Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors have been slowing the pace down this season, ranking only 18th in the NBA in pace through 26 games. They’ll see an uptick in pace tonight, as they face off against the Milwaukee Bucks, who currently rank fourth in the league in pace this season. Milwaukee also ranks sixth in the NBA in defensive rating, but Golden State features an elite offense, ranking second in the league in offensive rating this season. The Warriors are +1.5 point underdogs in a game set at 239.5 points, and they own an implied total of 119 points tonight.
Stephen Curry has been playing at an extremely high level since returning from injury. Through three games, he’s averaging 33.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.3 steals (50.4 DK points) in 33.1 minutes per game. Curry has also posted a 32.5% usage rating through 15 games this season, and he makes an outstanding option tonight. Kevin Durant is the other focal point of the offense, posting a 32.6% usage rating this season. He’s coming off of a big game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he’s averaging 36.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 1.0 steal (62.2 DK points) in 38.0 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Curry and Durant struggled in their only matchup against Milwaukee this season, but both players come with tremendous upside for reasonable price tags on this slate. Kevon Looney is a cheaper option that evens this stack out a bit. He has been playing bigger minutes recently with Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins, and Damian Jones all injured. Looney played 25 and 29 minutes in his last two games, scoring 22 and 34 DK points. He has looked outstanding on a per minute basis this season, and there’s no reason to believe he’ll start struggling now. He’s a cheap way to get a piece of this game, and makes an outstanding option to fill out a stack with Curry and Durant, who feature more expensive price tags.
NOTE: Draymond Green has been upgraded to questionable. If he plays, Kevon Looney and Kevin Durant will lose value.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
This game is outlined above, and Milwaukee will see a downtick in pace, although Golden State is more likely to speed their pace up than Milwaukee is likely to slow their pace down. The Bucks also lead the NBA in offensive rating this season, while Golden State ranks only 19th in the league in defensive rating. The Bucks are -1.5 point favorites in a game set at 239.5 points, giving them the highest implied total on the slate at 120.5 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been the focal point of the Milwaukee offense this season, posting a 32.2% usage rating through 22 games. He’s coming off of a bad fantasy game because of a blowout against the Detroit Pistons, but he averaged 66.9 DK points per game in his six games prior to that. Antetokounmpo needed only 26.3 minutes to score 48.25 DK points against the Warriors earlier this season, and this will be another game where he can prove he’s one of the best in the NBA. Malcolm Brogdon has quietly been playing at an extremely high level recently, averaging 17.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.5 assists (34.9 DK points) in 30.6 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Similarly to Antetokounmpo, Brogdon only saw limited minutes against the Pistons, but he had scored 30+ DK points in each of his five games before that. He also scored 30.25 DK points in only 24.5 minutes against Golden State earlier this season. Eric Bledsoe is a streaky player, and he may be heating up at the moment. He has scored 45.25 and 48.25 DK points in his last two games, even though he played only 26 minutes against Detroit. Bledsoe looked outstanding against Golden State in their only matchup this season, posting 41.5 DK points in only 26.0 minutes. It’s nearly impossible for these three players to keep their per minute numbers up against Golden State again tonight, but they are each reasonably priced for the upside they come with in this matchup.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Sacramento Kings have been playing at one of the fastest paces in the NBA, ranking second in the league in pace behind only the Atlanta Hawks through 23 games. They get a matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who only rank 28th in the NBA in pace this season. With that being said, Cleveland also ranks last in the league in defensive rating, while Sacramento ranks 13th in offensive rating. The Kings are -2.5 point favorites in a game set at 221 points, and they feature an implied total of 111.8 points.
Marvin Bagley was finally unleashed for the Kings before he was injured a few games ago. Prior to his injury, Bagley had played 26+ minutes in six consecutive games, and he was averaging 34.5 DK points per game over that span. He’s expected to return to minutes in the high-20s, and he should have no problems finding holes in the Cleveland defense. Bogdan Bogdanovic has been a major part of the Kings offense, and he’s averaging 20.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.0 steal (34.8 DK points) in 29.0 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Cleveland has struggled against scorers this season, and Bogdanovic is one of the better scorers on the Sacramento roster. Iman Shumpert is a cheaper way to fill out the remainder of this stack. He’s an extremely cheap option, who’s averaging 21.0 DK points per game over his last six games. Over that span, he has three games with 20+ DK points, including a 36.75 DK point performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He’s expected to see minutes in the mid-20s tonight, and Shumpert is a relatively safe option for a low price tag. Willie Cauley-Stein, Buddy Hield, and De’Aaron Fox can all be considered, as well, but Shumpert will command low ownership and his salary is a major advantage on this slate.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Clarkson has performed well throughout the season, as he’s averaging 16.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists (25.0 DK points) in 25.0 minutes per game. He has seen his role expanded recently, playing 28+ minutes in each of his last three games. Over that span, he’s averaging 31.3 DK points per game, while scoring 25+ DK points in each game. More importantly, he is averaging 18.7 shot attempts per game over that span.
Clarkson is expected to see a similar role tonight, and he should play minutes in the high-20s or low-30s. He’ll likely find shot attempts in the teens, as well. He makes a great option against the Sacramento Kings, who will be pushing the pace in this game. With the pace, the Cavs could see a few extra opportunities tonight, and Clarkson is a great bet to benefit from those.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
There are a plethora of salary relief bigs on this slate, but Adebayo leads the way. He’s only averaging 19.1 minutes per game this season, but he’s also averaging 7.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists (20.6 DK points) per game. He recently played 36 minutes against the Toronto Raptors, scoring 50.75 DK points in that time.
Adebayo will be locked into big minutes with Hassan Whiteside away from the team tonight. He may not see 35+ minutes, but he simply doesn’t need that many to hit value at his current price tag. He gets a great matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who have featured one of the worst defenses in the NBA against opposing bigs. Adebayo is arguably the easiest play on the slate, and he makes an “avoid at your own risk” type of play.
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