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Zion Williamson vs. Ja Morant: Rookies give us a pair of highlights in blowout [VIDEO]

Zion and Ja will face off for the first time since being selected Nos. 1 and 2 in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Zion Williamson greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number one overall pick to the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Live fantasy basketball updates for Zion Williamson vs. Ja Morant

Ja Morant fantasy basketball, player prop recap vs. Pelicans

Fantasy basketball stats: 16 points, one rebound, three assists — 21.25 FPTS
Player prop record: 0-5

Zion Williamson fantasy basketball, player prop recap vs. Grizzlies

Fantasy basketball stats: 24 points, six rebounds, three assists — 35.5 FPTS
Player prop record: 1-4

Final update: Morant fell short of all his prop bets on and off night and finished with 16 points, three assists and one rebound. Williamson hit the over on points (17.5) and had a game high 24 points (+650). He fell short on the rest of his prop bets while logging 29 minutes.

Third quarter update: Morant upped his point total to 13 in the third quarter and added one more assist to his stat line. He’s 6-of-11 shooting, but his team trails 110-86 entering the fourth frame. He might hit the over on points (18.5) if he gets enough playing time in the fourth quarter, but the rest of his prop bets are long shots. Williamson has 14 points through three quarters but hasn’t added to his assist or rebounding totals. There might not be any reason for him to play in garbage time, but he if he is in the game down the stretch he could hit his over on points.

Second quarter update: Morant remained pedestrian and tallied four points and two assists in the second quarter. But he also threw down a show-stopping dunk off a half-court lob. He has six points, two assists, and one rebound at the break and has some serious ground to make up if he wants to get close to hitting any of his prop bets.

Williamson, on the other hand, ramped up his production. He scored five points in the second quarter and seems like to lock to hit his over on points if he gets consistent minutes in the second half. He also dished out three dimes to bring his assist total to three. He’ll have to hit the boards to chase a double-double, but the offense is coming to him easily.

Highlight: Williamson’s ability to reach this ball and score from behind the backboard here is ridiculous.

Here’s another angle of the insane lob:

First quarter update: Morant got off to a quiet start against the Pels, just like he did the last time he faced them. He only tallied two points and one rebound in the first quarter while logging six minutes. Williamson has continued to be the model of efficiency and tied Brandon Ingram for a game-high six points on 3-of-4 shooting in the first frame. He also brought down two rebounds. Williamson is on track to hit his over on points (17.5), but it’s too early to judge the rest of the prop bets for him or Morant at this point.

We’ll be tracking both rookies performances in Pelicans vs. Grizzlies tonight. Stick here for all the latest stats and highlights.

Zion Williamson vs. Ja Morant. It’s a matchup we’ve been anticipating since June. Williamson was selected to nobodies surprise at No. 1 overall by the Pelicans. Morant, with some skepticism, was taken No. 2 overall by the Grizzlies. Williamson had been sidelined after knee surgery for most of the season, missing the first battle by a hair. Now, we’re gifted with the matchup of top Rookie of the Year contenders. Let’s break down some of the player prop betting and DFS angles for both players Friday night.

NBA Rookie of the Year odds

Ja Morant: -560
Zion Williamson: +800

Morant has been the clear-cut favorite all season long while Zion has been out. Ja is averaging 17.5 points, 7.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game — boasting close to 50/40/80 shooting splits (48.9, 39.1, 78.2) on the season. He came very close I imagine to landing an All-Star reserve spot in Chicago, but was left off. Morant has been the most exciting PG prospect in the NBA since Derrick Rose. Ja is a walking highlight reel who can score and pass like a polished veteran.

Zion has only played four games, but man has it been a wild ride so far. His debut was historic, Williamson dropping 17 straight points in the fourth quarter. He’s looked dominant at times and we’re only touching the tip of the iceberg. Tonight could be where Zion really breaks out and imposes his will. It’s also worth noting his odds to win ROTY have improved by +1000 since his debut. Will he close the gap with Ja by season’s end?

Zion Williamson and Ja Morant player props tonight

Point Total

Zion: OVER 17.5 (-134)
Ja: OVER 18.5 (+100)

First Field Goal

Zion: +450
Ja: +750

To Record a Double-Double

Zion: Yes (+120), No (-148)
Ja: Yes (+175), No (-220)

Top Point Scorer

Zion: +650
Ja: +700

Points, Rebounds, Assists Total

Zion: OVER 27.5 (-134)
Ja: OVER 30.5 (-110)

These are just some of the player props for both rookies offered on DraftKings Sportsbook. At first glance, there’s some favorable spots. I actually really like Williamson tonight. He’s coming off a few days rest and we’ve seen his minutes get up close to 30 the past few games. I think he could reach that plateau tonight. If that’s the case, given this game is expected to be fast-paced and high-scoring, I like some of the OVER bets for Zion.

Morant has been playing all season and we know what to expect. I don’t think a double-double is out of the question and I think with Jaren Jackson Jr. suspended, we could see a more aggressive Morant on offense. There’s also (of course) the narrative of the matchup, which I think Morant will get up for — plus he’s an All-Star snub.

Fantasy basketball analysis

DraftKings price

Zion: $7,000
Ja: $6,900

So both rookies are similarly priced for tonight. Zion’s price has jumped up since his debut, which makes sense given his minutes are higher than expected and his ceiling is obviously high. This seems like a great spot for Morant, who has scored at least 35.5 DKFP in four straight games. He’s coming off a double-double against the Knicks and had 16 points and nine assists a little over a week ago against the Pels. I think both Zion and Ja are decent tournament options in the mid-range, but I’m not so sure either fits into our over-arching strategy for the slate. These two are best employed in a narrative driven, game stack.

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