As we get ready to dive into tonight’s 10-game NBA slate, a quick reminder that we have two teams playing on the second night of a back-to-back this evening: The Clippers and the Warriors. Kawhi Leonard (injury management) was fortunately ruled out postgame on Thursday, giving us some clarity on Los Angeles, but make sure to keep an eye on Golden State as the afternoon progresses.
Enough warnings. Let’s get to some values.
PF JT Thor, Charlotte Hornets vs. Orlando Magic, $3,000
In general, I think this contest between the Hornets and the Magic is going to be a low-scoring, ugly affair. However, it’s difficult to ignore Thor at his bare minimum price tag. Though he’s yet to make much of a real impact in his three straight opportunities to start, Thor should once again be in Charlotte’s starting five, as P.J. Washington ($6,600; foot) continues to be listed as doubtful. Thor is averaging 25.4 minutes in the Hornets’ past three games, and while his usage rate playing alongside Terry Rozier ($7,700) and Kelly Oubre Jr. ($6,600) is going to be minuscule, the sophomore did grab eight rebounds and attempt eight field goals in Wednesday’s loss to Phoenix. With Charlotte operating at the league’s fastest pace over its last five matchups, Thor should be able to carve out a small role in the excess possessions and bring back at least 5x value.
SF Matisse Thybulle, Portland Trail Blazers at Atlanta Hawks, $4,000
This game owns the highest total of the slate on the DraftKings Sportsbook and it’s not incredibly hard to see why. Over each team’s past 10 contests, the Blazers sit 29th in the league in defensive rating (125.3) and the Hawks slot in 22nd (117.4). On top of that, Atlanta is sixth in the NBA in pace within that same span (101.9), meaning points should not be at a premium on Friday night in Georgia. Mostly, that will translate into another huge performance for Damian Lillard ($11,600), but don’t sleep on his teammate. Thybulle is logging over 30.0 minutes per game since joining Portland, while he’s also shooting a stunning 53.8% from distance in those six contests. As such, Thybulle’s managed to exceed 20.0 DKFP four times as a member of the Blazers, with highs of 34.0 DKFP and 39.0 DKFP — the latter performance coming on Wednesday against the Pelicans. That’s quite a bit of ceiling for an asset priced at just $4K.
PG/SG Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, $4,100
Speaking of games with massive implied totals, this slate closes out with a 10:30 p.m. ET tipoff in Los Angeles between the Lakers and the Timberwolves. Over the past 10 contests, Los Angeles and Minnesota rank first and second, respectively, in pace in Western Conference. So, in layman’s terms, this tilt could be a shootout. That should benefit all players suiting up for this matchup, but I’ve taken a specific interest in Reaves. The guard has been logging big minutes with both LeBron James (foot) and D’Angelo Russell (ankle) sidelined due to injury, and it’s been far from empty volume. To wit, Reaves has scored at least 17 points in three of his past four appearances, exceeding 30.0 DKFP on two of those occasions. In an ideal offensive environment on Friday night, I doubt the good times abruptly come to an end.
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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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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.