Welcome back everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for January 24th, 2018. Tonight we get a large slate with nine games to target. Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 7:00PM EST lock, to see if any new injury news comes up. As always if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
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C: Dwight Howard: (8,200) Howard has been dominant, notching five straight doubles, averaging 45 DK PPG over his last five. If you don’t include the 28 point win over The Wizards, which limited his minutes (29), he is playing a higher 34.4 MPG over the last week in a half. Tonight, they are going to need his size vs Demarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, and he should play roughly 35 minutes in this contest that has a small spread of two points in favor of The Hornets. Furthermore, this game has the highest O/U game total of Wednesday night at 224 points. You would think a frontline of Cousins and Davis would be a tough matchup for centers, but it has been the opposite recently, with them rating as a 4.43 opponent +/- for centers.
They have been allowing a high amount of rebounds in their last three games (54.3) and Dwight has a really good chance of getting his sixth straight double double in this matchup. It is always a concern rostering the opposing big man vs The Pelicans because Cousins and AD can get anyone in foul trouble, but Howard is only averaging 2.4 fouls per game in his last five and no matter what, they need his toughness and size vs this Pelicans team, so I am sure they would let him play until he fouls out if he was dealing with foul trouble in this game. He is averaging an excellent 1.34 DK PPM in these past five games and Howard is one of my favorite plays of this slate, that will give you a share of the highest total of the night.
PG: Dejounte Murray: (4,800) SG Manu Ginobili and center Pau Gasol are excepted to return after being rested last night, but either way, Murray is still too cheap for his new role as The Spurs’ starting PG. Last night, he was tremendous for us, putting up 19 points, ten rebounds, seven steals, and three assists across 30 minutes in the win over The Cavs. (49.5 DK points) No, tonight he won’t be taking on one of the worst defenses in The NBA, but this matchup is still decent vs The Grizzlies. The rank in the middle of the pack in efficiency this season (16th) and have been a solid matchup for opposing starting PGs with Mike Conley (Achilles) out, currently rating as a 2.34 opponent +/-. This game has the lowest O/U game total of the slate (193.5 points), but its small spread of 1.5 points should help Murray approach 30 minutes again tonight.
He is averaging 1.3 DK PPM in these last two games as a starter and even though the matchup and game environment isn’t perfect, Murray should be able to get over five times value at this cheap price, that has only increased $200 from last night. Yet again, he is one of the strongest plays on the board and must be considered on Wednesday night. Also, with this being the second night of a back to back, The Spurs may elect to rest some veterans. As of right now it is unclear if this is the plan, but Murray wouldn’t be one of those players being rested and say if it was back up PG Tony Parker being rested or SG Danny Green, Murray’s rates and minutes would become more stable than already are. UPDATE: Manu, Gay, Leonard, and now Aldridge have all been ruled out. In the one game these four sat this season, Murray scored 42.5 DK points in 39.5 minutes. Don’t expect this kind of playing time, but his usage should be higher and the minutes should be right around 30-35. Also, David Bertans should start at the four. In that one game without these four vets, he put up 32.5 DK points in 29.5 minutes. He is viable in all formats at only $3,900 even though this a tougher matchup.
PF/C: Montrezl Harrell: (4,700) Harrell rebounded after his slow game vs The Jazz on Saturday night (14.75 DK points), with a 32 DK point outing vs The Wolves. He is now averaging 27.2 DK points in 27 minutes in the five games starting center Deandre Jordan (ankle) has sat this season. Jordan is listed as doubtful and isn’t expected to be available tonight vs The Celtics, which opens up 25+ minutes for Harrell off the bench. He is averaging 1.01 DK PPM in these five games without Jordan and in tentative projection of 25 minutes, Harrell should top 25 DK points vs this Celtics defense.
The Celtics are one of the better defensive units in the league this season, but they have been vulnerable vs opposing big men as of late. Last night, both Julius Randle (35.5 DK points) and Larry Nance Jr. (26.25 DK points) of The Lakers had their way with this defense inside and I don’t see Harrell having any issues vs this defense. (2.44 opponent +/-) He has shown us his low floor in this stretch during this stretch without Jordan, but this $4,700 is a bargain for him when considering he was $5,100 on Monday. I am expecting 25-30 DK points from Harrell and will be using him in both cash games and GPPs.
SG/SF: Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot: (3,900) With both guards J.J. Redick (leg) and Jerryd Bayless (wrist) out these past two games, TLC has started at the two and is averaging 25.4 DK PPG and 29.4 MPG. His usage isn’t anything eye popping (17.3%), but he is averaging a very serviceable 0.86 DK PPM in these past two starts. Both Sixers’ guards are listed as out again and TLC will draw another start vs The Bulls.
This is a solid spot, with The Bulls currently presenting an opponent +/- of 2.99 points. In close to 30 minutes of action, TLC should be able to score 20+ DK points for the third straight game. He doesn’t have a high ceiling, but his cheap price of only $3,900, makes him one of the better punts of this nine game slate.
Also Consider: Kyle Anderson (awesome Vegas prop implied DK projection of 33.5 DK points), Ben Simmons (he is underpriced and the matchup is good vs The Bulls, but he has struggled lately), Kemba Walker (40+ DK points in two straight and is at home, where he is always better. The matchup vs The Pelicans is great at a 6.07 opponent +/-), Dennis Schroder (matchup is tough vs The Raptors, but he is underpriced at $6,800, he is averaging 40.1 DK PPG over his last five), Neman Bjelica (37.25 DK points in 35 minutes last game with Jimmy Butler and Jamal Crawford out. Both are listed as questionable and if they were both out again, Neman would start and would be a viable option even at a higher price), Andrew Wiggins (has been awesome without Butler and Crawford, averaging 45 DK points in these past two games. His usage has been high at 33.2% and he would be a great play if both are out again. He would still be in play if it was just Butler who sat), Jerian Grant (will start again for Dunn), Dennis Smith Jr. (30+ DK points in six straight games), Darius Miller (25 DK PPG in his last three. Is averaging 34 minutes during this time), Al Horford, and Robert Convington. (34 DK PPG in these last two without Redick and Bayless)