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NBA Switch And Hedge: Buddy Hield And The Kings’ Astonishing Season Look Primed To Keep It Rolling Vs Minnesota

Chris Spags



See the best NBA betting picks today for Mavericks vs. Kings, including NBA odds, lines, props, betting trends, prediction for tonight.

Tonight’s NBA slate is one of my favorites we’ve had so far with some important early news like Goran Dragic and Kyrie Irving’s absences opening up some interesting plays and some surprisingly lower owned spots that seem like they could be huge to me (particularly the Kings; mentally prepare yourself now for how insanely in love I am with the Kings today). I’m super enthusiastic about this slate so I’ll do my best to bring that effervescence to you as we go through all the games and their fantasy NBA implications.

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Washington Wizards (110.5 implied points) at Orlando Magic (108.5 implied points)

-The Wizards get a mostly insignificant 0.8 point boost on their season total from Vegas with the Magic getting a big time 6.7 boost on theirs in this game with an adjusted pace of 104.2

Dwight Howard currently projects to be the highest owned guy in his return to Orlando and the rebounding matchup does seem like one that would benefit him. I worry a little about Howard’s usage though with him getting just 7.3 shots per game on a 15.1% usage rate. John Wall and Bradley Beal really hog the ball and they’re not placating him with post touches like Charlotte did last season

-I’ve got no issue with Wall or Beal but I don’t love the potential pace of this game for their prices. There’s no issue playing either though given bad Orlando defense on the other side and I’d be far more inclined to roster one of them than point chase a rare Otto Porter good game

-Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Nikola Vucevic looks like he’s in a great spot. Vucevic has let me down three straight times and I don’t consider him a guy you can bank on with how the offense can move away from him in this Orlando squad. But the matchup versus Dwight and a hideous rebounding Wizards team should allow Vuc to really put up some stats, a nice blend with his price down to $8,100 on DraftKings

Evan Fournier’s price is up for him but he’s been smashing lately and now gets a matchup versus a Wiz team allowing 47.5% from the floor and 39% from three, both among the most beneficial on the slate. He can always have a horrid shooting day that sinks you but Fournier is in a great spot once again. Terrence Ross is the pivot if he falters and he’s only going to be safe then, though his 25+ min of run and a 24% usage rate have been solid since Jonathan Isaac went out

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Aaron Gordon might be the best play on this side given the pace, rebounding failures of the Wizards, and the fact that the Wizards allow one of the highest on the slate dunk rates at 6.6% of opponent FG attempts. Gordon should be able to knife these Wizards and also make more of his jumpers

-I’m still iffy on DJ Augustin but his 30 fantasy point upside recently should be noted. I wouldn’t bank on him given the usage likely to flow elsewhere but some exposure makes sense


Charlotte Hornets (110 implied points) at Philadelphia 76ers (116 implied points)

-The Vegas totals indicate a 5.5 point drop for the Hornets’ season average and a 5.3 point boost for the 76ers in a game with a better than average on this slate adjusted pace of 105.2

Kemba Walker strafed these same 76ers for 37 points on 11 for 37 shooting a few weeks back and the Sixers have had serious issues defending high usage scorers, as seen with the career half they allowed Victor Oladipo the other night. Kemba’s usage has come back down a bit in recent weeks but if the game stays close it’s going to likely be at his hand

Jeremy Lamb also strikes me as a good matchup for these Sixers but his minutes and effectiveness are a bit too fluid to bank on. I’d be more inclined to pay his price than Nic Batum’s but that’s not saying much

Ben Simmons had a tough game versus these Hornets last time but it does seem like a nice spot for him, particularly with the Hornets allowing dunks on 6.9% of opponent field goals and layups on 30.9%. Any game where Simmons has a shot of getting to the rack seems like one I’d want him in but the Hornets’ slower pace does spook me a little at his price

Joel Embiid was the better play for the Sixers last time out but with his price is still pretty egregiously high at $11,200 on DraftKings. I’d probably rather play Simmons as a result given some of the other center plays out there but that in itself may be a reason to play Embiid at 5% projected ownership

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Dario Saric broke the 30 fantasy point barrier for the first time this season and his shot has been due for some positive regression all year. I don’t mind chasing him or going back to Robert Covington but with the ownership for both those guys and JJ Redick expected to be over 20%, it might be a better leverage play to go Simmons or Embiid


Detroit Pistons (115 implied points) at Atlanta Hawks (110 implied points)

-The Vegas totals represent a 5.6 point boost on the Pistons’ season average and a minor .4 point boost on the Hawks in this game with a slate high adjusted pace of 106.7

Andre Drummond has been a monster in games lately and a matchup versus a Hawks team who doesn’t rebound particularly well or defend anything seems like a nice spot for him. The pace would likely put me onto Blake Griffin more, but he’s joined the five figure price club on DK with a $10,000 salary so Drummond may actually be the move. Both guys here can easily hit value though and will be in my player pool despite the prices

Langston Galloway seems to be wresting minutes away from the gimpy Reggie Bullock lately and he is very much not a guy to bank on who could end up having a monster day if he sees court time. Bullock is likely to get first crack again as starter though and it may be wise to play him and hope he snaps out of his funk that has him shooting 29.9% from the floor and 23.3% from three to start the year. A porous Hawks D allowing 47.1% from the floor and 38.1% from three could help

Reggie Jackson has also had some up and down performances lately but it may shock you to hear that Trae Young defense isn’t much to be concerned about. His shot has been bad this year, 35.9% from the floor, but if he sees enough volume with the easy shots coming for Blake and Andre, he could have a day

Taurean Prince has been my kryptonite early this year with him perennially seeming like he’s in a good spot only to let me down. That $5,600 price on DraftKings is tempting to ride with him again and I’ll have some exposure after he picked up 31 minutes despite coming off the bench last time out…though that will decrease a bit with the return of Kevin Huerter

Trae Young’s usage has been noteworthy, particularly if Prince remains out of the starting lineup. I don’t mind deploying him here even if I worry a bit about the D on the other side. It may be a spot where Jeremy Lin gets going again versus the second unit

DeAndre Bembry has been under 10% usage since gaining more run in the rotation and while he’s an okay play with some upside in matchups with weak rebounding, this doesn’t seem like the one for him. I’d also avoid point chasing Omari Spellman even though I do think some exposure could make sense. If Prince starts, I would have less interest since it did seem like Spellman soaked up a lot of his shot attempts


Indiana Pacers (105.5 implied points) at Miami Heat (106.5 implied points)

-The Pacers’ Vegas total is flat with their season average while the Heat’s is a 5 point drop on theirs in a game with a low adjusted pace of 102.1

Victor Oladipo has been on a tear that included a 36 point game versus Philly last time out with most of his damage done in the first half. The Heat are technically a pace up for the Pacers and Oladipo can have another nice day even though his price marching upwards isn’t the best

Domantas Sabonis has been killing it lately and he also saw fourth quarter run alongside Myles Turner versus Philly, a situation that would be a huge boost for his minutes prospects. It’s not a great matchup here versus Miami but Sabonis has a far better shot against Hassan Whiteside than Myles Turner does

Darren Collison has been hemorrhaging minutes lately and saw Cory Joseph lead the team in the 4th versus Philly instead of him. It’s not a bad spot for him to get back on track tonight with him likely playing for his role, especially without Goran Dragic’s feisty defense on the other side

Hassan Whiteside looks like a strong play again to me here after he was probably one of the best plays I’ve had this season versus the Spurs the other day. The key to success there was a down pace matchup that allowed Whiteside to get into position to wreak havoc defensively and offensively and the slow gunning Pacers would fit the bill too. There may be some point chasing his way but the price-up could keep him comparably low owned (and I’m faintly terrified of him getting into foul trouble immediately as he tries to follow up his massive block party)

-With Dragic out, Josh Richardson has been the main beneficiary in the past and he faltered versus the Spurs despite getting up 22 shots. It’s another tough defensive matchup so I could go either way here. Some exposure makes sense given the low ownership

Tyler Johnson also remains a fine punt play with Dragic out despite the tough matchup and Rodney McGruder has been decent without Dragic as well. I’d only expect one maybe two guys max to get value here given the extreme pace down but some exposure to these pieces who get a boost sans Dragic makes sense


Brooklyn Nets (101.3 implied points) at Denver Nuggets (111.3 implied points)

-Team totals here would indicate an 8.2 drop on the Nets’ season average and a 1.8 boost for the Nets in a game with a lowest on the slate 100.6 adjusted pace

-It’s hard to love the Nets much with a pace down versus a defensively efficient Nuggets team who also takes 15.2 seconds to put up a shot on average, highest on this slate. I’d be okay with Caris Levert, particularly if he’s much lower owned than D’Angelo Russell as our ownership projections currently indicate. LeVert and Russell have had very similar usage but LeVert’s been better with it, flat out. Russell’s price makes him a compelling upside play for a guy who can throw up 20 shots a game though

-I could see Spencer Dinwiddie’s shot creation for others being an asset here if Russell falters and his price is also pretty appealing despite the paceless matchup. It also sort of feels like one of those days where Jarrett Allen inexplicably has a monster game but I see no data reason that would be the case

-The Nets have also been a fairly down pace squad and not as bad defensively as you’d think either with them really limiting threes in particular. We just saw Jamal Murray crush in a similar spot vs the Celtics (who seem to have their own issues after getting lit up by the Suns) and I could definitely see him doing something similar if the game breaks his way. He’s currently the projected lowest owned guy on this side and while I get it from a price perspective, it’s a little nuts with Murray’s rising usage rate

Gary Harris is super cheap at $5,900 on DK and his usage has still been there even with Murray’s ascension. I’d be more inclined towards him than the gimpy Paul Millsap

-I’m a little less into Nikola Jokic at his price with some other nice center plays we’ve outlined. Jokic does seem due for a game where he gets back into the groove but he’s shot the ball three times and once in his last two games and that is not a good situation even with his ability to put up stats elsewhere


Boston Celtics (101.5 implied points) at Utah Jazz (106.5 implied points)

-The Celtics’ total represents a 3.8 drop for them in this game sans Kyrie Irving while the Jazz’s total is a 4 point decrease on their season average in this game with a bottom tier 102.2 adjusted pace

Terry Rozier’s ownership will likely rise throughout the day as news of Kyrie’s absence trickles down and that makes sense even though he has disappointed as chalk in the past. I don’t have any issue playing him but I would mitigate my exposure a bit

-The biggest beneficiary of Kyrie being off the court this season so far has been Al Horford, a guy averaging 1.45 FPPM in a limited sample size compared to his usual 0.99 FPPM

Jayson Tatum should also pick up some usage here and after disappointing wildly a four point game versus the Suns, I’m curious to see if he goes full alpha mode in a winnable matchup for him versus Utah. Jaylen Brown wasn’t quite as bad as Tatum yesterday but it’s a similar opportunity for him too

Marcus Morris should also see a slight uptick in scoring and with his reliability, I’m okay with that play too. I’m less inclined towards Gordon Hayward in a back to back but revenge game blah blah at his price it can make sense

-The Celtics should be better defensively with Kyrie off the court and after being embarrassed by the Suns last night, I’m not super into the Jazz today. Donovan Mitchell fits the profile of the guys who’ve strafed the Celtics lately but he is very much not a dude to trust

-You could talk me into Rudy Gobert a little with him likely to have the run of the house versus a poor rebounding Celtics team. Horford has handled Gobert well in the past but with some extra offense possibly needed from him, his defense and energy could suffer on the other end


Minnesota Timberwolves (116.8 implied points) at Sacramento Kings (113.8 implied points)

-The Wolves get a 6.2 point boost on their season average while the Kings get a 3.8 point drop on theirs in this high pace matchup with an adjusted pace of 106.6

Derrick Rose is priced up but this is another spot for him where he should really excel. Hs usage since moving into the starting lineup for Jeff Teague has been stellar and while the $6,800 DraftKings price is a tough pill to swallow, I think he still has upside with how he’s played and this matchup

-To me Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns are plays we know the upsides and downsides of at this point; as long as Butler is active, he’s a good play while KAT can end up moping around the court at any moment because he is mentally very weak. That doesn’t always stop him from hitting value or even crushing, but it does make him hard to bank on. This matchup is a perfect one for him so play him but know the risk involved with Towns hurting you as he sulks

Taj Gibson has really seized the day with Towns’ malaise and this matchup for him could be a great one with how he’s been rolling. It’s Taj Gibson so there’s some risk but his rebounding and usage have been stellar the last few games by his standards and this is not a matchup that will cause much issue

Andrew Wiggins’ shot selection has been much better this season and I’ve got no issue with him here given the pace at hand. This game will not lack for points and scoring opportunities

De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield would be the pieces I want most on the Kings side and the pace of this matchup might actually have me favor Fox, though it’s worth noting Buddy Hield has been rock solid even in much tougher defensive matchups versus Milwaukee and Toronto recently. Both guys are fine plays to me and I will have a bunch of them

Willie Cauley-Stein has struggled in the past vs the Wolves but this matchup seems like a really strong one for him with the Wolves allowing opponents a high 7.2% dunk rate and 50.1 rebounds per game. Demotivated Towns is offering no resistance inside and Willie could feast if he gets enough looks and rim runs

-I am here for the Nemanca Bjelica revenge game too; a bad defense like this with easy rebounds to go around is the perfect spot for him to do high ceiling Bjelica things. If he hits foul trouble, Marvin Bagley should feast too

-I have not been an Iman Shumpert guy at all this season but at his price, I don’t mind it in this game either. Go Kings go, apparently. What a wild NBA season


I’ll be back later on the Awesemo YouTube with our Live Before Lock show with Fast Eddie Fear so tune in there, follow me on Twitter @ChrisSpags, and I’ll be back on Monday with more in-depth NBA analysis for freeeeeee.

Chris Spags is the senior director of editorial strategy at and contributes to the site's NBA, NFL, and MLB coverage as a writer and host of video content. Chris's content background from sites like Guyism, Uproxx, and Barstool Sports allows him to bring a unique spin to the world of daily fantasy sports analysis. Chris writes regular columns with NBA and NFL analysis as well as his inimitable style and his 'Four Corners' videos for basketball, baseball, and football DFS are the primary short form content offering on Awesemo's YouTube channel. You can find him on almost any given night providing analysis right up to slate lock on Awesemo's flagship Live Before Lock livestreams or on Twitter @ChrisSpags. You can contact Chris by emailing [email protected].

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