Wednesday brings a packed slate in the NBA consisting of 11 games. One of them is a marquee matchup between the Lakers and Nuggets, which will also be the featured Showdown contest. Let’s dive right in and discuss how this game might play out for both sides.Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
VALUE PLAYS TO CONSIDER
Set your lineups here: NBA Showdown $100K Fadeaway [$25K to 1st]
FIVE BETTING TRENDS— The Lakers have won each of their last 16 road games against Western Conference opponents.
— The Nuggets have failed to cover the spread in four of their last five home games following a home win.
— Each of the Lakers’ last seven games against Northwest Division opponents have gone OVER the total points line.
— LeBron James has scored 22 points or less in five of the Lakers’ last six games
— Nikola Jokic has scored 18 points or less in each of the Nuggets’ last four games against the Lakers.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
LakersThere is a clear top-tier made up of three players for this game, two of which are LeBron James ($12,000) and Anthony Davis ($11,200). There is no question that both have a tremendously high ceiling. It’s basically splitting hairs, but the better play here might end up being Davis. Not only is he cheaper, but he’s averaged 28.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks across two previous games versus the Nuggets this season.
The drop off between James and Davis and the rest of the options on the Lakers is massive. In terms of price, Kyle Kuzma ($5,600) is the next most expensive. There is some upside with him considering he has scored at least 27 DKFP in four of his last six games. However, if we go back a little further, he’s scored 23.8 DKFP or fewer in six of his last 10 contests, so he’s certainly not consistent. Rajon Rondo ($5,000) opened some eyes on his way to scoring 40.5 DKFP against the Suns on Monday, but this is a much tougher matchup against a better defensive team. Don’t expect him to be as productive in this game. In that same price range is Dwight Howard ($4,800), who also thrived against the Suns with 34.3 DKFP. He is a threat to at least approaching a double-double when he gets enough playing time, but that hasn’t always been the case for him since he las logged fewer than 20 minutes in five of his last seven games.
So, if those three aren’t exactly appealing options, which cheaper options on the Lakers should you consider? Danny Green ($3,800) is somewhat intriguing after scoring at least 21.3 DKFP in three of his last five games. The same can be said for Avery Bradley ($3,600), who has scored at least 20.3 DKFP in four of his last six contests. Outside of those two, though, everyone else on the Lakers should be considered as nothing more than a dart through in tournament play.
NuggetsThe third player who completes the top-tier of options is Nikola Jokic ($11,400), who is once again providing excellent all-around production. With that being said, he has struggled against the Lakers this season, averaging 15.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists across two games. Avoiding him might not be a bad idea.
The second tier for this slate really consists of just one player, who is none other than Jamal Murray ($8,200). He’s back to logging heavy minutes again after a stint on the sidelines because of an injury, which has helped him average 31 points, three rebounds and five assists over his last three games. His 25.5% usage rate is the second-highest mark on the team behind Jokic and he should see even more scoring opportunities in this game with Will Barton (knee) out.
Falling into a big hole in the first half, the Nuggets made a dramatic comeback in their game Monday against the Spurs to pull out a victory. One of the main reasons they were able to do so was the stellar play of Paul Millsap ($6,600). He finished with 22 points, including shooting 4-for-5 from behind the arc. The crazy part is that he did that in only 19 minutes. He’s still working his way back from injury, so don’t be surprised to see him log limited minutes in this contest, as well. That makes him a somewhat risky option, especially since he isn’t all that cheap.
A couple of options on the Nuggets who stand out as too pricey are Monte Morris ($6,200) and Gary Harris ($5,200). Morris hasn’t topped 28 DKFP in any of his last four games and will continue to have a limited role off the bench. If you’re in his price range, it would make more sense to take a chance on Millsap. If Millsap can expand his playing time at all, the Nuggets would likely love him to with Michael Porter Jr. (ankle) and Mason Plumlee (foot) out. Harris simply isn’t involved enough offensively based on his 15.2% usage rate.
With regards to cost-effective players, the Nuggets have more appealing options than the Lakers. The trio of Jordan McRae ($4,600), Jerami Grant ($4,400) and Torrey Craig ($4,200) are all viable targets. If picking just one of the three, rolling with Grant could prove to be the prudent move. He played extremely well when Millsap was injured and could continue to benefit from Millsap being on a minutes limit.
THE OUTCOMEDespite the Nuggets being on a four-game winning streak, look for the Lakers to come away with a win here. As good as they have been at home, the Lakers have been even better with a 22-5 record on the road. As far as the Captain’s Pick goes, Davis ($16,800 CP)
Final Score: Lakers 111, Nuggets 108
Set your lineups here: NBA Showdown $100K Fadeaway [$25K to 1st]
Favorite Prop Bet
To Record a Double-Double, Nikola Jokic: No (+300)Let’s shoot for the moon, shall we? I mentioned previously that Jokic has struggled against the Lakers this season, failing to record a double-double in both games. He should obviously hit double-digit points, but I don’t think he does in either rebounds or assists considering the Lakers have allowed the fewest rebounds and the sixth-fewest assists per game in the league.
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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.