This is that time of year where you can be forgiven if the NBA isn’t your No. 1 priority. March Madness is less than 48 hours away, Spring Training is in full swing and, of course, NFL free agency is making all the headlines in the sporting world. It’s a lot to keep tabs on, but that’s where my services come into play.
Allow me to give you all the information you’ll need to put together a few basketball lineups this evening. Let’s break it all down position-by-position.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers vs. New Orleans Pelicans, $10,800 - There’s a reason that Lillard is the most expensive active player on Tuesday’s slate: These two teams are going to combine to score 700 points. Well, I guess the implied total of this contest on the DraftKings Sportsbook is just a slate-high 240.5 points, but you catch my drift. For Lillard, who’s averaging a robust 1.44 DKFP per minute dating back to the beginning of February, this is the perfect offensive environment to thrive. It also doesn’t hurt that the Pelicans are surrendering 27.2 opponent assists per 100 possessions — the second-highest mark in the league.
Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers, $5,800 - It remains to be seen, but if the Knicks are once again shorthanded on Tuesday’s slate, Quickley is once again a viable asset. Both Derrick Rose ($5,400; health protocols) and Elfrid Payton ($5,200; hamstring) have missed New York’s past two games, leaving the door open for the rookie guard to play huge minutes. Quickley’s also taken advantage of his opportunity, averaging 21.0 points and 32.1 DKFP over that span with a sizable 24.8% usage rate. Keep an eye on RJ Barrett ($6,200), too. As the former third-overall pick is registering 1.26 DKFP per minute in his last two starts.
Victor Oladipo, Houston Rockets vs. Atlanta Hawks, $8,300 - In the six games Oladipo has played since returning from injury his efficiency numbers have been terrible. Still, shooting a high percentage doesn’t matter nearly as much when you’re guaranteed at least 20 field goal attempts per contest. Oladipo’s posted a 32.3% usage rate dating back to Feb. 24, a stretch where he’s also averaging 1.21 DKFP per minute. With John Wall (knee) and Eric Gordon (groin) ruled out — and Atlanta allowing the second-most DKFP to opposing point guards — Oladipo should thrive on this slate.
Kira Lewis, New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers, $3,300 - Again, you’re going to want pieces of this game wherever possible, and it definitely doesn’t hurt when they’re priced this close to the minimum. Lewis has seen his minutes spike as of late, with the lottery pick having logged 20-plus minutes in each of New Orleans’ past three contests. Crazily enough, in that same span, Lewis is third on the Pelicans in field goal attempts, trailing only the likes of Zion Williamson ($8,700) and Brandon Ingram ($8,100). If that type of volume continues into tonight, Lewis has a chance to easily bring back 7x or 8x value.
Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Lakers, $7,200 - While Edwards’ price point has steadily risen throughout the past couple of weeks, I still think there’s an opportunity for value. Dating back to Feb. 24, the rookie leads the Timberwolves in minutes (241), field goal attempts (151) and usage rate (31.1%), which has translated into Edwards scoring at least 32.0 DKFP in seven-straight starts. The former No. 1 overall pick is also averaging 5.9 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game in this recent stretch, proving he can contribute in areas outside of just scoring the basketball.
Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, $6,000 - Kuzma isn’t exactly the cheapest play in the world on tonight’s slate, but his price tag leaves a lot of room for value. The forward is averaging 22.0 points, 10.3 rebounds and 43.3 DKFP across his past three games, and there’s good reason to believe those figures would be higher if not for a blowout victory against the Warriors limiting Kuzma to under 30 minutes on Monday. Still, that should give Kuzma fresh legs on the second night of a back-to-back, going up against a Minnesota defense that’s allowed 114.1 opponent points per 100 possessions over its last 10 contests.
Julius Randle, New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers, $9,900 - While the aforementioned Quickley will start at point guard if Rose and Payton are ruled out once again, make no mistake, it’s Randle that’s facilitating the offense. This isn’t anything new, as we all witnessed Randle’s passing ability as far back as his time with the Lakers, but the numbers across his last four starts this season are staggering. Randle is leading the Knicks with 13.7 potential assists per game, all while also leading the team in points (23.3) and rebounds (12.0). Essentially, he’s been a triple-double waiting to happen. That’s why he’s exceeded 60.0 DKFP three times in this particular span.
Aleksej Pokusevski, Oklahoma City Thunder at Chicago Bulls, $4,400 - We sort of have to keep rolling with the awkward-looking 19-year-old, right? Darius Bazley (shoulder) and Al Horford (rest) have already been ruled out for tonight’s game, which clears the way for Pokusevski to continue logging huge minute totals — like the 39.1 minutes he played on Sunday in a surprising win over Memphis. The Serbian set career-highs in both points (23) and rebounds (10) in that contest, and he’s now exceeded 32.0 DKFP in two of his three opportunities in the starting five. That’s more than enough to peak my interest.
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers, $8,700 - Zion’s failed to register 40.0 DKFP in any of his past three starts, yet he’s also now gone 32-straight games with at least 30.0 DKFP — something that really showcases the sophomore’s gargantuan floor. Points and assists should be easy to come by in this contest and Williamson is far more appealing now that his salary has fallen back below the $9K mark. We’ll just have to hope that this script stays tighter than New Orleans’ last three games, where the average margin of victory has been 28.0 points. Yikes.
Tony Bradley, Philadelphia 76ers vs. New York Knicks, $3,700 - Bradley’s started and played in excess of 20 minutes each of the last two times Joel Embiid (knee) has had to miss a game. Philadelphia will also need Bradley’s size in this particular matchup, as the Knicks like to play big with the likes of Randle and Nerlens Noel ($5,700). Considering he’s averaging 1.09 DKFP per minute for the season, Bradley won’t need much time to reach value this evening.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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 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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