Welcome back to another edition of ResearchFantasy’s NBA Breakdown. Tonight, we get a 6 game slate on basketball. It is a little small, but I will definitely be partaking a great deal as the season winds down.
Checking out the Vegas lines, we have zero games under 200. Four games come in under 210: ORL/IND, DEN/NO, LAC/OKC and BKN/CLE. Two games are under 220: BOS/POR and CHI/HOU. Both the BKN/CLE and LAC/OKC have very serious blowout concerns, and there will likely be a ton of players sitting. Use smart bankroll management on nights like tonight.
On to my favorites!
Russell Westbrook – Assuming he plays tonight, and there is no indication that he won’t, Westbrook is far and away the best option at the position on the slate. This game absolutely could absolutely be a blowout, but Wesbtrook can still put up 50+ in that situation.
Elfrid Payton – Payton has somewhat been quietly having a stellar run, and this game against the Pacers could continue said run. George Hill can play good defense, but Indiana will be far more focused on keeping the playoff hopes alive.
Austin Rivers – The Clippers are sitting their top guys, meaning value will be there tonight. Rivers is just above minimum price, but should see all the run he can handle. He should be a good bet for around 20 points, making him a great cash game play.
James Harden – Harden is another guy playing hard right now to keep his team’s playoff chances alive. The Bulls make a great team to target, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Harden is the top player on the board at the end of the night.
Jamal Crawford – I really thought Crawford was in for a big night last night, and he didn’t deliver. That’s OK, because maybe he was saving it for tonight. Crawford is the most likely to scorer for this team with Paul, Redick and Jordan out, and has a great price.
Iman Shumpert – LeBron is going to be back tonight, but both Kyrie and J.R. Smith are sick and questionable. If they are out, Shumpert makes for another great value play who should feast on the sloppy play of the Nets.
Kevin Durant – Again, this could very easily be a blowout, but Durant could still put up a good score in spite of that. The Clippers have struggled to defend wings, but do you honestly need me to defend playing Durant?
LeBron James – The Nets made the Cavs look like fools the last time these teams got together. I cannot imagine that happening again tonight. I love him more if Kyrie is out, and I would probably choose him over Durant if I had to.
Jordan Hamilton – You know the end of the season is at hand when guys like Jordan Hamilton get mentioned. He would not even be in the NBA had it not been for like seven members of the Pelicans suffering season ending injuries. Still, he should get minutes, and has a great matchup against Denver.
Thaddeus Young – Brook Lopez has already been ruled out, meaning there are tons of open minutes for bigs. I expect Thad to be the main focus of the offense tonight, and even though he struggled last time the teams played, should be in a much better position tonight.
Ed Davis – I am probably going doubly cheap at the position, and Davis is one of those cheap options. The Boston frontcourt is not defensively intimidating, especially the bench. Davis should continue his high level of play and is a good bet to exceed value tonight.
Thomas Robinson – You would have to believe he should see minutes tonight, and will play whether it is close or a blowout. His price is still cheap, and he has legit 50 point upside. There is a lot to like here.
Pau Gasol – Gasol is probably the top dollar center of the night against Houston. There are certainly some concerns with his injuries, but with Chicago needing to win, he will be heavily relied upon. The opponent is good, and he could possibly go slightly underowned.
Ian Mahinmi – Mahinmi has been very consistent and underpriced over the last week and a half. Tonight, he gets a great opportunity to continue against Orlando. He will likely be highly owned tonight.
Alexi Ajinca – Another very cheap option if Alexis Ajinca against a poor Denver frontcourt. He is very cheap, and is another player that will be very highly owned tonight.
Good luck to everyone! Let’s all win some cash!