How’s it going everybody. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for January 24th. For Thursday night, we only get four games to attack. As always, if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. Also, I recommend following me, because if anything changes with these plays below or if any injury news effects the slate, I try to address the situations I find important before tip off. @Hunta512.
C: Karl-Anthony Towns: (10,200)
Towns has been excellent in his last two (63.25 DK PPG) and now, he gets to take on The Lakers, who are always a team to attack inside. (2.71 opponent +/-) This will be The Wolves’ final meeting with LA this season and in the first three, Towns scored 54.4 DK PPG. Starting PG Jeff Teague (questionable, foot) missed their last game and when asked about the injury, he said he is currently unable to run, so his questionable tag seems rather optimistic.
He should sit out another game and when Teague, Jimmy Butler (traded), Tyus Jones (questionable, ankle, has missed three straight) and Robert Covington (out, knee) have all been off the floor this season, Towns has scored an elite 1.75 DK PPM. This game has the smallest spread of tonight’s four (MIN -1) and KAT should see 35-40 minutes. In this situation, he has a very strong chance of surpassing 60 DK points for the third straight contest.
PG: Rajon Rondo: (5,200)
Rondo (hand) will return to action tonight and he should jump right into a big role, with Lonzo Ball (ankle) and LeBron James (groin) out for The Lakers. With his injury being to his hand, Rondo isn’t expected to have a minutes limit, and even if he doesn’t start, he should play 25+ minutes, as the best remaining ball handler on LA.
When both James and Ball have been off the floor this year, Rondo has received a 1.9% usage bump, and a team high 8% assist percentage increase. He scores 1.19 DK PPM without them and should fill up the stat sheet in this matchup vs The Wolves. In the ten games that Rondo has logged 20 minutes or more as a Laker, he is averaging 30.6 DK PPG. Last, but not least, this game will be on National TV, and Rondo rarely disappoints on the big stage. I am expecting at least 25 DK points, with 40+ upside in Rondo’s return.
C: Jahill Okafor: (4,900)
This most recent Anthony Davis injury (out, finger) has resurrected Okafor. As The Pelicans’ starting center, the former third overall pick has tallied back to back doubles doubles, and at least 40 DK points in each of these last two games. (40.25 DK PPG) He has logged 33 MPG and produced 1.22 DK PPM. Tonight, he heads to OKC, to take on Thunder, who are currently a slightly above average spot for centers right now. (1.41 opponent +/-)
They have given up the 9th most RPG this season and Okafor should obtain another double double in roughly 30 minutes of work. He isn’t going to cost under $5,000 for much longer and Okafor should be attacked in all formats for this short slate.
SF/PF: Josh Jackson: (5,300)
After T.J. Warren (ankle) got hurt in the first half on Tuesday, Jackson started the second half in his place vs The Wolves. He received some extra usage with Devin Booker getting ejected in the third quarter, but Jackson exploded for 52 DK points across 31.29 minutes in the loss. Tonight, Warren, Deandre Ayton (ankle), and Richaun Holmes (foot) are all unlikely to play.
Jackson should start in place of Warren and in all the time he has played without Warren, Ayton, Trevor Ariza (traded), Isaiah Canaan (waived), Holmes, and Tyson Chandler (now with LA), Jackson is averaging 1.06 DK PPM. Regardless of the outcome of this game, Jackson should play 30+ minutes and exceed five times value at home (4.2 more DK PPG), despite this being a tough matchup vs The Blazers. (0.42 opponent +/-) His current Vegas props via Sportsbook.com, have Jackson with 16 points and 6.8 rebounds tonight. Don’t expect another massive game, but Jackson should contribute 30+ DK points.
PG: Russell Westbrook: (10,700)
Westbrook holds the top projection for this slate. He is playing against a Pelicans’ team that is down AD (1.9 opponent +/-) and both of these rank inside the top eight in pace. This tilt should be high scoring (233 O/U game total) and in 19 Thunder games this season, that have had a total of 225 points or more, Westbrook has supplied 57.22 DK PPG. The only cause for concern is that Thunder are the biggest favorites of the night (-12), but Westbrook has done extremely well when favored by double digits this season. (60.82 DK PPG in seven games)
SF/PF: Paul George: (9,600)
I worry about the blowout more with George (42.2 DK PPG when favored by double digits), but he has been great (54.56 DK PPG in L4), and could still have a huge night in this up-tempo setting.
PG: Damian Lillard: (8,400)
Lillard (hand) is questionable, but if he plays, which seems likely, he will be a very nice value vs this Suns’ defense, that is the 3rd worst unit in The NBA. (2.07 opponent +/-) He scored 46.8 DK points against them earlier this season and Lillard is averaging 47.75 DK PPG in his last seven.
PG/SG: Jrue Holiday: (8,200)
Holiday has led The Pelicans in these last two without Davis (46.75 DK PPG and a 27.95% usage rate) and is averaging 39.25 DK PPG in the seven The Brow has sat this season. Even though The Thunder have been a stout defense this season (3rd in efficiency), Holiday is averaging 47.1 DK PPG against them in two meetings. Plus, Nikola Mirotic (ankle) and E’Twaun Moore (rest) are also both out, and when all three of these players are off the floor, Holiday leads The Pelicans with 1.37 DK PPM.
C: Jusuf Nurkic: (8,000)
Nurkic has been a force as of late. (48.69 DK PPG in L4) He is contributing 4.25 defensive stats per game in this stretch and tonight, he is in a gorgeous matchup vs The Suns, who have allowed the 4th most RPG, and 3rd most points in the paint. (3.33 opponent +/-) This is the best matchup for a starting player on Thursday night and Nurkic should continue to put up big numbers.
PF/C: Julius Randle: (7,800)
This is a significant $600 price drop from last night. (35 DK points vs The Pistons) That wasn’t the greatest showing, but overall, Randle is averaging 49.44 DK PPG in the full contests AD has missed. If The Pelicans can keep this game close, Randle should have a better outing on Thursday, with him scoring 1.31 DK PPM when Davis, Moore, and Mirotic are missing.
PG/SG: Devin Booker: (7,500)
The Blazers are tough on guards (0.36 opponent +/-), but Booker has scored 1.29 DK PPM when Ariza, Warren, Ayton, Holmes, Canaan, and Chandler have all been off the court. He is rating as of one the best values of the night and this is a very modest price rag for the usage he should take on.
SF/PF: Kyle Kuzma: (6,900)
Kuzma was effected by the blowout vs The Warriors (20 DK points), but he had topped 50 DK points in his two previous games. As I said above, this Lakers Wolves game projects to be the closest of the night, and Kuzma should bounce back in this positive matchup. (1.48 opponent +/-)
PG/SG: Derick Rose: (6,500)
Surprisingly, Rose didn’t take advantage of Teague and Jones being out on Tuesday (16.25 DK points in 23.14 minutes), but we should see a better result tonight, assuming both those guards are out as expected. In the four games without Teague, Butler, and Covington, Rose is averaging 41.25 DK PPG, and The Lakers are a big pace bump for The Wolves. (2.6 possession increase and Rose is scoring 31.59 DK PPG when seeing a possession increase of 2.0 or more this season)
SF/PF: Otto Porter Jr.: (6,100)
Porter is averaging 35.3 DK PPG in his last five and he has played 30+ in four of those contests. Playing against The Warriors always brings huge blowout concerns (GSW -10), but this is still a very reasonable cost for how productive Porter has been.
SG/SF: Kelly Oubre: (5,700)
Oubre has been a really nice spark off the bench for The Suns (31.3 DK PPG in L4) and he should see a few extra minutes with Warren out. When Warren, Ariza, Chandler, Holmes, Ayton, and Canaan, have all been off the floor this season, Oubre has taken on the biggest usage difference on the team (+6.9%), and is producing a great 1.24 DK PPM. Even as a reserve, Oubre is a very similar value to Jackson tonight, and both are viable in the same lineup.
PF/C: Dragan Bender: (4,600)
If Holmes is out like I am expecting, Bender will be a great target in all formats. As The Suns’ starting center, Bender is averaging 30.25 DK PPG and 29.6 MPG, and Warren’s absence could lead to a few extra minutes.
PF/C: Kevon Looney: (4,200)
Looney has topped 30 DK points in three of his last four and he would benefit from a blowout. Furthermore, The Wizards are a prime spot for bigs. (2.37 opponent +/-, 5th in pace, and 2nd most RPG allowed)
PG/SG: Jerryd Bayless: (3,600)
With Teague and Jones out, Bayless saw his most run of the season. In 28.2 minutes vs The Suns, Bayless was outstanding, scoring 35.5 DK points on Tuesday night. Now, I think they go back to relying on Rose, but that doesn’t mean Bayless can’t outproduce this low price tag again. (0.72 DK PPM)
SF/PF: Darius Miller: (3,300)
Miller should start for Moore tonight. He receives a team high 5.1% usage increase when Davis, Moore, and Mirotic are off the court. (0.81 DK PPM) With The Pelicans very shorthanded, Miller is guaranteed for 30+ minutes, making him the best option under $4,000.
SF/PF: Jake Layman: (3,200)
Before Tuesday vs The Thunder (9.25 DK points), Layman had scored 20+ DK points in three straight games. He is supplying 19.07 DK PPG in his last seven and should get back on track vs this awful Suns’ defense, that is down multiple key players.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com