Inside The Box: DraftKings Advice for 3.3.14
Games to Target:
· Minnesota Timberwolves (-5) @ Denver Nuggets – O/U = 211.5 This matchup features the 3rd and 4th fastest-paced teams in the NBA, and the Nuggets cough up the 3rd most PPG (104.7). Denver has been struggling without Ty Lawson, but should remain competitive at home for four quarters before the Wolves close it out late.
There’s a ton of value to be found on both sides of the ball here as the Wolves have two of their best players working their way back from injury, and the Nuggets have a number of fill-in guards likely to step in for Lawson once again. Slashers Evan Fournier and Kevin Martin should exceed value in this fast-paced game, while the “Bruise Brothers” should pound Denver’s weak interior defense into submission.
· Los Angeles Lakers @ Portland Blazers (-12.5) O/U = 218 – The highest over/under of the night features a team that neglects the defensive end versus a Lakers team with players that are happy to be out of the D-League. Vegas clearly believes the Blazers are going to run away and hide in this one, which takes some of the shine off the incredible matchups for LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard and Nic Batum.
It’s risky to spend big on any of Portland’s studs, but L.A. is showing some backbone lately and both Batum and Lillard are decent GPP plays if you think D’Antoni’s squad can compete. The Lakers have a number of solid options available for cheap including Jordan Farmar, Kent Bazemore, and Bazemore’s potential replacement down the stretch- MarShon Brooks. All these guys are in play in GPPs and Bazemore/Farmar should be trusted in all formats.
· New Orleans Pelicans @ Sacramento Kings (-3.5) -0/U =203 Personally, I expect the Kings to win this game comfortably. They destroyed the Pelicans by 17 points on January 21st and New Orleans has only gotten worse since then as they’ve lost Jrue Holiday and their best defensive center in Jason Smith for the year. Now that Holiday is officially out, Monty Williams has given Tyreke Evans more rope as a starting Point Forward, and ‘Reke is showing some consistency in time for a matchup with his former team. Eric Gordon is also taking on more of an offensive load and deserves consideration in GPPs.
While Rudy Gay’s price is climbing to uncomfortable heights, the other two Kings stars are in a perfect price range and have a fantastic matchup. Pairing Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins is incredibly safe (assuming Cousins stays on the floor) and could be one of the best pairings of the night if the game stays close as the Pelicans are awful at defending both positions and each player had success against them in their previous meeting.
The Little Things:
· Miami is on the first half of a B2B and tomorrow night they travel to Houston for a matchup with the surging Rockets. Expect them to try and put Charlotte away early, which would limit the playing time and production of all the star players involved.
· Mike D’Antoni tends to let his bench finish the game if their playing well, and while MarShon Brooks clearly falls under that IF classification, Jordan Farmar is really coming on strong and should out play Kendall Marshall once again.
· Tim Hardaway Jr. is playing well for the Knicks and should be motivated to show out in a homecoming game in Detroit tonight. For the Pistons, Will Bynum is in a timeshare with Brandon Jennings, but has more upside than Rodney Stuckey since he contributes peripheral stats as well as scoring. Both quick guards are in play tonight.
Isaiah Thomas (SAC) vs. NOP: $7700
IT2 is always a safe bet, and should have no issues with a Pelicans defense that is allowing the 2nd most FPPG (43.18) to opposing PGs over the last two weeks. Thomas, Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins use essentially every Kings possession between the three of them which makes each player safe to use, and the Pizza Delivery Guy is priced well below the other two studs.
Jordan Farmar (LAL) vs. POR: $4300
Farmar is the most talented PG available to Mike D'Antoni and deserves to get the start against the Blazers tonight. He may come off the bench again and seems to be limited to around 30 minutes of playing time, but Portland is coughing up the MOST FPPG by far (49.18) to opposing PGs over the last two weeks so he should be effective while on the floor. A repeat 45+ FP-performance isn't likely from Farmar, but 30+ FPs in around 30 minutes is quite possible and he only needs to produce 25 FPs to justify his cheap price tag.
Values: Will Bynum at $4100 and Rodney Stuckey at $4500 should both get plenty of run with Brandon Jennings hobbled and the Knicks do not excel at keeping quick guards out of the lane.
Eric Gordon (NOP) vs. SAC: $5400
It couldn’t have gone much worse for Gordon and the Pelicans on Saturday night as he shot an abysmal 1 for 13 from the field and his team lost by 32 points in Staples Center. However, tonight he gets a chance to bounce back against a Kings team that is coughing up the most FPPG by far (51.60) to opposing SGs over the last two weeks and he should remain aggressive with the Pelicans lacking many other offensive weapons on the perimeter. He is still almost exclusive a GPP play due to his tendency to post very few peripheral stats though.
Jimmy Butler (CHI) vs. BKN: $5400
If consistency is what you’re looking for, ignore Gordon and go with Mr. Minutes at the exact same price. Butler played nearly 42 minutes in a blowout win on Sunday and didn’t come out of the game until the 3rd quarter. He also filled the stat sheet with 19 PTs, 6 REB, 4 AST, 3 STL and a season-high 14 FTA as the Bulls cruised over the Knicks. Tonight’s tilt with the Nets should be a close, hard-fought contest that a grinder like Jimmy Buckets thrives in. He’s a very advisable play in 50/50 and h2h formats at this price.
Values: Evan Fournier at $4400 assuming Ty Lawson is out again and Kent Bazemore at $3900 if you have faith that Mike D’Antoni won’t bench him unexpectedly. Marcus Thornton is coming on strong for the Nets and is dirt cheap at $3200
Nic Batum (POR) vs. LAL: $7300
Batum didn’t fill it up offensively with LaMarcus Aldridge back in the SLU on Saturday night, but his peripheral stats did increase as he dished out 6 AST to go along with a career-high 16 REB. The Lakers well be hard pressed to keep this game close and force Batum to play deep into the 4th quarter, but he is a safe bet to hit value against the team that coughs up the 2nd most FPPG (39.74) to opposing SFs this season.
Kevin Martin (MIN) vs. DEN: $5200
Buy low, and buy now when it comes to K-Mart. He returned to action and dropped 38 FPs against an awful Kings defense in 34 minutes of playing time, and tonight he gets an equally appealing matchup with the Nuggets, yet he remains in a price range where he only needs 31 FP to hit value. Martin burned the Nuggets for 29 PTs and 27 PTs in two meetings earlier this season and used a very high 32.7% of Wolves possessions during those contests. He should continue to find his rhythm in Denver tonight and is a solid play in all formats at this price.
Values: Tyreke Evans at $6000 is a relative value due to his ability to blow up, but is still a risky play even in a good matchup.
Khris Middleton continues to be solid for the Bucks and doesn’t present much risk at $4300
DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) vs. NOP: $9200
Cousins is the play of the day on DraftKings in my opinion, as the only thing that will stop him from exceeding his price tag is one of his textbook tantrums. He produced 55.25 FPs in 29 minutes during a blowout win over the Pelicans in January, so he may not even need the game to remain close, as he should demolish the skinny front line of Anthony Davis and Alexis Ajinca. People may still have PTSD from his tantrum against the Rockets last week, but tonight should be a different type of explosion.
Paul Pierce (BKN) vs. CHI: $5900
Pierce is a somewhat dicey play because Jason Kidd is clearly trying to limit his minutes and the Nets use almost their entire roster during the course of a game, but he should find a role in a physical battle with the Bulls. These teams faced off in February and Pierce never got going as he dealt with foul trouble and scored 15 PTs in 27 minutes. If he can remain on the floor tonight, he may make for a sneaky GPP play due to his ability to get hot and contributed in multiple statistical categories.
Values: Chris Andersen could see extended time as the Heat try and limit Al Jefferson and is a decent (non-GPP) play at $3400 as his upside is limited.
Trevor Booker has been disappointing, but remains priced at $3300 and should see more minutes tonight as the Wizards try to matchup with Zach Randolph on the block.
Al Jefferson (CHA) vs. MIA: $8900
Big Al’s price remains the same after a very productive game in Oklahoma City, and now he faces another one of the best teams in the NBA that have no chance of stopping him in the post. Jefferson torched the Heat for 22 PTs and 14 REB in a previous meeting, which also happened to be on the second half of a b2b set, and he has had no issues on 0 days rest this season. Roll him out as a GPP play in the hopes the Bobcats lean on him in a tough road game.
Joakim Noah (CHI) vs. BKN: $8800
As soon as people doubt Noah for one bad half on Friday night, he comes out and produces 61 FPs against the Knicks. The most versatile center in the game is an absolute beast that can never be overlooked, but is questionable for tonight’s game with a mildly sprained ankle. If he can’t go, plug Taj Gibson in at $6,200 and use the money saved elsewhere, as one of the Bulls big men should have their way with an old, slow Nets frontcourt.
Values: Timofey Mozgov is just $4000 and should see plenty of playing time as the only hope Denver has of bodying up with Nikola Pekovic.
Enes Kanter played nearly 30 minutes while Marvin Williams started and saw just 15 minutes for the Jazz last night. Kanter at $5200 and Derrick Favors at $6900 are both bargains against a Bucks team that gives up the 3rd most FPPG (46.96) to opposing centers this season.
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