After an all East Coast slate, tonight we head to the Western conference where the Warriors took care of business versus a resilient Pelicans team in Game 2 while the Rockets ran into some ghosts of playoffs past as a feisty Utah squad brought the fight to them to steal their first series win in Houston. The lineups tonight should flow freely with lots of good value and players not priced up after their explosive performances in their previous matchups, an interesting situation for a two-game slate.
As is the case every weeknight, I’ll be live tonight on the Awesemo YouTube at 6PM Eastern with Josh Engleman to talk NBA, MLB, and whatever pops into our heads. But most importantly I’ll be making my Home Run pick for the night, a situation where I’ve now predicted completely esoteric and unpopular players to hit Home Runs and been right two days in a row and three days this week. The Daniel Palkas and Ryon Healys of the world await you on tonight’s livestream as I leverage this savantlike gift for your amusement in our Did He Dong? seasonlong competition. King of Dongs is a crown I wear proudly despite the shame others may feel from the double entendre.
We’ve also got a contest on Playline tonight where you can get a free signup bonus for depositing at Playline.com/r/awesemo and you could win $2,000 if you take down the tournament. Awesemo wrote up his projections for one of the players, Anthony Davis, but you should go sign up now and join the contest for a very decent chance to build your bankroll. And without further adieu, onto the slate.
Golden State Warriors (118.25 implied points, +8.5 on their last 10 games) at New Orleans Pelicans (113.75 implied points, (+1.5 on their last 10 games)
The Warriors took everything the Pelicans had in Game 2 and still pulled out the win, a somewhat crushing defeat for a Pelicans squad who you could tell was laying it all on the line in response to the world thinking they’re going to get swept. The Warriors have looked stellar playing at the Pelicans’ pace, Steph Curry returns to the starting lineup, and this is a great spot for just about every Warrior. Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Draymond Green are way underpriced on DraftKings for the scoring they’ve shown this series and all three of those guys look like tremendous shots at 5x+ value tonight. Klay Thompson was brutal last game in shooting 4-for-20 (nice) and he’s priced to recover and have a ton of upside tonight without taking anything away from the other guys. Andre Iguodala may suffer a bit in terms of minutes if he’s the one sent to the bench for Steph instead of Nick Young but if he’s getting as much run as he got in Game 2, he’s a great play with his ability to pick up peripherals in a fast paced matchup. Kevon Looney and David West both look like decent punts to help you afford some of the higher priced names you’ll want in both games and honestly I could absolutely see stacking this game with all of the Warriors mentioned and being very happy tonight.
Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo’s prices basically stayed flat despite the fact that they’re the most integral parts of the Pelicans’ offense not named Anthony Davis. Both guys played out of their minds last game and will have to do the same tonight to keep this series from going 3-0 so I have zero reservation considering them tonight, although Jrue’s price on FanDuel is a bit onerous. Nikola Mirotic is one of three As in both value and points on Awesemo’s rankings and looks good to me tonight on Draftkings but tightly priced on FanDuel. He’s been worse at home than on the road this season so that gives me a little pause but not enough to worry about rostering him. E’Twaun Moore is getting shots and minutes and while he’s not a key cog in this offense, he can get you some salary breathing room on both sites while getting in the neighborhood of 5x. Nothing else on this side would get into my lineup.
Houston Rockets (106.5 implied points, +3.2 on their last 10 games) at Utah Jazz (102 implied points, -7.8 on their last 10 games)
The Rockets were surprisingly taken down in Game 2 and now the Jazz will have a shot to take the lead in the series at home, a massive turn of events for a Rockets squad that people have been waiting to see handle adversity. James Harden and Clint Capela have been the stars thus far for Houston and I see no issue with either guy tonight. Capela’s price has actually gone down on DraftKings despite his recent success, $2200 less than his price on FanDuel, and that strikes me as asinine. Really all the pricing on DraftKings tonight is kind of insane, something I’m told can happen when they’re trying to drum up more volume from casual players. Chris Paul’s been bad this series but a $7400 price for him is downright insulting. He can get to 5x fairly easily here and obviously his ceiling goes way higher. James Harden has been a lock for 60 DK points so far this series and I don’t see that coming to an end tonight after that tough Game 2 loss. Eric Gordon showed some upside in Game 2 and still has more given his 5-for-16 shooting night and he’s at a very tempting price on both sites. PJ Tucker’s been balling out by his standards lately and while I find it hard to truly bank on the PJ Tuckers of the world, that salary has a fair amount of upside which he’s been consistently hitting lately. Trevor Ariza has been bad this series and his usage rate isn’t there enough to see signs of hope. He can do a lot more but I’d go Tucker over him on DK where he’s cheaper and FanDuel where he’s slightly more expensive than Ariza.
On the Jazz side, Rudy Gobert recovered from his last few bad games and looked competent versus Houston. I don’t know that he has a ton more upside than he showed but he can get you where you need to get from a value perspective. Joe Ingles has been a rock solid 5x value at his current price on DK while on FanDuel I’m not as crazy about him. Donovan Mitchell seems to be fine on both sites but better on DraftKings, clearly an ongoing theme of this slate. From a roster construction standpoint (not pure points), I’d personally rather have Alec Burks and Dante Exum given how cheap they both are and how much Utah wants them involved. That logic though may be what makes Mitchell lower owned than he should be given his upside (he put up almost 45 fantasy points while shooting 6-for-22) and the similar prices on the fantasy-friendly New Orleans/Golden State game. Derrick Favors has been DOA in the series and even though he played as best he could last game he couldn’t stay on the court due to the matchup. The price is tempting but I’m passing on a slate with this many options. Jae Crowder has played more of the power forward role for the team and been perfectly capable in the spot. He’s had almost 7x value on his current price in both games this series on DraftKings and FanDuel. Royce O’Neale stunk in Game 2 but he has some upside given his minutes and price. I would prefer Burks or Exum here too given how much more ball-dominant they are running the offense but there’s value in O’Neale too.
There it is, two more games in the books. Make sure to check out Awesemo’s rankings and ownership projections when those come down later today, join our Playline contest for literal free money, and I’ll see you guys tonight on the livestream at 6PM Eastern! Good luck out there!