Despite there only being four games in the NBA on Thursday, injuries to star players will be rampant across the slate. The game between the Warriors and Lakers will be no exception. This matchup is also the featured Showdown contest, so let’s dive in and discuss how things might unfold for both sides.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
CAPTAIN OPTIONS TO CONSIDER
Set your lineups here: NBA Showdown $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st]
FIVE BETTING TRENDS— The Lakers have won each of their last 17 road games against Western Conference opponents.
— The Warriors have failed to cover the spread in each of their last four games at Chase Center.
— Nine of the Lakers’ last 11 road games have gone OVER the total points line.
— Anthony Davis has scored the first basket in three of his last six road appearances against the Warriors.
— Marquese Chriss has scored 17-plus points in four of his last five appearances.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
LakersThe top tier for this slate consists of just one player, who is none other than Anthony Davis ($12,000). With LeBron James (groin) having already been ruled out, Davis is going to receive all of the shot attempts that he can handle. That could spell doom for the Warriors, who have the sixth-worst defensive rating in the league.
There is a massive drop off between Davis and the next most expensive player on the Lakers, who is Dwight Howard ($5,200). There are a lot of appealing cheap options on the Lakers because of the LeBron injury, but Howard isn’t one of them since he still has to contend with Davis and JaVale McGee ($1,400) for playing time. I’d avoid Howard, but McGee is an interesting punt play. He’s dirt cheap and has scored at least 11.8 DKFP in nine of his last 10 games since returning from a two-game stretch on the sidelines because of an illness.
With that being said about McGee, you might not need to go with a complete punt play for this slate based on the options. One of the players who should benefit the most from James being out is Kyle Kuzma ($5,000), who will likely see added shot attempts. This is also a great spot for Rajon Rondo ($4,000), who should replace James in the starting lineup. The last time we saw James miss a game, Rondo started and recorded 21 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists across 33 minutes against the Thunder. Expect both Kuzma and Rondo to be included in a lot of entries, and rightfully so.
The other wave of Lakers to consider are a little less appealing since any of them could go off with James sidelined. Danny Green ($4,600) is the most expensive of this group and is coming off of scoring 36.8 DKFP against the Pelicans on Tuesday. However, he hasn’t been as consistent as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,200), who has scored at least 20.3 DKFP in four of his last five games. While most people should be all over Rondo for this game, don’t sleep on Alex Caruso ($3,600). He’s scored at least 18 DKFP in three of the last four games and should see added playing time, especially if this game gets out of hand early. Lastly, there is Avery Bradley ($2,800), who went a dreadful 0-for-8 from the field against the Pelicans. However, he has scored at least 23.8 DKFP in three of his last seven games. When you factor in their prices, I would rank these players in the order of Caruso, Caldwell-Pope, Bradley and Green from most to least appealing.
WarriorsFollowing Davis, the next seven most expensive players are all on the Warriors. The first of that group is Andrew Wiggins ($9,000), who has mostly been productive since joining the team. However, he is coming off of a terrible performance against the Kings on Tuesday in which he scored 16 points, but provided just one assist and didn’t record a single rebound across his 31 minutes. Still, with all of the value options on the Lakers, Wiggins is still worth considering based on his high upside.
While he doesn’t have the same name recognition as Wiggins, Marquese Chriss ($8,400) has morphed into one of the most productive players on the Warriors. He’s locked into the starting center job, which has enabled him to score at least 33.8 DKFP in four of his last five games. Even though the Lakers have a lot of size up front, Chriss’ new role makes him someone to strongly consider. If you’re not averse to taking a risk, Draymond Green ($7,600) could be a viable option for your entry. He’s expected to return from injury and has shown flashes of being his productive self, scoring at least 32.8 DKFP in three of his last six games. However, his inconsistent playing time means he could just as likely lay an egg.
In terms of the Warriors’ best guards with Stephen Curry (hand) still out, Damion Lee ($7,000) and Jordan Poole ($6,200) are at the top of the list. If debating between these two, it might be better to pay up for Lee. Poole has been starting at point guard, but he’s still scored 22.5 DKFP or fewer in three of the last five games. Meanwhile, Lee provided at least 27.3 DKFP four times during that stretch.
A player in that same price range who might be best left alone is Eric Paschall ($6,600). With Green expected to return, Paschall is likely to return to a limited role off the bench. Even with Green out the last two games, Paschall scored just 20.3 and 19.8 DKFP, respectively. Green’s return could also hurt Ky Bowman ($5,400), who isn’t nearly as appealing as Rondo and costs a significant amount more.
The only other Warriors who should be on you radar are Juan Toscano-Anderson ($4,800) and Kevon Looney ($2,000). However, I’d immediately rule out Looney with Green back. After a couple of productive games, Toscano-Anderson came crashing back down to Earth with only three points, two rebounds and two assists versus the Kings on Tuesday. With all of the value options available on the Lakers, he might not be a risk worth taking.
THE OUTCOMEEven with James being out, the Lakers have more than enough talent left on the roster to beat the Warriors here. As far as the Captian’s Pick goes, there’s no need to overthink it. With so many viable cheap options, this is the night to pay up for Davis ($18,000 CP).
Final Score: Lakers 115, Warriors 102
Set your lineups here: NBA Showdown $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st]
Favorite Prop Bet
Anthony Davis, 10.5 Rebounds: Over (-129)Davis has reeled off seven straight double-doubles, recording at least 11 rebounds in four of those contests. With how busy he should be in this game combined with the fact that the Warriors have allowed the fourth-most rebounds per game in the league, the over could prove to be profitable.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
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.
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA) or 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN) or 1-800-522-4700 (NH).
NH/NJ/WV/IN/PA only. 21+ (18+ NH). Eligibility Restrictions Apply. See website for details.