March 9, 2017, 8:13 pm
We have our hands full with a tricky 8-game slate tonight. Outside of Houston-Chicago, the Vegas totals for these games are pretty low across the board. You are going to have to dig a little bit for value today, paying attention to injuries as potential sources for value. That being said, at the time of writing this, I see a handful of very strong options tonight who should give you a strong chance of making money tonight. Let’s take a look.
Ricky Rubio ($6,900)
The red hot Minnesota Timberwolves (relatively speaking) look like a legitimately strong team right now, and they will need their best against the Warriors tonight on their home floor. Ricky Rubio is a large part of their success lately, and his rhythm should translate into a big performance tonight. Since All-Star Break, the point guard has a 19.5% usage rate, a 46% assist rate, and a 10% rebound rate.
Unsurprisingly, those numbers have resulted in six games of 35+ DraftKings points including games at San Antonio, at Utah, and at home versus the Mavericks, three very slow paced teams. Not many point guards contribute in all three categories like Ricky does, and those who do are much more expensive. Moreover, Rubio has quick hands, and he is averaging 2.4 steals per game over his last ten games. Curry is not careless with the ball, but a couple loose passes could turn into easy Rubio transition points.
As Minnesota eyes the last playoff seed, Coach Thibs is going to continue leaning on Rubio, Towns, and Wiggins to carry the team across the finish line. Vegas suggests that the Timberwolves will hang around in this game, so there should be little concern about a blowout. Rubio is an elite option tonight, and you may be sorry if you don’t play him.
Nicolas Batum ($6,900)
Batum briefly exited Wednesday’s game with an ankle injury, but he is probable for tonight’s matchup with the Orlando Magic. Charlotte is the home team and favored by eight with a current Vegas over/under of 208. My primary reason for selecting Batum tonight is how high his floor is. He plays 34-36 minutes almost every night, passes well, rebounds, and shoots 42.2% of his attempts from three-point land.
A 21.8% usage rate is not extraordinarily high, but in his last nine games, Batum actually has 25.4% usage. The Hornets simply do not have much scoring in their starting lineup. Jeremy Lamb and Marco Belinelli provide sparks off the bench, but Walker and Batum are the only consistent scorers in the starting lineup. Since returning from the All-Star Break, Batum is averaging 17.4 points per game despite shooting badly from the floor.
At a conservative estimate, I project Batum for a stat line of 18p-6r-4a which would suffice. But if Batum gets hot, he could realistically score 45 DraftKings points. He is an intriguing option tonight at a position lacking tons of value.
Paul George ($7,800)
PG13 has a little hot streak going right now, and I want to jump on the bandwagon while it’s cheap to do so. It’s been a roller coaster season for the Indiana Pacers who cannot thrive without big production from George. As George goes, so do the Pacers who are trying to find form in advance of the playoffs.
Evidently, Paul is feeling his shot right now because he is shooting up a storm. Over his last five games, the All-Star has taken 90 shots (18 per game). In that span, he has a TS% of .645 and an eFG% of .600. Though the hot shooting may not be sustainable, we do not need a huge shooting night for Paul to return value. At just a decent shooting percentage, PG13 should score 25.
The Pacers take on the Bucks tonight who rank 30th against opposing Small Forwards in terms of DraftKings points. Throughout the night, a variety of Bucks may try to guard #13, but none are going to have success containing him. The favorable matchup combined with the uptick in usage and hot shooting make him a stellar option for your lineups tonight.
Trevor Booker ($4,700)
Lock Booker in. Brook Lopez has been ruled out for tonight, and Trevor Booker gets a significant bump with Brook off the floor. Even with Brook healthy, Booker is worth looking at. Without Brook, I consider him a lock. This season, Booker’s usage is 20.8% with a 17.3% assist rate and 17.9% rebound rate with Brook off the court. At his usual 24-26 minutes and the above rates, Booker is basically guaranteed 20 DraftKings points.
Whether Coach Atkinson chooses to give Booker more minutes tonight remains to be seen, but that is absolutely a possibility. Lopez has been playing 30 minutes per game, and without those 30 minutes, Booker will need to get more burn unless the Nets run small all night which is improbable.
The Nets play the Mavericks tonight who play at a very slow pace. However, the Mavericks are a terrible rebounding team. Despite the slow pace, Trevor Booker could still register a double-double tonight and should provide you with a big fantasy night at the power forward position. Play him in cash and tourneys.
Clint Capela ($5,200)
There are not many plays in basketball that are more beautiful than the Harden alley-oops to Clint Capela. In his last three starts, the Rockets big man has produced DraftKings totals of 42.25, 24.75, and 38 points against Memphis, San Antonio, and Utah respectively. These are impressive results against slow paced teams, and especially impressive is that these totals come without a single block.
Capela averages 1.3 blocks per game, so if we get a block or two tonight from Capela, it’s hard to imagine him falling short of 25 DraftKings points given his recent performances. Clint is not a flashy player (besides when he is slamming alley-oops from Harden), but he rebounds efficiently and can finish around the rim. Tonight against Chicago, I expect conditions under which Capela can succeed.
The Bulls are a notoriously poor shooting team, meaning more rebounds to go around. And when there are more rebounds to go around, Clint is going to grab a few of them. With his low price tag, I really like the security and upside of Capela. I’ll be rostering him in both cash games and tournaments.