What’s up everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for January 8th, 2018. Tonight we get back to a full slate with eight games on tap. 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: Karl-Anthony Towns: (9,200) Towns is coming off a nice showing vs The Pelicans on Saturday night, dropping 21 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block in the blowout win. (51.5 DK points) Tonight, he will be playing at home , where we will all know he is a better player, in the best game of the night to target, with this Wolves-Cavs game having a small spread of only a point and a O/U game total of 222.5 points, which is the second highest total of the slate, only trailing The Warriors Nuggets game, that has blowout concerns with The Warriors favored by 10 points. As I just mentioned, KAT has been a far more productive player at home this season averaging 5.9 more DK points a game on his home floor. In the two home games this season that The Wolves are either favored or been the dogs by no more than two points, Towns is averaging a whopping 58.88 DK points a game.
Plus, this is a good matchup for him, with The Cavs allowing the fifth most rebounds in The NBA over their last three games, currently sitting at an opponent +/- of 2.76 points. This is the first time he will face LeBron and The Cavs this season, but in his last four meetings with Cleveland, Towns is averaging 45.4 DK points, which is right around what we need him to score tonight to meet value. He is averaging 51.3 DK points over his last eight home games and I am expecting another 50+ DK point outing from him on Monday night. He shouldn’t be priced under $10,000 in this situation and he is a great value that should can be used with confidence in all formats.
PF/C: Montrezl Harrell: (4,300) Nothing is official, but with PF Blake Griffin (concussion) out tonight, Harrell has a good chance of starting tonight at PF. Griffin only made it through ten minutes of Saturday’s game vs The Warriors before exiting, forcing Harrell to log 32 minutes off the bench. In these minutes he was solid scoring nine points to go along with ten rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. (27.5 DK points) Even if he doesn’t start tonight, he should play 25-30 minutes again, which is plenty of time for him to get us value.
He is scoring an efficient 1.14 DK points per minute this season and in this awesome matchup vs The Hawks, who have struggled defending opposing big men all season (5.14 opponent +/-), I think Harrell produces 20-25 DK points with decent upside if he can get a double double. There is risk here because this situation hasn’t always worked out in the games Griffin has sat, but after his performance on Saturday and with how ineffective PF Sam Dekker has been, I think Harrell is worth a shot at this decently low price that would become an even better play if we got word he was starting.
SG/SF: Caris LeVert: (5,200) LeVert has missed the last two games with a groin injury, but is listed as probable and expected to return for this tilt vs The Raptors. Before this minor set back, LeVert was balling off the bench for The Nets, scoring 30+ DK points in four straight games, averaging 36 DK points over his last five. In these five contests, his rates were excellent, posting a 27.4% usage rate and a team high 41.3% assist percentage, helping him average 0.96 DK points per minute. He has been playing roughly 30 minutes a game off the bench and he should see close to 30 minutes again tonight and have the potential for a little more, with starting SF DeMarre Carroll out with a rib injury.
I doubt LeVert starts because they like him coming off the bench, but he sees a solid 4.4% assist percentage bump without Carroll this season (along with all the other usual Nets who have been out or traded) and is scoring 37 DK points per 36 minutes. This matchup isn’t ideal vs The Raptors who are the sixth best defense in the league, but he is just underpriced for how well he has been playing and the small bump he should see without Carroll. His price has dropped $500 since his last time suiting up and he is a fine value that presents a nice combination of safety and upside at this salary.
PG: Jawun Evans: (4,100) Evans drew the start on Saturday with both guards Austin Rivers (heel) and Milos Teodosic (foot) out vs The Warriors. His minutes were cut slightly short because of foul trouble, but he was very effective as the starter, scoring 29 DK points in 28 minutes, while seeing a 26.2% usage rate and team high 41.2% assist percentage. This wasn’t the first time we have seen the rookie play well with an expanded role and in two previous games this season that The Clippers had Teodosic, but were without all of Rivers, PF Blake Griffin, PG Patrick Beverly (knee), and SF Danilo Gallinari (glute), he averaged 25.5 DK points a game.
Now, when you take Teodosic out of the picture, which is expected to be the case, even though he is listed as questionable, Evans should start again and have to play 30-35 minutes vs The Hawks. With all of these Clippers off the court this season, he is seeing a 3.2% usage bump and is scoring 30 DK points per 36 minutes of action. On top of the expanded work load he should handle, this is a very strong matchup vs The Hawks, who are the 6th worst rated defense in the league this season. (4.32 opponent +/-) Hawks’ starting PG Dennis Schroder may be a gifted offensive player, but he has always struggled on the defensive end and Evans should be able to score 25-30 DK points in this spot. Even if Teodosic somehow ends up playing, Evans would likely still start and have to play a good amount with The Clippers so thin. The $4,100 price tag is very friendly and I will be using Evans in both cash games and GPPs.
Also Consider: Bobby Portis (Nikola Mirotic is listed as doubtful due to an illness. Portis should play 20-25 minutes and is averaging 24 DK points in the 14 games he has played in without Mirotic this season. Would be a great value if he started), Tyrone Wallace (in his first game with the team he scored 25.75 DK points in 31 minutes. Assuming Teodosic sits this one out, Wallace is a viable punt play that should play 25-30 minutes off the bench), Lou Williams (he is priced correctly, but the upside is enormous with The Clippers so beat up. He sees a team high 5% usage increase with all of these players off the court, scoring 44 DK points per 36 minutes, which is right around what he should play tonight), Kris Dunn (the massive blowout Saturday really hurt him and this a decent spot for him to rebound at home going against The Rockets), Eric Gordon (ownership should be lower than usual after sub par game vs The Pistons. This matchup vs The Bulls is strong at a 4.81 opponent +/-), Gerald Green (everything I just said with Gordon goes for Green as well. I am not fond of this price, especially with better values available, but he will always be worth a look in GPPs until Harden returns), Trey Lyles (36 DK points over his last five), Domantas Sabonis, David Bertans (over 20 DK points in three straight games and Gasol and Aldridge or possibly both should be limited or rested on this second leg of a back to back), and Kyle Anderson. (Leonard and Gay are both still out. He is averaging 25 DK points in the four games these two were out this season)