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Plays of the Day
Value: You should be attacking the Cavaliers defense with guards, and tonight you can use Toney Douglas, Troy Daniels or Andrew Harrison as low-cost options with upside at Cleveland. Douglas stands out as the cheapest play by far on DraftKings and he might come off the bench, which gives him the most security in a potential blowout, but all of those players are in line for increased usage with Marc Gasol (rest) not expected to play.
Fade: LeBron James and the Cavs (-15.5) are expected to roll tonight with the Grizzlies best player resting. He should still put up a solid line, but the risk of him getting a little extra rest ahead of the second half of a B2B set at Memphis tomorrow makes him a very dicey option.
Games to Target
- Portland Blazers (PK) hosting Oklahoma City Thunder (Over/Under = 218.5)
- New Orleans Pelicans (+10.5) hosting Golden State Warriors (Over/Under = 224.5)
Russell Westbrook (OKC) @ POR DK:$12,700/FD:$12,600
Tonight is not the night to fade Westbrook. He’s incredibly expensive and he did just come up short of a triple double (while producing 37 points and 64 DK points) in his last outing, but he draws a fantastic matchup tonight against a Blazers team that just lost 121-120 last night and has to be exhausted. Even when rested, Portland is arguably the worst defensive team in the league and the Blazers are woefully incapable of matching up with the most athletic PG in NBA history. Victor Oladipo (wrist) might be out tonight as well, giving Westbrook even more responsibilities on offense. Russ only averaged 18.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG and 12 APG over 3 meetings with Portland last season, but his usage has increased dramatically as his ferocity as a rebounder while he plays with the fury of a thousand suns in an effort to redirect his anger at Kevin Durant.
Dennis Schroder (ATL) vs. ORL DK:$6,200/FD:$6,900
While the Magic are listed as the top team in DvP against opposing PGs on DraftKings, that designation seems misleading. Orlando gives up the tenth-most FanDuel PPG (44.26) and eighth-most PPG (23.43) to opposing PGs this season, so perhaps Schroder will go lightly owned on DK because of that red “1st” next to his name. The Hawks PG has been spectacular over the past few weeks and it seems that he gained more confidence with Paul Millsap (hip) inactive for a couple of games. Tonight he’ll face a Magic squad that offers little resistance at the rim and rotates a couple of mediocre defenders at the point in D.J. Augustin and Elfrid Payton, so you can trust Schroder as a safe play as long as the Hawks (-7.5) don’t run away in the second half of this game.
Toney Douglas ($3400/$4000) and Andrew Harrison ($4300/$4200) are both worth a look as the Grizzlies will look to find their offense with Marc Gasol resting tonight.
Jrue Holiday ($6100/$7000) looked great in his return to the Pelicans lineup on Sunday and he could thrive in a fast-paced matchup against the Warriors. Semaj Christon ($3000/$3500) could serve as an upside punt play if Oladipo sits for the Thunder.
Dwayne Wade (CHI) vs. MIN DK:$6,600/FD:$7,300
It’s a toss up between Wade and Zach LaVine ($6200) on DraftKings, but it might be worth going cheaper in GPPs with LaVine at that same price tag on FanDuel. Both shooting guards draw plus matchups against each other, but you have to trust the veteran more in cash games, especially with the Bulls (-7) capable of winning rather easily at home. Wade has put on for his hometown by averaging 22.4 PPG on 46.5% FG shooting in Chicago this season and he’s facing a Wolves team that ranks 29th in opponents FG shooting (.473%) on the year. The Bulls have a B2B set later this week with a home-and-home against Milwaukee, so Wade is probably looking at rest on Thursday or Friday, but he should be good to play up to 35 minutes and continue producing this evening.
Tony Allen (MEM) @ CLE: DK:$4,700/FD:$5,100
With Marc Gasol (rest) out tonight and expected to return tomorrow for the second half of the Grizzlies’ home-and-home set against the Cavs, it almost seems like Memphis is punting their tilt in Cleveland tonight. While they’re much less likely to compete with LeBron and company while Gasol coaches from the bench, the rest of the Grizzlies are looking at increased minutes and usage with their leader inactive. Allen has probably been the second-most impactful player in a Memphis uniform during their torrid stretch of play since Mike Conley (back) went down, as he’s been routinely exceeding value with averages of 14 PPG, 8 RPG, 1.8 SPG and 30.2 DK PPG over his last 5 appearances. He’ll be asked to slow down LeBron tonight and he might take an early seat, but T.A. is worth a look as a solid mid-tier option for cash games regardless of how this game plays out.
Anthony Morrow ($3500/$3500) would be worth a look if Oladipo sits, while Tim Hardaway Jr. ($4400/$3900) would remain a solid option if Kent Bazemore (knee) is still out for Atlanta.
Troy Daniels ($3900/$4300) has gone cold lately, but he might take a ton of shots with the Grizzlies shorthanded tonight.
Kevin Durant (GSW) @ NO: DK:$9,400/FD:$10,000
It seems as though Durant is a safer play than LeBron tonight with the Cavs (-15.5) capable of steamrolling the Gasol-less Grizzlies. The Warriors (-10.5) are also heavily favored in New Orleans, but the Dubs have not covered the spread in three of their last four road games and this marks their fifth contest in seven nights, so a blowout seems unlikely. Durant has cooled off a bit despite playing in some close games, yet he matches up very well against a Pelicans team that coughs up the seventh-most FPPG (40.54) to opposing SFs this season and gives up the ninth-most PPG (106.8) overall. KD has already roasted New Orleans to the tune of 26 PPG, 10 RPG and 5.5 APG over 2 meetings this year and he could make for an elite GPP stack with Anthony Davis if this game remains competitive through four quarters.
Evan Turner (POR) vs. OKC: DK:$4,300/FD:$4,500
Oklahoma City’s roster is chalk full of elite athletes, so the Blazers might have to use a few of their swing men off the bench to match up tonight. Turner had a huge game with Maurice Harkless inactive last week and he seems to have carved out a bigger role even with Harkless in the lineup, as he produced 15 points, 6 assists and 29 DK points while playing 30 minutes in a tight loss to the Clippers last night. Now the Blazers are back home in a game with a “Pick Em” line and Turner looks like a very solid value play given the importance of his versatility in a matchup against the Thunder.
Aaron Gordon ($4300/$4100) is providing steady production off the bench for Orlando and he could become even safer if Nikola Vucevic (back) misses another game.
P.J. Tucker ($4100/$4400) bounced back with a string of solid games after his massive dud last week and he’ll be worth a look for as long as T.J. Warren (head) remains out.
Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) @ PHO: DK:$7,600/FD:$8,000
Anthony Davis is basically a longshot to meet value at this point and he’s only worth stacking with a few Warriors if you think that game will turn into a shootout. So if you’re paying up for Westbrook and need reasonably priced options at PF, look at The Unicorn for a great floor-ceiling combination. Porzingis picked up the slack with Carmelo Anthony struggling on Sunday, erupting for 26 points, 12 rebounds and 7 blocks to produce a season-high 62.5 DK points in a win at the Lakers. Now he’ll face a similar Suns team that plays with even more pace while giving up the second-most PPG (113.3) in the NBA this season. Phoenix might have good DvP numbers against opposing PFs, but PorzinGod is unique to the point that you can expect him to produce whenever the overall matchup is above average.
JaMychal Green (MEM) @ CLE: DK:$5,800/FD:$5,500
He’s slowly been coming along whether Zach Randolph (personal) was in the lineup or out, and now Green will be asked to fill the sizable shoes of Marc Gasol as the Grizzlies starting center. He draws a very tough matchup against the Cavs stout interior defense, but his price tag is low enough to warrant consideration in any format. Green is averaging 11.4 points. 9.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.7 BLK/STL per 36 minutes this season, so he’s definitely a good bet to meet value if this game stays close enough for him to log 30-plus minutes.
Jarell Martin ($3000/$3600) should also see more run with Gasol out tonight for the Grizzlies and he could serve as a better play than Green if that game becomes a blowout.
Of course, Zach Randolph ($5100/$5700) probably has the most upside of the Grizzlies PFs and he’ll have to be huge tonight to keep the game close.
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) @ CHI: DK:$8,600/FD:$8,800
With Gasol out, Towns seems to be the top option at center on a relatively short slate. He’s certainly the best option in terms of upside, as he’s produced monster double doubles in three of his last seven appearances and is averaging 23 PPG and 13.7 RPG during that span. The Bulls are no longer a force in terms of their low post defense, as Fred Hoiberg’s squad is coughing up the tenth-most FPPG (47.67) and BPG (2.45) to opposing centers this season. Towns averaged an impressive 21.5 PPG, 15 RPG and 3.5 BPG over 2 meetings with Chicago last season and he should be a great cash game play even if he doesn’t blow up for similarly big numbers on the road.
Dwight Howard (ATL) vs. ORL: DK:$6,900/FD:$7,600
If Towns is the best cash game play at this position, Howard is the GPP option to consider in a game that he might have circled on his calendar. He’s had a few stops along the way, but Howard has plenty of history with the Orlando Magic franchise and he gets his first crack at their weak interior defense while wearing a rival Hawks uniform this evening. Orlando coughs up the seventh-most FPPG (48.36), ninth-most RPG (15) and third-most BPG (2.83) to opposing centers this season and both of their starting big men are questionable tonight in Nikola Vucevic (back) and Bismack Biyombo (shoulder), so Howard could have free reign of the front court in a plus matchup at home.
Mason Plumlee ($5500/$5900) flashed uncharacteristic upside against the Clippers last night, but he remains a high-floor option as the Blazers starting center.
Serge Ibaka ($6400/$6200 as PF on FD) will be worth a look in tournaments if Vucevic and/or Biyombo can’t play tonight.