I am having trouble mustering the courage to roster Russell Westbrook ($12,200) tonight. Needing a massive 73.2 DraftKings points to reach 6x value, he has a ton of things going against him tonight. It’s the second game of the B2B, after being stifled by the Celtics last night. The Thunder will now travel to MEM and this game is pinned with a 198.5 O/U. That is by far the lowest total of the year for an OKC game, with their average O/U being 211.6. I really hate teams that see a downgrade from Vegas totals and this downgrade is massive.
On the other hand, a nice upgrade to the Celtics tonight including Isaiah Thomas ($7,100) who average a 204.5 O/U this season and have been posted with a 209 total tonight against the Rockets. Houston has been miserable this season and will be without the services of top defender Patrick Beverley tonight. Thomas has been pouring in real points this season, averaging 20.8 on the season. He’s also carving out a nice niche in distributing the ball, dishing out 18 assists in the last two games. He’s the team’s most potent offensive threat in a game where a lot of points should be scored this evening.
He’s a volatile option, but Jordan Clarkson ($5,200) should make for an interesting play tonight. Clarkson is not afraid to shoot the ball, with 13 FGA per game this season and 51 in the last four games. He’s coming off two really solid games in a row, with 37 and 27.5 DraftKings points and should benefit from Kobe Bryant not playing this evening. This game has the second highest O/U on the slate, so Clarkson should see boost from many different factors.
James Harden ($10,300) is the preferred “stud” of the night. He is stuffing the stat-sheet for a struggling Rockets team right now, averaging 56.3 DraftKings points per game over the L5. He is continually asked to shoulder the entire offense and that won’t change tonight. The Rockets are banged up right now with no Patrick Beverley, and Howard, Harrell and Ariza all making appearances on the injury report this morning. Harden should be able to attack a BOS team that has struggled against SGs and had to deal with OKC last night.
Want a buy low candidate? How about Nik Stauskas ($4,500)? I am talking REALLY low considering he scored -1 DraftKings point in 18 minutes in his last time out. That game should be an outlier for Stauskas who is still averaging 20.6 DraftKings points per game even after that miserable showing on Saturday night. Stauskas is viewed favorably by HC Brett Brown and should continue to see a 30+ minutes for the Sixers. Dallas has been porous defensively this season and has allowed 26% of their points to the 3 point shot. That’s in the bottom eight of the league and the specialty of Nike Stauskas. That’s a nice combination for him to get back on track tonight.
Let’s talk about the Pacers right now. They have three rotation players who have already been ruled out for tonight in Rodney Stuckey, George Hill and Myles Turner. That’s a lot of minutes of production up for grabs tonight. It’s easy to think that Monta Ellis ($5,800) will play more of a PG role and should handle the ball more, increasing his value. Obviously Paul George ($9,200) will be asked to do even more and the offense should run through him. George has been dynomite this season, averaging 51.1 DraftKings points per game over the L6. Finally, Chase Budinger ($3,000) should see additional run, but my favorite play might be Ian Mahinmi ($3,900). Mahinmi has scored 20+ in four of his last five games and should be taking on all the minutes he can handle tonight. The matchup is sublime, as the Bulls have allowed the most DraftKings points per game to opposing centers this season. Mahinmi is a sneaky double-double option.
Jared Sullinger ($5,800) continues to be under-priced. This guy hasn’t scored less than 29.75 DraftKings points in any of the last six games and is averaging 34.9 DraftKings points per game in that span. He has logged a double-double in three of his last four games and gets a nice boost from playing HOU tonight as the Celtics should be expected to see a few extra possessions.
Take a look at Mason Plumlee ($5,500) as a value option at center this evening. “Plumdog Millionaire” has averaged 28.3 DraftKings points in his last four games which is very close to the points needed to provide 6x value at his salary tonight. San Antonio, playing without a true center, is having a tough time underneath the basket this season and is allowing the 5th most DraftKings points to opposing centers. With Meyers Leonard already ruled out, Plumlee should continue to see solid minutes.
That’s all folks! Remember to follow me on Twitter for more analysis as news and injuries break closer to tip-off. Commentary based on DraftKings Strategy and scoring.