We had a strong week of NBA DFS picks in last week’s Switch and Hedge and it looks like an interesting NBA DFS slate to return to tonight. We have nine games in front of us with a ton of injuries but not a meaningful amount of value to bank on thus far. But on the plus side, as is often the case on many of the sites, pricing is softer today with NBA DFS sites hoping to lure in NFL winners (or losers) with an easier game. That means we’ll likely see a chalky Luka Doncic as well as some other top plays who are more appealing than they would be if priced accurately. I’ll take you through all of the interesting wrinkles I see on today’s slate in the latest NBA DFS Switch and Hedge.
As always in the NBA DFS Switch and Hedge, I’ll run through some of the key angles I see on tonight’s slate as of 11:30 AM on the West Coast. Follow me and tweet me @chrisspags with any feedback or questions you have! Otherwise let’s get to what I see so far for tonight’s slate.
Be sure to check out today’s NBA DFS Cash Building Blocks with EMac!
Also, check out today’s NBA Strategy Show with Josh Engleman and Dave Loughran.
Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City
Kevin Love has been ruled out with back issues for Cleveland’s game at MSG versus the Knicks. Normally this would open up opportunity for Larry Nance Jr., except that he to, is now ruled out. One would think this opens up a lot of opportunity for a priced down Tristan Thompson after he played under 30 minutes in the front end of a back-to-back. Thompson has a 21% rebound rate in limited court time without Nance and Love, a boost from his usual 17.5%. It also seems possible we see more usage for Collin Sexton and more valuable run for Cedi Osman and Ante Zizic. Zizic returned to the lineup for the first time yesterday and played 17 minutes. They’ll need some size against New York and their roughly 15 power forwards and centers.
A Potential Western Conference Barnburner
Portland visits Houston in a game with a 230.5 combined total in a game that should have feature the highest pace on the slate. Neither team defends terribly well with a 105.8 defensive efficiency rating for Houston and a 107.1 defensive efficiency rating for Portland. Damian Lillard’s low price makes him look appealing in this spot where his scoring should be needed in spades. Lillard’s had a couple down games while C.J. McCollum has thrived with 13-for-25 shooting and 54 FP on Saturday versus San Antonio. But I’d favor Lillard here for NBA DFS with his price dropping as McCollum’s rises.
Russell Westbrook also looks too cheap on the other side with 20 shot attempts in his last four games. He’s been horrible with them in his last two, shooting 6-for-20 and 5-for-21. But with the pace and Portland’s poor defense, it seems like a better spot for Westbrook. He should continue to lose rebounding upside to the expected return of Clint Capela, a consideration that cuts into Westbrook’s upside a bit. But positive regression on his shooting would make things palatable enough for him. I don’t hate the idea of playing James Harden with him either; Harden has at least 62 fantasy points in his last seven games and Portland should be able to keep this close.
Another High Total Game Out East
Milwaukee is now the fastest paced team in the league and they’ll head on the road to Chicago in a rematch of a game from the end of last week. Giannis Antetokounmpo has continued to average around 2.0 FPPM in court time without Khris Middleton and the Bulls keeping this close would help. I also wouldn’t sleep on Eric Bledsoe. His price is up a bit but he averages 1.32 FPPM without Middleton as well. Brook Lopez is less of a consideration but on a slate in need of some pay-down options, he’s not a bad choice with 0.94 FPPM in court time with Giannis and without Middleton.
Coby White had an outlandish 23 shot attempts in the Bulls’ last game versus Milwaukee. I’d be more inclined for him if current game-time decision Zach LaVine were ruled out. Otherwise, I’d be more inclined for LaVine and maybe a shot at the banged up Lauri Markkanen, whose price is down enough to pray he’s functional with some upside. Makkanen would also gain in NBA DFS appeal with no LaVine with 1.23 FPPM in court time without him, though the increased chance of a blowout if LaVine sits could increase the risk.
Chalk Luka Doncic Night?
Luka Doncic currently projects to be a top-owned play today with his price down and a game at home against the defensively unimpressive Spurs. San Antonio now has the worst defensive efficiency on the slate with 109.5, an interesting matchup given Dallas’s own weak 107.8 defensive efficiency rating. Doncic hasn’t been under 56 FP in his last five games. He’s also only been under that number twice out of his last 11 games. Given the weak defense and his depressed price, it’s hard to not love a chalky Doncic’s upside tonight. I also wouldn’t mind Kristaps Porzingis at his price; he’s had at least 17 shots in three out of his last four games. He also seems to be crashing the boards a bit harder with 15 and 11 rebounds in his last two.
With his price down, Dejounte Murray looks like the most appealing Spur. His minutes were limited by foul trouble in his last start but he seems due to see an uptick in his minutes limit soon. LaMarcus Aldridge is priced up for his big game without Murray and that makes him less appealing. I could see taking a spin on a slightly cheaper DeMar DeRozan in what should be a competitive spot, though he also sees less opportunity when Murray is active.
Some Specious NBA DFS Value At Best
Nassir Little and Danuel House look to be the top-owned value plays of the day. Little has shown precious little with 17.25 FP in 23 minutes versus Toronto and 16.5 FP in 32 minutes versus the Spurs. House is probable to play after missing a few games and he seems more interesting at a decreased price point that was substantially higher before he got hurt. Ben McLemore played pretty well without House so there’s a chance he steals some minutes away. But I’d greatly prefer House to Little in spite of that.
On The Road For The Holidays
Malcolm Brogdon is expected to be out for Indiana in a road game against Brooklyn. And Aaron Holiday had a massive workload filling in for him over the weekend versus Milwaukee. Holiday put up 18 shot attempts in 34 minutes of court time. In another pace-up spot versus a worse defense, I like Holiday’s upside despite his elevated price point. Holiday’s a 1 FPPM player in court time without Brogdon, an increase on his usual 0.88 FPPM. We should also see more usage for Myles Turner who shot 6-for-14 in that game without Brogdon, his first back in the lineup. Turner cuts into Domantas Sabonis’s upside so I’d favor the cheaper Turner right now. I also don’t mind a spin on T.J. Warren who shot a brutal 6-for-21 versus Milwaukee. With less defense here, Warren can get going with no Brogdon or Jeremy Lamb.
Kyrie Irving is currently questionable after missing last game for Brooklyn. It’s a much tougher spot for the Nets than it is for the Pacers defensively given Indiana’s 101.6 defensive efficiency rating. But I wouldn’t mind spins with Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie if Irving misses. Harris showed a lot of assist upside without Irving while Dinwiddie soaks up a ton of usage. These guys are the best chance for Brooklyn to keep it competitive, even though the three point spread favoring Brooklyn indicates Irving may give it a go tonight.
Follow me on Twitter @ChrisSpags and I’ll see you guys next time for more NBA DFS picks in the Four Corners and Switch and Hedge!