The 2022-23 season has officially begun, and I will be breaking down every regular season slate moving forward.
Key Injuries to Monitor
Los Angeles Clippers
- Reggie Jackson (groin) — Probable
Los Angeles Lakers
- LeBron James (foot) — Probable
- Anthony Davis (back) — Probable
Favorite Pick Against the Spread
Clippers (-5.5) vs. Lakers
It’s the battle of L.A. tonight! One of these teams is a legitimate NBA Finals contender, and the other... is not.
The revamped — and more importantly, healthy — Clippers currently have the second-best odds on DraftKings Sportsbook to win the title at +600, just behind the Boston Celtics. The Lakers sit at +1800 to win it all right now, and that number will only continue to expand at this rate.
LeBron James simply doesn’t have enough help around him — whether that’s his own doing or not is a different story entirely — to beat elite teams like the Clippers. With Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and John Wall all healthy, this should be a blowout.
Favorite Player Prop
James Harden Over 37.5 Points, Rebounds & Assists
Harden nearly cleared this total with points alone in his season debut against the Celtics. If that game is any indication of how Doc Rivers plans to utilize him, then the Beard is in for a bounce back year due to usage alone.
Harden saw a 27% usage rate last game, and it honestly felt like more considering how involved he was in Philly’s offense. The Bucks are strong defensively, but it’s likely that most of their effort will be spent attempting to contain Joel Embiid. That will leave plenty of opportunities for Harden to rack up the stats once again.t
Favorite Value Play
76ers PG Tyrese Maxey ($5,200) vs. Bucks
This pick doesn’t even feel fair. At no point should Maxey be labeled a “value play”, because he has clearly established himself as one of the premier young talents in the league.
Nevertheless, that’s exactly what he is tonight with a $5,200 price tag. With Giannis Antetokounmpo focused on Joel Embiid and Jrue Holiday likely drawing James Harden most of the time, Maxey will be able to pick apart whichever poor Bucks player who tries to defend him.
His usage rate may not be incredibly high tonight, but expect the third-year guard to make the most of his opportunities.
Clippers SF Kawhi Leonard ($8,400) at Lakers
Even on a minutes restriction, I love the slight discount we’re getting on Kawhi tonight. It sounds like the superstar will suit up for about 30-32 minutes, which is more than enough for him to rack up the fantasy points against this abysmal Lakers defense.
Leonard is the seventh most expensive player on tonight’s slate, so rostering him over players like Embiid or Giannis gives you some financial flexibility with the rest of your lineup.
If you’re looking to spend a little more, LeBron James is a good option at $9,300. I expect the Clippers to dominate their Los Angeles counterparts tonight but James will always get his stats.
It’s the Battle of L.A. tonight, and I like the #Clippers to cover the -5.5 @DKSportsbook spread.— Jeff Pratt (@ByJeffPratt) October 20, 2022
A couple player props I like:
Kawhi Leonard over 25.5 PRA (even if he comes off the bench)
LeBron James over 5.5 assists
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