The big news for this game is that we could see Kawhi Leonard ($11,000) and Paul George ($9,000) playing together for the first time. George made his debut as a Clipper on Thursday although Kawhi wasn’t active since he was resting. That seemed to set up tonight as their first game together, but Leonard is listed as questionable to play with a knee injury. At +300, the Clippers are the current favorites to win the NBA Championship and it will be interesting to see what this team looks like with both its superstars active.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
FIVE BETTING TRENDS— The Clippers have won 15 of their last 16 games as home favorites
— The road team has covered the spread in eight of the last nine games between the Hawks and Clippers.
— Each of the Hawks’ last four games have gone OVER the total points line.
— Jabari Parker has scored 20-plus points in each of the Hawks’ last four games.
— Paul George has scored 32-plus points in each of his last three appearances.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
HawksEven though the matchup is difficult, we have to consider Trae Young ($10,600) an option for a one-game slate. He’s been incredible so far this season and I am not so sure that good defenses are going to hold his production down too much. Young is taking extremely difficult and deep threes, which there isn’t much of a defense for. Young appears to be one of the more matchup-proof players in the league and has at least 57 DKFP in four of six games since returning from a sprained ankle. Here is another reason to roster the future All-Star: If he doesn’t play well then the game is most likely going to be a blowout and none of the starters will play substantial minutes. The Hawks are extremely reliant on Young.
At forward, Jabari Parker ($8,200) has benefitted from John Collins’ suspension. Parker has scored at least 30 DKFP in seven straight games and is averaging 39.9 DKFP since moving into the starting lineup. DeAndre’ Bembry ($5,600) is also playing extended minutes off the bench without Collins in the lineup. His box score shows he only played 19 minutes last game, although that was because he got ejected. In the two games prior, Bembry played 30 and 40 minutes.
For cheap Damian Jones ($4,400) is an interesting option. He moved into the starting lineup for the last couple games in place of Alex Len ($6,400) and responded with 29 DKFP in 19 minutes in his last game. If not for foul trouble, we could have seen more from Jones. He picked up five fouls in his 19 minutes, limiting his playing time.
ClippersThe injury report muddles the plays from the Clippers’ side of the game. As mentioned up top, Leonard is questionable to play with a knee injury. He isn’t the only key name on the injury report. Patrick Beverley ($7,000) is also questionable to play after sitting out the Clips’ previous game. These injuries are in addition to Landry Shamet, who has been ruled out in advance with a sprained ankle. In an unexpected lineup move, Terance Mann ($3,200) started last game due to the Clippers’ injuries. He scored 14.5 DKFP, making him somebody to consider for a cheap price if he winds up starting again.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Leonard and Beverley will not play in tonight’s game.
In his first game of the season, Paul George ($13,500 CP; $9,000) scored 49.3 DKFP in just 24 minutes. He’s the most logical pick for the captain’s spot and figures to play a massive role if both Leonard and Beverley are unable to play. We can also expect more playing time from George. In his first game, he got into foul trouble and had a minutes restriction. He figures to play closer to 30 minutes tonight.
If Leonard is out, another value to play to look at from the Los Angeles side is Moe Harkless ($4,000). He’s started the past couple of games and averaged 16 DKFP. Obviously, that isn’t a massive amount of fantasy production, but Harkless is cheap, seems to have a solid floor and would allow us to build lineups with both Young and George. We can ignore Harkless if he moves to a bench role.
THE OUTCOMEI am not exactly going out on a limb by picking the Clippers to win here. They are the biggest favorites of the day and the real question is by how much will they win? I feel like I don’t have enough information since Leonard and Beverley are both on the injury report and we won’t know their availability until later in the day. If both are active, the Clippers figure to run away with this game. I’ll take a stab at the score assuming we see George and Leonard together for the first time.
Final Score: Los Angeles 120, Atlanta 104
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