We have a seven-game NBA slate today. On DraftKings Sportsbook, there are two games with a total of at least 220 - MEM/SAC (224.5) and DET/SA (220.5). The TOR/CLE game has the lowest total on the slate at 205.5. The Spurs are the biggest favorites at 10.5 points over the Pistons. There is one game that has a spread at three points or lower — OKC -1 over NOP. Things are going to change throughout the day, so make sure to keep abreast of the news by following @dklive on Twitter.
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($8,900) – Dejounte Murray ($10,400) has the highest raw projection at the position but he’s $1,500 more expensive. Ja Morant ($9,000) has a better game environment, but he’s still getting ramped back up. So, Shai it is. Over the last three games, he’s scored at least 20 points in each contest with a triple-double in one. He’s played 37, 37 and 39 minutes while garnering a usage rate of 27.7%, 32.2% and 29.6%. That’s translated to 40.75, 66.75 and 46.25 DKFP. The DraftKings Sportsbook has this game with the tightest spread, so Shai should get his full allotment of minutes. He averages 1.16 DKFP per minute on the season. The Pelicans don’t play fast, but they are 25th in defensive efficiency and boost the FPPM to point guards by 4.83%.
Other Options – Dejounte Murray ($10,400), Ja Morant ($9,000)
Dalano Banton, Toronto Raptors @ Cleveland Cavaliers ($3,200) – The Raptors are missing — insert John Travolta GIF. Fred VanVleet, Goran Dragic, Gary Trent, Malachi Flynn, Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa and Pascal Siakam are all unavailable. Did I miss anyone? Blanton has played a total of 342 minutes this season and 10 games with at least 15 minutes of run. He’s averaging 0.83 DKFP per minute and has had seven games with a usage rate of at least 20%. He’s cheap, should have the ball in his hands plenty, will likely play a ton of minutes, and did I mention that he’s cheap?
Other Options – Tremont Waters ($3,000), Aaron Holiday ($3,900)
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans @ Oklahoma City Thunder ($9,800) – In the month of December, Ingram has been on quite the heater. He’s gone for at least 40 DKFP in eight games with four of those above 50. He’s averaged 37.6 minutes with a usage rate of around 30%. Now he gets a matchup against a Thunder team that boosts the FPPM to shooting guards by 12.7%.
Other Options – Zach LaVine ($10,200)
Frank Jackson, Detroit Pistons @ San Antonio Spurs ($4,800) – Cory Joseph and Josh Jackson entered the league’s health and safety protocols, so the Pistons’ backcourt will be thin once again. Jackson started the last game and produced 31 DKFP in 39 minutes. He will likely make his second consecutive start. While he only averages 0.75 DKFP per minute, he should get the minutes and the usage rate will probably be in the 20% range. The Spurs are seventh in offensive pace.
Other Options – Corey Kispert ($3,700), Aaron Holiday ($3,900), Svi Mykhailiuk ($4,600)
Saddiq Bey, Detroit Pistons @ San Antonio Spurs ($7,500) – Over the last five games, Bey has produced 46.5, 30.75, 35.5, 38 and 50 DKFP. He’s averaged 37.8 minutes (43 minutes in the most recent game) and had a usage rate above 20% in four of those contests. With all of the injuries on the Pistons, Bey should once again carry a significant load.
Other Options – Zach LaVine ($10,200), Brandon Ingram ($9,800)
Yuta Watanabe, Toronto Raptors @ Cleveland Cavaliers ($4,700) – Watanabe should start for the short-handed Raptors. He averages 0.81 DKFP per minute and will likely play over 30 minutes. In the last three games, he’s played 21, 28 and 26 minutes, contributing 23.5, 21.75 and 31.25 DKFP.
Other Options – Svi Mykhailiuk ($4,600), Corey Kispert ($3,700)
Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers @ Chicago Bulls ($10,500) – It’s been an up-and-down season for Sabonis. He’s scored fewer than 40 DKFP 10 times but gone for at least 50 eight times with a high of 66.75. The Bulls are one of the better defensive teams (ninth in defensive efficiency), but they do struggle against power forwards, as they boost the FPPM to the position by 15.23%. In the last meeting with Chicago, Sabonis went for 42.75 DKFP.
Other Options – Saddiq Bey ($7,500), Jaren Jackson ($6,700), Kevin Love ($6,100)
Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors @ Cleveland Cavaliers ($5,800) – Is this the game that Boucher gets unleashed? Nick Nurse may not have a choice. Boucher averages 1.15 DKFP per minute and should play over 30 minutes in this one due to all the injuries.
Other Options – Juwan Morgan ($3,000)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets @ Los Angeles Clippers ($12,100) – Jokic averages a ridiculous 1.64 DKFP per minute. Despite his high salary, he’s exceeded point expectations 60% of the time this season. He’s gone for at least 60 DKFP 13 times with five of those above 70. Jokic has six triple-doubles and has come close numerous other times. Jokic is one of the few players that I don’t even bother looking at pace or matchup. I play him whenever I can.
Other Options – Joel Embiid ($11,900), Domantas Sabonis ($10,500)
Willy Hernangomez, New Orleans Pelicans @ Oklahoma City Thunder ($4,900) – Jonas Valanciunas is out so Hernangomez will make his second consecutive start. In the last one, things didn’t go so well as he shot 1-for-11. He did play 33 minutes and grabbed 16 rebounds, though. Hernangomez averages 1.15 DKFP per minute and should get over 30 minutes in this one as well. I don’t foresee him shooting 1-for-11 again, as he’s a career 54% shooter from the field.
Other Options – Chris Boucher ($5,800), DJ Wilson ($3,000), Tacko Fall ($3,300), Mike Muscala ($3,100)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sontzu) 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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.
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