Damian Lillard

Nobody is hotter than Damian Lillard. He’s been tearing up the league lately and is coming off one of his best performances of the season last night against the Lakers. In a tough matchup against the Jazz on the tail end of a back-to-back, will Dame keep it going?

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


FIVE BETTING TRENDS

— The Trail Blazers have won four of their last five games as home underdogs on the tail end of a back-to-back.

— The Jazz have failed to cover the spread in each of their last four games.

— Six of the Trail Blazers’ last seven games have gone OVER the total points line.

— Rudy Gobert has scored the first basket in five of the Jazz’s last 10 night games.

— Damian Lillard has scored 36+ points in five of the Trail Blazers’ last six home games against the Jazz.

Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Utah Jazz

There is one minor name to keep an eye out for on the injury report. Tony Bradley ($1,000) missed the Jazz’s last game and is questionable to play tonight. The implications of Bradley sitting wouldn’t be massive, although his absence would create some slight value. He sat last game and Ed Davis ($1,000) ended up getting 10 minutes. For the minimum price, Davis is a viable punt play if Bradley is inactive.

Mike Conley ($5,600) is slowly working his way back from a hamstring injury. By slowly, I mean extremely slowly. He’s scored under 20 DKFP in each of his first six games back, but the playing time is starting to rise. Conley has played over 20 minutes in consecutive games and the production figures to start coming along as his minutes rise.

On the high end of the price range, Donovan Mitchell ($8,800) and Rudy Gobert ($10,200) are players to consider. Both were recently named to the All-Star team, although Mitchell’s first game as an All-Star didn’t go as well as he hoped. He scored just 20.25 DKFP in a loss to the Nuggets, making people question how legitimate of an All-Star selection he was. Playing against the Blazers who are on the tail end of a back-to-back, I like Mitchell to rebound in this spot. We might be able to get him at slightly reduced ownership following his dud on Thursday.


Portland Trail Blazers

I don’t see how I can recommend anybody other than Damian Lillard ($17,100 CP; $11,400) for captain in this game. His recent stretch has been one of the better ones in recent history. Dame has scored at least 70 DKFP in five straight games, including a near triple-double against the Lakers last night. He scored 82.75 DKFP and came a rebound short of back-to-back triple-doubles. At the moment, it’s impossible to overlook Lillard despite a tough matchup against the Jazz.

We are going to need an update on Carmelo Anthony ($7,800). He’s away from the team for personal reasons and did not play last night. It’s unclear if he will be active or not for tonight’s game. If he’s out, Trevor Ariza ($6,800) stands to gain the most playing time. Ariza played 39 minutes last night with Melo out. Wenyen Gabriel ($1,000) could make for an interesting punt play without Anthony. He drew the first start of his career last night, but struggled to contain Anthony Davis and fouled out in 13 minutes. If he starts, Gabriel wouldn’t be a terrible option at min price.

Gary Trent ($3,800) is a reasonable for play from Portland. It appears he’s carved out a fairly stable role lately. Trent has played over 20 minutes in seven straight games and has at least a dozen DKFP in all these games. Some of his recent stat lines are inflated because of time missed by CJ McCollum ($8,400), but Trent has had some nice games even with McCollum playing. Two games ago, Trent scored 25.75 DKFP in game where McCollum was active.


THE OUTCOME

Portland is a sizable underdog in this game. The Jazz are favored by six points and common sense dictates that Lillard can’t keep up his current pace. Even so, I am still riding the Dame train and I like him to carry the Blazers to another win. Utah has a good defense, but does it really matter with the shots Lillard is making lately? Nobody can plan for a player who is taking shots from nearly half court.

Final Score: Portland 115, Utah 113


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