We have a robust slate of nine games tonight for NBA DFS action on DraftKings. A lot of these games have high totals north of 200 as well. The crown Jewel is probably the Washington/Oklahoma city matchup with a 222 total, but we also have 6 other games with totals between 201 and 210, so there are plenty of viable places to swerve from the Wizards/Thunder matchup. Even the low total games like Memphis/New Orleans and Chicago/Utah have some interesting plays, so this is a slate where overlap should be minimal. Let’s take a look at each game with an eye towards potential fantasy production.
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Cleveland Cavaliers @ Indiana Pacers
Line: Cavs -5
I know this is a road game for the Cavaliers, but the spread here seems a bit low. The total at 210 is very nice though, so we definitely need to look at this game for fantasy purposes. The Cavs have won 4 in a row and 15 of their last 18 games. In the last four they have scored an average of 115 points, but are allowing about 102. That means they have been playing at a faster pace which could benefit both teams here. The Pacers have lost 6 of their last 9 games while giving up nearly 110 and scoring barely 100. That is why the spread here seems a tad low. Cleveland is clearly the superior team here and it has a lot to do with Kyrie and Kevin Love playing so well. LeBron is a monster, but the matchup with Paul George is not ideal for him to reach upside and his price is expensive.
On the flip side, the same goes for George. I would rather look at guys like Myles Turner or Monta Ellis who have been going off recently. The price jump on Turner is pretty steep, so despite his new starting role the potential upside is less then when he was in recent starts. Monta has put up 50 fantasy points with back to back games where he averaged 30 real life points. JR Smith defense is not the best thing in the world, so I think that is where the matchups can be exploited. George Hill has also been up and down lately, but a matchup with Kyrie Irving could help him hit value too. We could also see Jordan Hill have a solid showing here. If Ian Mahinmi is out again, Hill has done a solid job filling in. Cleveland is good vs. centers, so it’s by no means an easy matchup, but the price is still cheap enough to consider it. This should be a good fast paced spot for them all. If Vegas is right about the game staying close, then we need some exposure to the second highest scoring game on this slate in cash and GPPs.
- Kevin Love ($7300)
- Kyrie Irving ($6600)
- Myles Turner ($5800)
- Monta Ellis ($7000)
Detroit Pistons @ Brooklyn Nets
Line: Pistons -5
The Nets have only won two of their last fifteen games. In many of those games they have struggled to score and in all of them they have allowed a ton of points. Brook Lopez is the main focal point of this offense. He has faced the Pistons twice this year and put up a 50 and a 33 point game in those two. His usage rate is higher now, so I would expect him to play more towards the upper end of that range. Andre Drummond has been good against weak Lopez defense too. He has two games right around the 50 point mark against the Nets this season. He has not been great lately, but this could be the game he gets back on track. Same goes for the Pistons perimeter players like Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Stanley Johnson. All three should have good matchups and a chance to produce. I really like the cheap value seeing big minutes, which points me towards Stanley and Wayne Ellington on the other side. Both guys are cheap enough where they probably have a safe floor around 5X and upside if either gets hot.
- Brook Lopez ($7400)
- Wayne Ellington ($3700)
- Andre Drummond ($8600)
- Stanley Johnson ($4200)
Memphis Grizzlies @ New Orleans Pelicans
Line: Pelicans -1
Vegas has not issued a line here yet, because we have some injury issue’s to watch. Eric Gordon is out, so that is the easy one. Tyreke Evans and Marc Gasol are both questionable though. Gasol has played hurt and gutted out some really nice fantasy performances. The Pelicans struggle with opposing centers, so this should be a solid spot for him if he goes. Tyreke Evans has missed the last two games. Guys like Norris Cole have seen more minutes, but Jrue Holiday has been the main guy when it counts for the Pelicans. Both Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson are playing well too, with Anderson seeing more floor time than usual with Tyreke out and Davis being brittle. Alonzo Gee has seen a lot of minutes too, if you were so inclined to take a cheap punt.
For the Grizz, they have won seven of their last eight. It has been largely due to Gasol and his great play. Guys like Conley and Jeff Green have also chipped in some solid showings, and the defense is much improved from earlier in the year. This game is a clash of styles as New Orleans has been playing fast and high scoring games lately while the Grizzlies have defended well and slowed it down. The pace favors Grizzlies players, but I would not look too heavily at this one. With all the other games, this one will be highly owned and not exactly the best spot on the day.
- Marc Gasol ($7700)
- Jeff Green ($5300)
- Jrue Holiday ($7400)
- Anthony Davis ($9800)
Dallas Mavericks @ Atlanta Hawks
Line: Hawks -7
Both teams are on the tail end of back-to-backs here and both are struggling a little. Dallas is playing slightly better as they are .500 over their most recent 12 games. Atlanta has looked bad the past week on their way to one win in their last six. Atlanta’s scoring has been a major issue for them, which is tough since Dallas has been playing some solid defense in their wins. They allowed over 105 in three of the most recent six games and lost them all. They also held two teams to under 80 and another to only 90 in the three recent wins. With Atlanta struggling on offense and Dallas scoring enough to beat teams that are not stopping people, I’m not sure I like the Atlanta as a favorite here despite being at home. Millsap is banged up and you really see how important he is when they struggle with him being less than 100%. Dirk is likely back, and Zaza is controlling the paint well. They will need to play well if the Mavericks are going to win here.
- Zaza Pachulia ($5800)
- Dirk Nowitzki ($6300)
- Al Horford ($6700)
- Kent Bazemore ($5400)
Washington Wizards @ Oklahoma City Thunder
Line: Thunder -9
This is easily the biggest total on the day and rightly so. both of these teams love playing fast and neither is good at really shutting opposing offenses down. The fantasy points here are easy to predict. Westbrook and Durant dominate the ball in OKC, so they would be the guys I look at. On Washington, John Wall has thrown up some huge assist games and racks up steals too. His scoring has been up recently as well, so his fantasy scores have followed suit. OKC has won 10 of their last eleven in high scoring fashion. Washington has lost 5 of their last seven in the same way, so the points should be here in a high scoring OKC win. That means it seems silly not to have exposure to either Russ, KD, or both on this slate.
- Russell Westbrook ($11000)
- Kevin Durant ($10400)
- John Wall ($9400)
- Marcin Gortat ($6900)
Orlando Magic @ San Antonio Spurs
Line: Spurs -16
The Magic are on the road in the tail end of a back-to-back. The Spurs have been awesome this year and the defense has been a big reason. I try to never play guys as is against them and that is especially true for road teams on the tail end. This should be a bloodbath and Vegas obviously agrees. It is tough to get upside from any Spur in these games and it’s tough to pay up for anyone from the opposing team. Cheap options would be best here if you wanted any exposure at all to one of the bottom total games on this slate with the biggest spread.
- Aaron Gordon ($5100)
- Boban Marjanovic ($3700)
- Tony Parker ($5300)
Toronto Raptors @ Denver Nuggets
Line: Raptors -6
In looking at recent game logs, I noticed the Nuggets score and give up a lot of points. I also noticed the Raptors score a lot of points, but do not usually allow a ton, which is why I think they are the team to look at in this one. The total is high so Vegas expects a hot pace too. The Nuggets have won 3 of their last 9 games, so they are struggling. The Raptors have won 11 in a row. Even on the road, I expect them to prevail here. Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan have been carrying this team all season. Lowry has been superb and deserves to be an all-star. The Nuggets have not been great, but Nikola Jokic has been recently. He is still way too cheap at $5300 for a guy who has gone 7.5X or better in four of his last five games. Same goes for guard Gary Harris who has seen about 6X in four of his last five. Both guys are seeing the minutes and producing for their cheap prices.
- Nikola Jokic ($5300)
- Gary Harris ($4600)
- Kyle Lowry ($8700)
- Demar DeRozan ($8100)
Chicago Bulls @ Utah Jazz
Line: Jazz -2.5
This is not a great spot to target studs for daily fantasy for two big reasons. For starters, the total is low. The cherry on top is some tough DvP matchups. Gordon Hayward is the man for the Jazz, but he will likely see some Jimmy butler defense which is a tough assignent. Hayward is likely to underperform, which is also why I like Rodney hood more. The same can be said for Pau Gasol who is the Bulls main stud. Gasol draws Rudy Gobert who is one of the best defenders at the position. A high upside game from him is also unlikely. With Mirotic out though, we have seen more good games and minutes from Taj Gibson. He and Derrick Rose are two of the better value options for the Bulls. Rudy Gobert is also somewhat cheap and will see big minutes opposite Pau Gasol. He is not a scorer, but his defense and rebounding could still help him pay off his price tag. The stars here are not in good spots, but a value play or two from this game could return 6X or better, so it’s usable. I just would not want huge exposure to it.
- Derrick Rose ($6000)
- Taj Gibson ($5600)
- Rudy Gobert ($6700)
- Rodney Hood ($6000)
Milwaukee Bucks @ Sacramento Kings
It’s tough to say how this game will go without knowing the status of DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins hurt his ankle late in the Memphis game, so he may not be playing here today. Without him, the whole landscape changes. Cousins has been a beast and carrying the Sacramento offense. When he was out earlier in the season, we saw more Rondo which would be a thing here. Willie Cauley-Stein would benefits with minutes and usage bump if Cousins is out, and Gay would be called upon to do a little more scoring.
UPDATE: DeMarcus Cousins is OUT tonight with an ankle injury.
For Milwaukee, they are in a great spot. Sacramento plays fast, so the pace and scoring should be up. Without Boogie, they may even have a big lead in this one and win going away. The big guy duo of Parker and Monroe would benefit from no Boogie as well. Both guys would be in line for more rebounds and have less of a chance of foul trouble. I would not use Cousins if he is in, because that ankle injury definitely was bothering him last game. If not though, I like the bigs from both teams to make value here in what should be a high pace game.
- Jabari Parker ($5300)
- Greg Monroe ($7000)
- Rajon Rondo ($8400)
- Willie Cauley-Stein ($5200)