DraftKings NBA Starts of the Night – 1/27/17

It’s Friday, you ain’t got no job (or do you?), and you ain’t got shit to do! So, instead of stealing boxes, or smoking the day away, why not let me help you make some money on DraftKings? But before we jump into the best values at each position, let’s take a trip to Vegas… It’s on me.

Of the 10 games on tap tonight, the 3 highest over/under totals come to us from the Magic at Celtics (215), Rockets at 76ers (221), and Nets at Cavs (228), and those 3 matchups also provide the 3 highest individual projected team totals: Celtics (112), Rockets (114), and Cavs (122).

Makes sense.

The Rockets, Cavs, and Celtics are all in the Top-10 in offensive efficiency, as well as points per game; with all 3 teams averaging at least 108 ppg. More points leads to more assists, more rebounds, and more fantasy points. That’s groundbreaking analysis.

Now ideally, the combination we’re looking for is good offense vs. bad defense (since we’re keeping it elementary), and the defensive side of things is a bit more murky. While the Nets, Rockets, and Celtics all fall in the Top-10 in points allowed, only the Nets and Celtics are in the Bottom-10 in defensive efficiency, and the 76ers actually rank in the Top-10.

Now, unless you’ve been boycotting all sports media for the past few weeks, you’re well aware that the Sixers have been one of the hottest teams in the league since the ball dropped. And the main reason for their 9-3 January record? Defense (and Joel Embiid).

On the season, the league average for points allowed per game is right at 105, and the Sixers have allowed at least 105 in only 5 of their 12 January games. And on the month, they’re actually below the league average, allowing only 100.8 ppg which would put them at #5 in the league on the season (for what it’s worth, Philly has been average in defending the 3, and the Rockets lead the league in 3 pointers attempted).

Now no, I’m not saying to fade James Harden, but I am I saying that based on statistical analysis, and recent play, the Vegas numbers might be a little on the high side. That said, using the Vegas projections as the baseline, the Top-3 matchups to target are:

  1. Magic at Celtics
  2. Nets at Cavs
  3. Rockets at 76ers

But, enough of that on to…

The DraftKings Starts of the Night
Guard

*Tier 1: $8,000+, Tier 2: $8,000 – $6,000, Tier 3: $6,000 – $4,000, Tier 4: Under $4,000

Tier 1: Kyrie Irving – CLE vs. BKN ($8,300)

Choosing a guard from this tier, is a bit like choosing the best Victoria’s Secret swimsuit model. You really can’t go wrong. However, the Nets have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing Point Guards on the season, and at only $8,300, Kyrie provides the most value.

No team has allowed more rebounds, only 2 have allowed more points, and only 3 have allowed more assists per game to opposing PGs than Brooklyn, and LeBron claims the Cavs need a fucking playmaker! Well, you can expect Kyrie to make plenty of plays tonight. The only concern here is that the Cavs build a big lead, and Kyrie sees less minutes than usual. But, with the way Cleveland has been playing lately, I wouldn’t put much weight in that.

Tier 2: Nicolas Batum – CHA at NYK ($7,300)

Batum has struggled from the floor in his 7 games since returning from a knee injury, and has failed to put up 20 points in any of those games. But, here’s the thing… He does everything else. He’s virtually a lock for 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, and it’s only a matter of time before he finds his shot. Even if he continues to struggle from the floor, he’s averaging 13 ppg over those 7, and the Knicks have struggled against opposing 2 guards. Making tonight the perfect matchup for him to get back on track.

Tier 3: Patrick Beverley – HOU at PHI ($5,200)

Eric Gordon is listed as Doubtful for tonight’s game which opens the door for a bigger role in the offense for PBev. Couldn’t have come at a better time. After battling a wrist injury most of the season, he appears to be fully recovered, and his improved shooting numbers as of late are a direct reflection. Oh, and Philly averages the most turnovers per game, and Beverley is tied with Russell Westbrook for #18 in steals per game at 1.57. He should pick up a few steals, and do just enough scoring, and on the boards to be well worth the $5,200.

Tier 4: Spencer Dinwiddie – BKN at CLE ($3,400)

Yes, Spencer Dinwiddie may sound like a character from a nursery rhyme, but don’t let that fool you into thinking he can’t ball. Double figure points in 3 of the Nets last 4 games, and he should continue to see extended run with Jeremy Lin sidelined for a few weeks. The Nets roster is already sparse with scorers, and the loss of Trevor Booker doesn’t help. Given the matchup, and the opportunity, Dinwiddie’s upside at $3,400 is well worth the risk.

Forward

*Tier 1: $8,000+, Tier 2: $8,000 – $6,000, Tier 3: $6,000 – $4,000, Tier 4: Under $4,000

Tier 1: LeBron James – CLE vs. BKN ($10,200)

Remember that comment about needing a playmaker? Guess what LeBron? It’s you. The Cavs have lost 3 straight, and 6 of 10… LeBron clearly isn’t delighted. He’s produced back-to-back triple-doubles, and there isn’t a single player on the Nets roster capable of stopping an angry LeBron. Or any form of LeBron for that matter.

Tier 2: Serge Ibaka – ORL at BOS ($6,300)

Ibaka was traded to Orlando, and lost every bit of the slight relevancy he gained while playing alongside Westbrook, and Durant. It happens. He’s kinda been balling, though, and unfortunately for Serge, nobody outside of Kissimmee knows… Or cares, unless they happen to play fantasy basketball.

He’s put up double-digit points in 9 straight games, and is averaging 7 boards on the season. The Celtics have been one of the worst rebounding teams, and are allowing the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing Power Forwards. Look for a double-double ish night from Serge.

Tier 3: Robert Covington – PHI vs. HOU ($5,700)

Embiid gets a lot of credit for the Sixers success (rightfully so), but believe it or not, they actually have other players! I know, I know, I’m not trying to trivialize the greatness that is Embiid, but Covington – one of these aforementioned “other” cats –  has 3 double-doubles, and is averaging 13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, a block, and 2 steals in 12 January games. Expect the pride of Tennessee State to continue to ball in a decent matchup with Houston.

Tier 4: Okaro White – MIA at CHI ($3,500)

Feeling lucky? Go buy some lottery tickets, then throw Okaro White in your DraftKings lineup. I’m not even going to lie, I had never heard of this guy until earlier this week (and still have no clue who he is), but I know one thing: guys on 10-day contracts are hungry for a roster spot, and tend to capitalize on opportunity.

Coming off the best game of his newborn career (10 pts, 7 rebs, 4 blks), White has a perfect opportunity to earn his keep with both Whiteside, and McRoberts expected to miss tonight’s game, and you can bet he doesn’t want to let it slip away.

Center

*Tier 1: $7,500+, Tier 2: $7,500 – $6,000, Tier 3: Under $6,000

Tier 1: Kevin Love – CLE vs. BKN ($8,100)

Yes, we’re all well aware of his ability to stretch the floor, and knock down 3s, but it may come as a bit of a surprise to know Love is also averaging 11 boards. The Nets allow the 5th most rebounds to opposing Power Forwards, and the flexibility to throw Love in at your Center position gives him added value at $8,100.

Tier 2: Zach Randolph – MEM at POR ($6,000)

Sometimes you have to boycott the new hotness, and throw in some Wu. Z-Bo is forever. Injuries are still rampant for the Grizz, and Portland’s frontcourt has been slightly above garbage. Randolph will continue to be a beast on the boards, and is always a good bet for around 15 points.

Tier 3: Nerlens Noel – PHI vs. HOU ($5,800)

#FreeNerlens – When he plays, he puts up numbers, and with Joel Embiid expected to be out tonight, you can expect another nice game from Nerlens in what should be an up and down affair.

As always, be sure to check me out on Twitter/Instagram: maxingyourodds, and Facebook: maximizeyourodds or shoot me an email: leonard@maximizeyourodds.com and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with all of my DraftKings lineup advice, and/or betting picks.

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