We could be getting into uncharted territory with the Spurs. They have made the playoffs in every full season coached by Gregg Popovich, but this season is looking like it could be a different story. San Antonio is 3.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. According to the projections at fivethirtyeight.com, the Spurs only have a 2% chance to make it to the postseason. Every tight game is close to a must win with only 31 games left to play.
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Set your lineups here: NBA Showdown $60K Pull Up Jumper [$15K to 1st] (SAS vs SAC)
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
FIVE BETTING TRENDS— The Spurs have lost four of their last five games as favorites
— The Kings have covered the spread in each of their last five games against the Spurs.
— Four of the last five games between the Spurs and Kings and Golden 1 Center have gone OVER the total points line.
— DeMar DeRozan has scored the first basket in four of the Spurs’ last seven games as favorites against Western Conference opponents.
— LaMarcus Aldridge has scored 21+ points in four of the Spurs’ last five road games against the Kings.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
Sacramento KingsIt looked like Richaun Holmes had a chance to return from his shoulder injury last night. He was listed as questionable for the first time in over a month, but was ruled out shortly before the game. Not only was he ruled out for last night, the Kings also ruled Holmes out for tonight. It seems like it’s going to be at least a few more days until we see him back in action. Since Sacramento traded C Dewayne Dedmon prior to the trade deadline, their front court depth is extremely thin. Harry Giles ($2,000) started at center last night, so we can look to him as a good value play. We can also look to Nemanja Bjelica ($7,200) as a good play after he had to play big minutes with the Kings shorthanded last night.
On the high end, De’Aaron Fox ($15,000 CP/$10,000) is my favorite pick for captain. He’s playing at home, which should help his fantasy value. Fox is scoring 4.09 DKFP more per game at home than he scores on the road. The last month has also been his best stretch of the season. In his last 13 games, Fox is averaging 44.44 DKFP per game.
Buddy Hield ($7,600) moved to the Kings’ bench seven games ago, but it hasn’t been bad for his fantasy production. Despite playing less minutes in a bench role, Hield has seen a slight uptick in fantasy production. His usage is higher in a reserve role and his efficiency has benefited from not having to play against starters as much.
San Antonio SpursBetween DeMar DeRozan ($10,400) and LaMarcus Aldridge ($9,400), DDR has the far easier matchup. The Kings allow the fewest DKFP to power forwards and the 10th most to shooting guards. This makes DeRozan the better of the two expensive Spurs’ options. He’s also on a good run lately, scoring at least 37 DKFP in six straight games. Overall, he’s averaging 45.58 DKFP over this stretch.
As a cheap play, Lonnie Walker ($1,600) has a little bit of upside. The issue is that his playing time and production can be pretty difficult to nail down. If we look at his last four games, Walker has scored 17.75, 6.5, 17.25 and 5.25 DKFP. This makes him tough to trust in a cash game, although his upside is enough to win a tournament when he’s nearly at the minimum price.
Dejounte Murray ($6,400) is a decent play in the mid range. Like Walker, his production is a bit hard to predict. The Spurs play different rotations every night and Pop generally rides with whoever has the hot hand. Even so, Murray is averaging a solid 26.42 DKFP as the starting point guard and he scored 31.25 DKFP the last time the Spurs played the Kings.
THE OUTCOMEThe Kings are coming off a solid win against the Heat and the Spurs have been a fairly bad team on the road this season. Playing away from San Antonio, the Spurs’ record is just 8-17. I don’t agree with the Spurs being favored in this spot, although the oddsmakers have been overrating the Spurs all season. Against the spread, San Antonio has one of the worst records in the league at 21-28-2. Going against this team is a wise strategy more often than not.
Final Score: Sacramento 112, San Antonio 110
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