Anthony Davis

All eyes will be on the NBA trade deadline Thursday with some contending teams already starting to make moves. One of them is the Rockets, who will also be facing the Lakers during the evenings five-game slate. That matchup is also the featured Showdown contest, so let’s discuss how things could play out for both teams.

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

SHOWDOWN CAPTAIN’S PICKS TO CONSIDER


FIVE BETTING TRENDS

— The Rockets have won each of their last four Thursday games as underdogs.

— The Rockets have covered the spread in 14 of their last 20 games against Pacific Division opponents.

— Each of the Lakers’ last four games at STAPLES Center have gone OVER the total points line.

— LeBron James has scored 29-plus points in each of his last three appearances against the Rockets.

— Kyle Kuzma has scored 18-plus points in seven of his last eight appearances against the Rockets.

Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook


Set your lineups here: NBA Showdown $70K Pull Up Jumper [$15K to 1st]


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Rockets

The Rockets have already made a big splash, trading Clint Capela to the Hawks in a four-team deal that also included the Nuggets and Timberwolves. They are still rumored to be active on the trade front, so more moves could be coming. We’ll also need to monitor the status of Russell Westbrook ($10,000), who is listed as questionable with a thumb injury after sitting out Tuesday against the Hornets. If he doesn’t return, the Rockets will place the majority of the scoring responsibilities on the shoulders of James Harden ($12,000). Even if Westbrook does play, both he and Harden are excellent options to consider.

Believe it or not, the third-most-expensive option on the Rockets is none other than P.J. Tucker ($8,800). He moved to center recently with Capela injured and will likely play the same position in this game. With that being said, it’s difficult to justify him at this price given his limited scoring upside. Following Tucker on the price scale is Robert Covington ($8,400), who is reportedly going to be available to make his debut with the team. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him log heavy minutes right out of the gate, but deploying him still comes with some risk since we don’t know exactly how much he will play in this game. The addition of Covington could force Danuel House Jr. ($8,000), back to the bench. If Covington does indeed start, it might be best to avoid House at this price.

The Rockets have moved Eric Gordon ($7,200) back to the starting five lately, which resulted in him logging at least 30 minutes in six straight games. The problem is, he scored 28.3 DKFP or fewer in five of those contests. If Westbrook plays, Gordon will likely see a decline in shot attempts. Even if Westbrook sits, Gordon is risky given his reliance on scoring to provide value and the Lakers having the fourth-best defensive rating in the league.

The only other players on the Rockets to even have on your radar for this game are Ben McLemore ($5,000) and Austin Rivers ($4,400). Both would be aided if Westbrook sits. However, if Westbrook plays, don’t expect either to carry much upside.


Lakers

The Lakers could also be busy at the deadline as they look to solidify what they hope will be a championship roster. That makes them a little tricky to navigate here because some of the players on their current roster might not be with the team by the time the game rolls around. Two players who most certainly won’t be going anywhere are LeBron James ($10,800) and Anthony Davis ($9,800). While both are great options, Davis might be the better one to pursue. Not only is he significantly cheaper, but he could really take advantage of the Rockets’ lack of size.

One player who has been mentioned in trade rumors is Kyle Kuzma ($6,400). If he isn’t traded, this could be an opportunity for him to shine in a game that figures to feature a lot of small lineups. The same can’t be said for Dwight Howard ($5,600) and JaVale McGee ($4,000), both of which probably won’t play much with the Rockets going so small.

The Rockets are a fantasy-friendly opponent given that they have played at the second-fastest pace in the league. If he were to receive extended playing time, Rajon Rondo ($4,200) could provide significant value. Across the last eight games in which he has logged at least 20 minutes, he’s scored at least 24.5 DKFP five times.

Working our way even further down the price scale presents some interesting options for the Lakers. Again, you’ll need to monitor for trades since some of these players have also been rumored to be included in possible deals. Danny Green ($3,600) has scored at least 21.3 DKFP in three of his last five games and scored 39.3 DKFP the last time these two teams met, potentially making him a steal at this price. If choosing between him and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($3,400), Green has the higher upside. Avery Bradley ($1,600) might be a decent dart throw in tournament play given that he has scored at least 18.3 DKFP in each of his last three games.


THE OUTCOME

Even if the Lakers deal a player or two at the deadline, I still like them to win this game at home behind James and Davis. As far as the Captain’s Pick goes, Davis ($14,700 CP) is going to be awfully hard to resist. He’s the cheapest out of the top-tier options and could really thrive with the Rockets having so little size to try and slow him down.

Final Score: Lakers 121, Rockets 110

Set your lineups here: NBA Showdown $70K Pull Up Jumper [$15K to 1st]


Favorite Prop Bet

Anthony Davis, 9.5 Rebounds: Over (-110)

Yes, Tucker is one of the few players in the league who can defend just about any position and do it well. However, trying to slow down Davis is an entirely different animal. Look for Davis to play a lot of center in this game and put up a big number on the boards.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.


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