41.9 DK points) per game against them. Simmons isn’t a player that needs a ton of shots, as he comes with triple double potential on a near nightly basis. Stacking may be somewhat difficult on this slate because of all of the value, but utilizing a stack could be a way to separate your lineups from others.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
I have outlined Rozier above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He has looked outstanding when given the minutes this season, and he has scored 35, 32.75, and 26.75 DK points in his last three games with 24+ minutes. He gets an elite matchup against a fast paced New Orleans Pelicans, and Rozier will likely be locked into 30+ minutes with multiple injuries in Boston. He’s an easy option at point guard, but that doesn’t mean he’s the wrong option.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
I have outlined Lyles above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He features one of the highest usage ratings on the Denver Nuggets team, and he’s averaging 0.97 DK points per minute this season. He played 38 minutes in a start in his last game, scoring 28.5 DK points. He shot only 2-13 from the field in that game, though, and Lyles comes with significantly more upside. For his price tag, Lyles is the best option on the slate at this point, and he shouldn’t be avoided.
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