Nikola Jokic

What do we have here? A Thursday without the Clippers included in the featured Showdown contest? After a heavy dose of one of the darlings of the league, we have two different teams to focus on with the Nuggets hosting the Nets. Injuries will play a key part in this matchup, so let’s discuss how things might play out for both squads.

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


FIVE BETTING TRENDS

— The Nets have lost six of their last seven road games.

— The Nets have covered the spread in five of their last six road games against the Nuggets.

— Seven of the last eight games between the Nets and Nuggets have gone OVER the total points line.

— Nikola Jokic has scored 21-plus points in each of the Nuggets’ last four games against the Nets.

— Will Barton has recorded seven or more rebounds in each of his last six appearances.

Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Nets

The Nets have struggled a bit out of the gate with a 4-6 record. They certainly made a big splash over the summer, bringing in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving ($10,800). With Durant out for the season while he recovers from a torn Achilles, Irving is left as the focal point of their offense. He hasn’t disappointed, averaging 29.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and seven assists a night. However, he’s listed as questionable for this contest with a shoulder injury. If he can’t play, that will have ramifications up and down this contest.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Kyrie Irving (shoulder) is probable for tonight’s game.

Not only could Irving be out, but the Nets will be without Caris LeVert (thumb) for several weeks. That is going to leave a heavy burden on the shoulders of Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,600), who has already scored at least 32.8 DKFP in five of their 10 games. If Irving sits, fade Dinwiddie at your own risk. Garrett Temple ($5,400) started in LeVert’s place Tuesday and scored 16.3 DKFP across 30 minutes. While his playing time is likely secure moving forward, expect his upside to remain limited.Taurean Prince ($7,000) should also assume added scoring responsibilities with LeVert out, but with the majority of his contributions limited to points and rebounds, it’s difficult to justify adding him to your entry at this price, especially since the Nuggets play at the slowest pace in the league.

DeAndre Jordan ($7,800) has the hot hand at center for the Nets right now, scoring at least 37 DKFP in three of his last four games. However, with Jarrett Allen ($4,800) also in the fold, neither player is an especially safe option. Joe Harris ($5,600) can do some damage if he gets hot from behind the arc, but he is somewhat like Prince with his contributions mostly limited to points and rebounds. However, unlike Prince, he checks in at a much more budget-friendly price, so he might be worth considering in tournament play, especially if Irving doesn’t play.


Nuggets

It’s difficult to say that a player who is averaging 17 points, nine rebounds and 6.1 assists is off to a slow start, but it’s a true statement regarding Nikola Jokic ($10,600). That just goes to show how insanely high his floor is. The Nets have been picked apart by opposing centers in recent seasons, so building your entry around Jokic could prove to be profitable.

The next most fantasy-friendly player on the Nuggets is Jamal Murray ($8,800), who has a 25.5% usage rate that ranks second on the team behind only Jokic. He provides plenty of contributions in other areas, as well, which has enabled him to average 34 DKFP a night. The Nets have allowed the second-most points per game in the league, leaving Murray in a favorable spot to provide a juicy stat line.

The only other player on the Nuggets to be really excited about after Jokic and Murray is Will Barton ($8,600). Not only is he averaging 15.6 points per game, but he’s also averaging a career-high 7.9 rebounds, which has helped him score at least 30.3 DKFP in all but one game that he has played in this season.

Paul Millsap ($7,400) has strung together three straight games with at least 31 DKFP, but he’s also had five games in which he has scored 23.8 DKFP or fewer, so he’s plenty risky at this price. Gary Harris ($6,200) starts and receives plenty of playing time, but his 16.6% usage rate leaves a lot to be desired. As far as cheaper options go, Mason Plumlee ($4,600) is intriguing with how much the Nets have struggled against opposing big men. Also, if Irving doesn’t play, this game could get out of hand in a hurry. That might lead to added minutes late in the game for Plumlee. Outside of Plumlee, cheaper players like Monte Morris ($4,400) and Jerami Grant ($3,800) should be considered as nothing more than dart throws.


THE OUTCOME

Even if Irving plays, it’s difficult to envision a scenario in which the Nets pull off this win on the road. With regards to the Captain’s Pick, Jokic ($15,900 CP) jumps out as the safest choice. If you’re looking for a more well-balanced lineup, Murray ($13,200 CP) is also worth considering.

Final Score: Nuggets 116, Nets 105


Favorite Prop Bet

Will Barton, 14.5 Points: Over (-110)

This is setting up to be a big game for Barton. As I already mentioned, he averaged 15.6 points a night and the Nets have allowed the second-most points per game in the league. Part of the Nets’ defensive deficiencies is because they have played at the fifth-fastest pace. Barton should see no shortage of shot attempts, so I’ll take the over.

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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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