Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been one of the slowest paced teams in the NBA this season, ranking 29th in the NBA in pace thus far. They get a matchup against the Boston Celtics, who currently rank 17th in the league in pace through 53 games. Boston also ranks third in the NBA in defensive rating, while Cleveland only ranks 25th in the league in offensive rating this season. The Cavs are currently +11 point underdogs in a game set at 211.5 points, and they feature an implied total of 100.3 points tonight.
There won’t be only one full “Chalk Stack” on this slate. Cleveland may not be the highest owned stack tonight, but they are one of the safest stacks. They will be short-handed tonight with Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, and Cedi Osman out, while Rodney Hood is in Portland. Alec Burks has seen 30+ minutes in each of his last four games, and he’s averaging 12.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.8 assists (28.9 DK points) in 32.5 minutes per game. He has scored between 27 and 38 DK points in each of those games, but his price tag doesn’t represent that. Burks gets what is perceived as a tough matchup against Boston, but he’s averaging 1.37 DK points per minute against them in two matchups this season. Jordan Clarkson is another player that has found plenty of success recently. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 17.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists (30.8 DK points) in 27.2 minutes per game. Similarly to Burks, Clarkson comes with a surprisingly low price tag after scoring 28.25, 38.25, and 35.75 DK points in his last three games. He’s averaging only 22 minutes per game against Boston this season, and he is also averaging 17.4 DK points per game in 2018. He’ll be forced into bigger minutes, and Clarkson will be a major focal point of the offense. Larry Nance Jr. struggled a bit in his first two games back from injury, but he has caught first in his last two. In his last two games, Nance is only averaging 26.0 minutes per game, but he is also averaging 12.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 block, and 1.0 steal (35.4 DK points) per game in those contests. With multiple injuries in the Cavs frontcourt, Nance is going to be forced into minutes in the high-20s or low-30s. Each of these players are priced under $6K, and they make a great stack in all leagues tonight.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder have been pushing the pace throughout the 2018 season, ranking third in the NBA in pace. They’ll see a downtick in pace against the Orlando Magic, who rank only 26th in the league in pace through 53 games. Oklahoma City has seen some offensive success, ranking 13th in the NBA in offensive rating thus far. Orlando has also quietly found some defensive success in 2018, ranking fourth in the league in defensive rating. With that being said, the Thunder are -9.5 point favorites in a game set at 223.5 points, giving them one of the highest implied totals on the slate at 116.5 points.
Russell Westbrook isn’t going to come cheap, but he has been playing at an extremely high level recently. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 18.0 points, 12.8 rebounds, 13.8 assists, and 1.0 steal (60.9 DK points) in 35.5 minutes per game. He has triple doubled in each of his last six games, scoring 60+ DK points in four of those contests. Westbrook also comes with 75+ DK point upside, specifically against Orlando, who he was able to triple double against in their only matchup this season. Paul George is another player that has been playing at an unbelievable level recently. He’s averaging 38.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 2.3 steals (61.0 DK points) in 37.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days. George has scored 50+ DK points in nine of his last 10 games, including three games with 60+ DK points. Similarly to Westbrook, George found success against Orlando in their only matchup this season, scoring 57.5 DK points against them. There are a few players that could fill out this stack, but I’m siding with the consistency of Steven Adams. He’s averaging 14.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 2.0 steals (30.3 DK points) in 31.2 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 29+ DK points in eight of his last 10 games, while also flashing 45+ DK point upside over that span. Adams didn’t play in the Thunder’s first matchup against the Magic, but this is a plus matchup for him. This isn’t going to be a cheap stack, but there are very few trios that come with the upside of this group.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
This game has been outlined a bit above, and it will be one of the slower paced games on the slate. That could cause the Boston Celtics to see lower ownership tonight. Boston ranks ninth in the NBA in offensive rating this season, though, while the Cleveland Cavaliers currently rank last in the league in defensive rating. The Celtics are -11 point favorites in a game set at 211.5 points, and they own an implied total of 111.3 points tonight.
Kyrie Irving has been ruled out for this game, meaning Terry Rozier will draw the start and play big minutes. He has seen 27+ minutes in four of his last 10 games, and he’s averaging a healthy 42.1 DK points in that time. He has performed well against Cleveland this season, as well, averaging 32.6 DK points in only 25.1 minutes per game this season. Rozier will likely feature lower ownership because of his price tag, but he has the ability to easily exceed value when given 30+ minutes. Al Horford is another player that could go overlooked tonight. He has been on fire recently, averaging 16.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2.4 blocks, and 1.2 steals (41.6 DK points) in 29.1 minutes per game. He comes with a surprisingly low price tag, and he has scored 39+ DK points in four of his last six games. Horford is no longer on a minute’s restriction, and he makes an elite option for his price tag tonight. Jaylen Brown will feature quite a bit of ownership tonight, but there’s no real reason to avoid him in a Boston stack. He generally sees an uptick in usage when Irving is off the court, and that will be the case tonight. He has also played 30+ minutes in two of his last four games, scoring 43 and 33 DK points in those contests. His inconsistencies when the Celtics are healthy have kept his price tag low, but he makes a great option in all leagues tonight. He also found success against Cleveland earlier this season, scoring 33 DK points in only 25.1 minutes in that game.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
I have already outlined Burks above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He has seen an increase in minutes recently, and he’ll get 30+ minutes tonight with Rodney Hood traded. He has also easily been exceeding value when given that time, and he likely won’t be this cheap for long. Furthermore, Burks has dominated Boston in two games this season, and he makes one of the best options in all league on the slate.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
I have already outlined Brown above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He becomes a significantly larger part of the offense when Kyrie Irving is out, and that will be the case tonight. Brown has scored 33 and 43 DK points in his last two games with 30+ minutes, and he also dominated the Cleveland Cavaliers in their only matchup this season. He is an option that can be considered in all leagues on this slate.
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