The Hawks are fighting an uphill battle. They have lost nine games in a row, the longest losing streak in the league, and take on the Rockets, who have one of the best records in the NBA. Favored by 13.5 points, the expectation at DK Sportsbook is for Houston to win this game handily.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
FIVE BETTING TRENDS— The Rockets have won 22 of their last 23 games as home favorites against opponents who are on the second leg of a back-to-back.
— The Hawks have covered the spread in 16 of their last 19 games on the second leg of a back-to-back against Western Conference opponents.
— Each of the Rockets’ last five games have gone UNDER the total points line.
— James Harden has scored the first basket in each of the Rockets’ last three Saturday games.
— Russell Westbrook has scored 30-plus points in five of his last six appearances against the Hawks.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
HawksThe Hawks are not expected to win this game. In fact, the point spread implies they aren’t even expected to come close. To compete with the Rockets, Trae Young ($16,500 CP; $11,000) will need to have an absolute monster game. This is why I like him for the captain’s spot. If he doesn’t play well then the Rockets’ stars likely won’t play in the fourth quarter because it could be a blowout. Young also figures to have less captain ownership than James Harden ($21,000 CP; $14,000). Even though Atlanta is struggling, the fault doesn’t lie with Young — he’s scored at least 57 DKFP in three of the past four games.
For most of the season, DeAndre’ Bembry ($4,600) has played poorly when coming off the bench and played well when starting. When Cam Reddish ($3,600) came back from a wrist injury, it looked like Bembry would lose all his fantasy value in a reserve role, but the Hawks featured him heavily last night. Despite coming off the bench, Bembry played a season-high 41 minutes and scored 37.5 DKFP. It looks like he will be playing a sizable role going forward.
Outside of Young, the only player on Atlanta creating shots for himself is Jabari Parker ($8,600). He’s played a significant role ever since John Collins was suspended for PED use. As a starter, Parker is scoring 18.2 points per game and averaging 36.5 DKFP. He has at least 34 DKFP in three of the Hawks’ past four games.
RocketsI’ll get the obvious out of the way — Harden and Russell Westbrook ($11,800) are fine plays in this spot. It’s going to be tough to fit both of them together with Young and I prefer spending the extra coin for Harden. He’s been borderline unstoppable this season and is knocking on the door of averaging 40 points per game. Harden has at least 50 DKFP in 12 consecutive games and has more games in November with over 70 DKFP than he has games under 60 DKFP.
Luckily, we have some value to go along with all the studs in this game. Both Clint Capela ($10,600) and Danuel House ($6,400) are doubtful to play due to an illness. Every year, it seems like half the league gets the flu when the weather gets cold. Maybe it’s time teams invested in getting players flu shots. For our purposes, we have a couple of cheap starters to roster. I am expecting Tyson Chandler ($3,000) and Ben McLemore ($3,200)to get spot starts at bargain prices. McLemore is the preferred play and he is averaging 24.9 DKPF in the four starts he’s made this season.
Another value play, Austin Rivers ($2,000) should get extended run off the bench with the Rockets shorthanded. He’s played as much as 34 minutes coming off the bench in a previous game that House was inactive for. If he ends up starting instead of McLemore, Rivers would clearly make for the strongest value play in the game. He scored 30.25 DKFP in his only start of the season.
THE OUTCOMEEverything lines up for a Rockets win in a one-sided fashion. Not only are the Hawks playing on the tail end of a back-to-back, they lost last night’s game in overtime. They figure to have tired legs and Houston is the far more talented team.
Final Score: Houston 125, Atlanta 110
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