Written by: Kyle Dillard – Staff Writing Intern (@TheGrandstandkd)
| Washington Wizards @ Atlanta Hawks
Vegas: ATL – 3.5 Over/Under: 204.5 Tip-off: 7:30 PM
This will be the first game we’ll see the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards. A Southeastern Divisional matchup, I look for the Atlanta Hawks to really take control of this game. The Hawks were very good at home last season (27-14) and are looking to make moves in the East this season. I’m very interested to see how Mike Budenholzer will fit Malcolm Delaney into the rotation (DK: $3,000). He’s an excellent player and has played in Europe since being a standout at Virginia Tech in college. This will be his first NBA season, and at 27 years old, I really like this “rookie”. Outside of Dennis Schroder, he’s the only other point guard on the team, due to the Hawks cutting Jarrett Jack at the end of camp, and I’ll be rostering him big time tonight. Also new to the hawks this year is Dwight Howard (DK: 7,500). The freakishly athletic, Skittle-loving center is a force to be reckoned with. Playing alongside Paul Millsap, this may be one of the best front courts in the NBA. I don’t see Markieff Morris or Marcin Gortat from Washington doing much to stop them tonight, and I think this is will be why the Hawks edge the Wizards in the end. On the Wizards side of the ball, John Wall (DK: $8100) looks to pick things back up where here left off. He will always get his, as he is one of the most athletic players in the league. This season the question will be can he hit his Jumpers to complement his crazy assist lines. If he can, John Wall will be really hard to pass up on Draftkings & FanDuel. I think tonight, He hit’s that 5x Value, and will be the only bright spot for the Wizards.
| Boston Celtics @ Chicago Bulls
Vegas: BOS – 1.5 Over/Under: 210.5 Tip-off: 8:00 PM
Brad Stevens’ Celtics got the job done last night in a shootout against the Brooklyn Nets, and tonight they turn around and travel to Chicago to take on the new look Bulls. This game has the highest total of the night and I think it will be another shootout. First things first, because it’s only the second night of the season, I am not worried about Celtics starters getting minute cuts due to the back-to-back. There’s a lot of players to highlight here on your fantasy teams due to value and star power. I’ll start with the obvious: guards. Tonight you have Isaiah Thomas against Rajon Rondo, Jimmy Butler, and Dwyane Wade. I think Butler and Thomas are the safest picks of the bunch, but as we’ve seen before, Rajon Rondo can be a fantasy monster. Despite the star filled backcourt of the Bulls, the Celtics are a very complete and competent team. Jae Crowder (DK: $5200) and Al-Horford ($7,000) are good options to roster tonight as both can regularly hit 5x value. I think their floors tonight are 25 and 30 respectively. With such an appealing total, I’d also look to get Taj Gibson (DK: $4100) and Amir Johnson (DK: $3500) in your lineups, especially in tournaments. This game will be a good one to get lineups with a lot of exposure to. I Don’t know confidently who will take this one, but If I had to pick, I’d take the Celtics. They’re a good team, and I feel the Bulls are still figuring things out with all their new offseason additions.
| San Antonio Spurs @ Sacramento Kings
Vegas: SA – 8.5 Over/Under: 206.0 Tip-off: 10:30 PM
Another team on a back to back, the Sacramento Kings host an elite San Antonio Spurs team that shocked the world on opening night. The Spurs came to Oracle, they saw the “Splash Brothers”, Draymond, and their new really good friend KD, and conquered them. Like really, the Spurs won 129-100 over the warriors. Let’s just realize the Spurs are really good. The Kings, haven’t been the best; however, they did put up a 20-point win over Phoenix last night. The best matchup will be whoever’s guarding Demarcus Cousins (DK: $10300. I think after watching Anthony Davis put up nearly 100 Fpts, and James Harden put up almost 80, it’s hard to imagine Cousins not hitting 60+. The Spurs are good, but Cousins is a great player, just on a bad team. Outside of Boogie, I’m only pulling the trigger on Ty Lawson. He’s too cheap (DK: $5700) to not pick. There will probably be garbage time too, and Lawson will most likely play around 40 minutes, so he’ll surprise a few people at the end of the night. On the Spurs Side of the Ball, I think it is key that we don’t ignore the Spurs starters (except Kyle Anderson because he’s about to get benched, but I’ll get to that later). Tony Parker is old, but he’s not that old. He’s just been playing for the same team longer than most guys ever play in the NBA. Priced at $4,400 on Draftkings, I really like his odds of putting in work against the Kings. As for Leonard, Aldridge, and Gasol… well if you don’t know who they are and what they do, I question if you’ve ever watched basketball. They’re all in play.
Now, Kyle Anderson (DK:$3700) starts, and he plays good minutes, but rarely does he do anything. Also, with Danny Green injured there’s a bad man looking to take everyone’s job. His name is Jonathon Simmons. ($4,200). There’s a reason his salary on Draftkings went from 3k to 4.2k in literally one day. He was hands down the most impressive player against the Warriors, outside of Kawhi Leonard. The Difference, Leonard is a preseason MVP candidate, and Simmons was just some guy that played like LeBron James in 5 minute spurts. That Lebron comparison may be steep, but Simmons takes shots with no conscience, displayed his hustle and defensive prowess (including a very impressive chase down block), and performed multiple thunderous dunks, including one to end the game that is definitely going to be in the running for Poster dunk of the year. Lastly, against the kings he’ll get garbage time. So, don’t be surprised if he has the same effect on your lineup, and is all over ESPN once again after tonight.
| Los Angeles Clippers @ Portland Trail Blazers
Vegas: LAC: -2.0 Over/Under: 209.0 Tip-off: 10:30 PM
This game will be the game that will make or break everyone’s night. For starters, all starters are in play. There’s tons of star power in Portland tonight. The most of any game. Of them all, I like Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, and Blake Griffin the best. They all are within $600 on DK with Dame being the most expensive at $9.2k. Analysis on this game won’t be very in depth simply because when two top Western Conference teams play , it’s a toss-up. It will be plenty exciting, there will be amazing basketball, and there will be at some point a scoring battle between Chris Paul and Video Game Dame. There is some value in this game. Especially on the Blazers. Allen Crabbe, Moe Harkless, and Meyers Leonard all get good minutes and cost $3.7K, $3.6K, and $3.2K respectively. Leonard is a punt play, I’m not very high on him but he could get good court time if Plumlee gets in foul trouble against Blake and DeAndre. Plumlee Himself will be interesting as well. At $4.2k, he would be a great contrarian center play. The Duke product is coming to his own, and can catch you off guard if you don’t put a body on him.