The No. 10 Oklahoma City Thunder will take on the No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans in a win-or-go-home play-in game tonight. The winner will move on to one final play-in game against the Minnesota Timberwolves to determine who secures the No. 8 seed in the playoffs, and the losing team’s season will come to an end. Tip is set for 9:30 p.m. ET from Smoothie King Center.
Ahead of tonight’s game, let’s take a look at a potential DFS strategy in Showdown mode on DraftKings.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($17,100) - SGA comes with a hefty price tag, but he’s proven he’s worth the cost as he averaged nearly 50 DraftKings fantasy points per game through the regular season. He’s turned in over 40 DKFP in each of his last 19 games. Gilgeous-Alexander rested in the Thunder’s regular season finale on Sunday against the Grizzlies, but will be available for tonight’s contest.
Brandon Ingram ($16,500) - This captain pick should come as no surprise as Ingram has been instrumental to the Pelicans’ success this season. He’s fresh off a 42-point, 12-rebound, and seven-assist performance against the Timberwolves on Sunday that saw him bring in 73.5 DKFP on the night. He averaged 41.9 DKFP throughout the regular season and is poised for another big performance tonight with everything on the line.
Josh Giddey ($9,800) - Giddey isn’t cheap, but he’s fairly consistent and is the next best option from the Thunder after SGA. He averaged 37.8 DKFP per game through the regular season and hasn’t scored less than 30 in his last eight games. He also rested in the season finale on Sunday and will come in with fresh legs. Expect a solid performance from the 20-year-old guard tonight.
CJ McCollum ($8,800) - Still on the spendy side, McCollum could prove to be a must-have as he’s been one of the best players for the Pelicans all season. He’s performed well against the Thunder this season, averaging 21.5 points, 9.5 assists, and 6.5 rebounds through the two games he appeared in against OKC.
Jalen Williams ($7,600) - The rookie forward had a solid first season, but his numbers were trending down toward the end as he scored less than 30 DKFP in his final four games. Williams sat out the regular season finale and is expected to be on the floor tonight, but at this price there are better ways to spend your salary cap.
Trey Murphy III ($7,400) - This isn’t necessarily a shot at Murphy’s numbers recently, since he’s been putting in some solid performances. But his price tag doesn’t look quite as appealing when you compare him to Herbert Jones, who comes in at $6,600 and can bring in similar numbers. Additionally, Murphy only turned in 29 DKFP in the season finale and spent 40 minutes on the floor. Save a little money and opt for someone a bit cheaper like Jones.
The Pelicans won three of the four games between the two this season, although each win was by no more than four points. The Thunder came out on top in their last meeting on March 11 with a 14-point win in New Orleans. I’m expecting this to be a tight one despite the Pelicans being 5.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. I’m backing the Thunder to get a narrow win.
Final score: Thunder 109, Pelicans 107