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Best lineup strategy for Pelicans vs. Pacers NBA Showdown

We take a look at the Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Pelicans and Pacers, giving you Captain’s Picks and who to fade.

Brandon Ingram of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots a free throw during the game against the Phoenix Suns on February 3, 2021 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans and Indiana Pacers will face off in one of the first games in Friday’s nine-game main NBA slate at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Pelicans are looking to build on their blowout victory against the Phoenix Suns while the Pacers are looking to forget about their abysmal loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. DraftKings has Showdown contests centered around the matchup, and we’ve broken down how you can attack the game in DFS.

Captain’s Picks

Brandon Ingram ($13,800) is a scoring machine and should draw a very favorable matchup against Justin Holiday. Holiday is no slouch on defense, but he isn't equipped to keep up with a versatile scorer like Ingram for the entirety of a game. Ingram ranks 15th in free throw attempts per game and Holiday’s primary help at small forward is Doug McDermott. There’s a significant drop in defensive talent between those two players, and Ingram’s aggression could help him take advantage of that. Zion Williamson ($14,100) could be a viable captain, but the rebounding of Domantas Sabonis ($14,400) and rim protection of Myles Turner could make it difficult for him to get his usual hustle points as an undersized forward.

FLEX Plays

T.J. McConnell ($5,800) has pilfered the backup point guard spot from Aaron Holiday ($2,000). The Pacers reserve has played an important role in each of Indiana’s last three games by tallying at least 25 DKFP on no less than 26 minutes. Jeremy Lamb’s transition into the starting lineup has paved the way for McConnell to take more control of the second unit. His playmaking makes up for his usually underwhelming shot volume.

Lonzo Ball ($7,200) hasn’t let up since dropping a season-high 27 points against the Bucks and has eclipsed his DKFP average in four straight games. If you want to pivot off one of the high-priced Pelicans, Ball is capable of getting you 30+ DKFP while giving you the salary to fit in other quality flex plays as well.


Most of Steven Adams’ ($7,000) upside comes from his rebounding but is up against a frontcourt that includes the NBA’s top rebounding bigs in Sabonis. His offense could be stagnant with Turner acting as a deterrent in the paint, so you could have to bank on a massive night on the glass for Adams to return significant value. If he doesn't reach double-digits in rebounds, he could easily be a dud.

The Outcome

The Pacers are only favored by 1.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, and I expect this to be a close game with both teams healthy. The Pelicans abused the Suns’ lack of size at power forward, but shouldn’t be able to do so against Indiana. I like the Pacers’ odds of squeaking by with another victory.

Final score: Pacers win 115-110