Zion Williamson

We have six games in the NBA on Wednesday, one of which is a Western Conference matchup between the Kings and Pelicans. With both teams just three games back in the loss column of the eighth playoff seed, this game could have significant ramifications. To add to the excitement, these two teams also make up the featured Showdown contest. Let’s break down how things might play out for both sides.

Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.


FIVE BETTING TRENDS

— The Pelicans have won each of their last four night games against the Kings at Golden 1 Center.

— The Pelicans have covered the spread in five of their last six games against the Kings.

— Eight of the last nine games between the Pelicans and Kings have gone OVER the total points line.

— Zion Williamson has scored 28+ points in each of the Pelicans’ last three games against Pacific Division opponents.

— De’Aaron Fox has scored 23+ points in each of the Kings’ last five home games.

Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook


Set your lineups here: NBA Showdown $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st]


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Pelicans

Four of the five most expensive options are on the Pelicans. At the top of the list is Jrue Holiday ($9,800), who continues to quietly be an excellent player. He’s scored at least 45.5 DKFP in three of the last four games and should once again have a high floor in this matchup. Right behind him on the price scale is Brandon Ingram ($9,600), who isn’t as consistent of a scoring option now that Zion Williamson ($8,800) is healthy. Based on their significant price difference, rolling with Williamson might be the better decision if you are trying to decide between the two.

The other high-priced option on the Pelicans is Lonzo Ball ($9,400), who is in the midst of an offensive surge with an average of 20.8 points across the last five games. He hasn’t just contributed in the scoring column, either, averaging 7.8 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 2.2 steals during that stretch. The last time these two teams met, Ball was also extremely productive with 24 points, six rebounds, 10 assists and two steals across 33 minutes.

There is really only one mid-tier priced option on the Pelicans, who is none other than Derrick Favors ($6,200). He can still have the occasional big night, but he’s largely struggled by scoring 23.3 DKFP or fewer in three of the last four games. As long as Williamson is healthy, Favors will continue to have limited upside.

In terms of cheap players on the Pelicans, the only two who should really be on your radar are Josh Hart ($4,600) and Nicolo Melli ($3,800). Hart has the higher ceiling of the two, which he showed by scoring 42.5 DKFP against the Heat on Friday. However, he hasn’t been consistent, following that up with 10.3 DKFP versus the Timberwolves on Sunday. Meanwhile, Melli has scored at least 20.5 DKFP in six of his last nine games.


Kings

The undisputed top option on the Kings is De’Aaron Fox ($9,000). His 29.6 percent usage rate is the highest mark on the team and ranks inside the top-20 in the NBA, overall. With the Pelicans playing at the second-fastest pace and allowing the fourth-most points per game, Fox is an appealing option. Oddly enough, the next-most expensive King is Nemanja Bjelica ($7,800). There isn’t much to like about him considering he’s scored 24.3 DKFP or fewer in four of the last five games.

Working our way further down the price scale brings us to Buddy Hield ($6,400), who has transitioned into a bench role. He’s still been productive, though, averaging 19.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 4.4 three-pointers as a member of the second unit. With the up-tempo pace at which the Pelicans play, he has the potential to provide value. Bogdan Bogdanovic ($6,000) has been starting in Hield’s place, and while his scoring numbers aren’t always there, he has still produced at least 30 DKFP in three of the last four games. However, since these two are so close in price, rolling with Hield might be the safer option.

Players who are also in this price range, but might be best left out of your entry, are Harrison Barnes ($5,800) and Richaun Holmes ($5,600). Barnes’ scoring numbers have been all over the map and Holmes remains on a minutes limit after returning from a shoulder injury. Kent Bazemore ($5,000) is slightly more appealing given his price, although his overall lack of involvement in the offense doesn’t exactly leave him with a ton of upside.

When Holmes was out, Alex Len ($4,200) and Harry Giles III ($4,000) were left to man the center position. With Holmes back, Giles has seen his playing time plummet the last two games. The same can be said for Len, who logged 10 and 15 minutes, respectively. If you want to deploy a cheap player from the Kings, then going with a punt play like Cory Joseph ($2,200) might not be a crazy idea since he has scored at least 20.3 DKFP in two of the last four games.


THE OUTCOME

Even though they will be on the road, the Pelicans have a vastly superior depth chart, so don’t be surprised if they emerge victorious. As far as the Captain’s Pick goes, Williamson ($13,200 CP) could turn out to be the wise choice. He’s the cheapest of the top-tier options, so he could assist in rolling with a more well-balanced lineup while still providing plenty of production of his own.

Final Score: Pelicans 118, Kings 114

Set your lineups here: NBA Showdown $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st]


Favorite Prop Bet

Zion Williamson, 23.5 Points: Over (-115)

Williamson has emerged as one of the leaders of the Pelicans’ offense, averaging 26.4 points across the last 11 games. Even though his free-throw shooting leaves a lot to be desired, he’s been efficient from the field by shooting 58.9 percent. With the Kings’ lack of talent up front and Holmes still working his way back from injury, Williamson could be in line for another strong offensive performance.


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