The Jazz come into tonight ranked No. 1 in the league in defensive efficiency. Typically, we don’t want to target players going against Utah although we don’t a choice on a one-game slate. On the positive side for the Pelicans, the Jazz are playing on the road for the tail end of a back-to-back, opening the possibility that fatigue will slow down their vaunted defense.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
FIVE BETTING TRENDS— The Pelicans have lost 12 of their last 13 games after winning as underdogs.
— The home team has covered the spread in five of the Pelicans’ last six games.
— Six of the Pelicans’ last seven games against Northwest Division opponents have gone UNDER the total points line.
— Brandon Ingram has scored at least 25-plus points in eight of his last nine appearances in night games.
— Donovan Mitchell has scored 26-plus points in four of the Jazz’s last five games.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
PelicansSlowly, the Pelicans are getting healthier. This team has been killed by injuries all season and recently got Brandon Ingram ($10,000), their top fantasy producer, back from a knee injury. In his two games since returning he’s been solid, averaging 46.6 DKFP. I expect his output will regress a bit tonight against Utah. The Jazz allow the eighth-fewest DKFP to power forwards. I would rather pay up for one of the expensive players from Utah.
The names on the injury report we need an update on are Josh Hart ($5,600) and Jahlil Okafor ($4,000). Both of them are listed as questionable to play and each have missed a handful of games. If active, neither should be expected to play significant minutes. If Okafor is out, this sets up Jaxson Hayes ($5,400) to play extended minutes. With Okafor and Derrick Favors out, Hayes has been starting at center and producing good fantasy results. In three starts, Hayes is averaging 24.9 DKFP.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Josh Hart has been ruled out for tonight’s game.
On Thursday, the Pelicans got Lonzo Ball ($4,800) back from a six-game absence. He was on a minutes restriction and scored just 16.3 DKFP in 20 minutes, although this doesn’t mean that he’s a fade tonight. Ball’s price is extremely cheap and his playing time figures to go up for this game. At his price tag, Ball has plenty of upside if we hear he will be allowed to play 25-plus minutes.
JazzWe have two strong options to pay up for on the Jazz between Rudy Gobert ($10,400) and Donovan Mitchell ($13,800 CP). Of these studs, Mitchell is my top choice for the Captain’s spot. He comes with a bit of salary savings compared to Gobert and the Pelicans allow the most DKFP in the league to opposing shooting guards. They are about league-average against centers. Mitchell also comes into tonight in strong form. He’s scored at least 41 DKFP in seven of his past nine games.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Gobert (ankle) is questionable for tonight’s game.
As a cheap play, rostering Emmanuel Mudiay ($2,200) can help free up some cap space. He’s been playing about 15 minutes every game and he always produces at least some fantasy points. Mudiay is averaging 16.1 DKFP and hasn’t scored less than 9.8 DKFP in any game this season. For such a cheap price, even his worst game of the season is enough for a decent return on his salary.
After a slow start to the season, Mike Conley ($8,600) has started to come around recently. Last night, he scored over 40 DKFP for the second time this season and he’s also made at least half his shots in consecutive games. This is big for Conley’s confidence because of his inability to make shots to open the season. Conley is shooting just 38.8% from the field, but his fantasy value should rise as his shooting numbers regress to his career norms.
THE OUTCOMEBoth these teams have played well recently. The Jazz have one of the best records in the NBA and the Pelicans are riding a three-game winning steak. Unfortunately for them, it’s a streak I expect to end tonight. Anchored by Rudy Gobert, the Jazz defense is incredibly tough to score on and I suspect the Pels will struggle to get much of anything going.
Final Score: Utah 110, New Orleans 100
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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.