This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
Wednesday's 10-game slate begins at the typical 7:00 p.m. ET starting time, and teams like the Celtics and Clippers will present intriguing game-swap scenarios as the evening progresses. Let's take a look at the sportsbooks to begin our analysis.
(odds are best available US numbers and are subject to change)
Games to Target in BOLD
Games to Fade in ITALIC
ORL @ CLE (-2) O/U: 211
ATL @ PHI (-8) O/U: 220
CHA @ BOS (-6.5) O/U: 219.5
LAL @ WAS (+3) O/U: 224
CHI @ NYK (-5) O/U: 208
SAS @ MIA (-5) O/U: 209
POR @ MEM (-5) O/U: 234.5
NOR @ DEN (-4) O/U: 228.5
UTA @ SAC (+9) O/U: 225.5
LAC @ PHO (-3) O/U: 222.5
On big slates, it's even more important to look at these game totals because they can be a great aid in thinning the field. While guys like Coby White or Bam Adebayo might be excellent targets on a typical slate, we can't get to everyone, and low game totals provide us with a solid methodology for expected production. The Lakers are an excellent example tonight. While we may not mention every Laker, they have one of their highest game totals of the year tonight against the lightning-fast Wizards, so you have to factor in a number of them. The same is true for a team like Memphis, who didn't get a mention but have a great opportunity in a pace-up spot against a back-to-back team. I'm trying to say (perhaps unsuccessfully) that when the slate is big, you should do some homework and not just rely on these endorsements.
ORL Terrence Ross (back) - DOUBTFUL
ORL Michael Carter-Williams (ankle) - OUT
ORL Otto Porter (foot) - OUT
ORL James Ennis (calf) - QUESTIONABLE
The Magic will continue to work with the same five starters, although if Ennis plays, you may need to pull back any exposure you might have on Chuma Okeke ($5,000) and Gary Harris ($3,600). Hopefully, you don't have much of either player on this massive slate.
CLE Collin Sexton (concussion) - OUT
CLE Larry Nance (thumb) - OUT
CLE Taurean Prince (ankle) - OFS
CLE Isaiah Hartenstein (concussion) - OUT
ATL Trae Young (ankle) - OUT
ATL Kevin Huerter (shoulder) - OUT
ATL De'Andre Hunter (knee) - OUT
ATL Brandon Goodwin (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
Although Goodwin is listed as questionable, his ankle injury looked serious enough to warrant a night off. His absence creates a void in the backcourt, which will most likely be filled by Lou Williams ($5,400). Although he is a fine tournament target, the scenario elevates Bogdan Bogdanovic ($7,600) as one of my favorite plays on the slate. Some may balk at the price tag, but his FP average for April is right at 5x value, and the added opportunity tonight should be significant.
BOS Jayson Tatum (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
BOS Kemba Walker (side) - QUESTIONABLE
BOS Robert Williams (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
It's conceivable that all three of the guys could take the floor, but Walker and Williams are less likely to play. Evan Fournier ($4,900) stepped in on Tuesday and delivered 36 FP, but he may sit on his first back-to-back since returning from injury. That would open things back for Marcus Smart ($6,500), who would also see a bit more opportunity if Tatum sits. Payton Pritchard ($4,100) poured in 28 points off the bench in Monday's game and can't be ignored. To obtain maximum value from Boston, one will need to confirm the starting five at game lock. A Tatum absence would make me a lot more willing to spend up on Jaylen Brown ($8,100), but again, we have to wait and see what develops.
LAL LeBron James (ankle) - OUT
LAL Anthony Davis (calf) - PROBABLE
LAL Dennis Schroder (calf) - PROBABLE
LAL Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (ankle) - PROBABLE
LAL Alex Caruso (back) - QUESTIONABLE
Davis' minutes are creeping back up, and although the pace and opportunity in this spot would fit a healthy AD to a tee, he's still at a pretty unattractive price relative to his floor. The day of rest and gradual uptick in minutes make him playable, however. His PF designation will allow us to fit him into MME builds for 10-15 percent exposure. Elsewhere on the roster, it's safe to trust these probable tags with Dennis Schroder ($7,000) being a favorable play against the Wizards.
SAS Derrick White (ankle) - OUT
The team has played without White frequently this season, but they were getting accustomed to his efficient play and will need to adjust. We'll discuss a couple of elite plays later in the article, but the value guy to benefit here will be Lonnie Walker ($3,500), who was the key pivot at this spot at the beginning of the season.
MIA Kendrick Nunn (neck) - QUESTIONABLE
MIA Tyler Herro (foot) - QUESTIONABLE
If both of these guys are out, you could give a look at Goran Dragic ($5,000) as the pivot, but it's probably best to steer clear on this side of the low-paced game.
NOR Steven Adams (toe) -QUESTIONABLE
Willy Hernangomez ($4,300) emerges as a value for the center spot if Adams can't make it. All other injury scenarios for the Pelicans remain static.
UTA Donovan Mitchell (ankle) - OUT
UTA Mike Conley (hamstring) - OUT
We'll explain what to do here a bit later.
SAC De'Aaron Fox (COVID-19 protocols) - OUT
SAC Harrison Barnes (adductor) - QUESTIONABLE
We'll also target some favorable spots later in the article, but an absence from Barnes could throw a wrench into things. If Barnes doesn't play, we may see a little more of Maurice Harkless ($3,800).
LAC Kawhi Leonard (foot) - DOUBTFUL
LAC Nicolas Batum (shoulder) - QUESTIONABLE
Paul George ($9,900). He's expensive for sure, and his numbers have been a bit streaky of late, but go back to the well with him anyway. With Batum potentially sidelined, there are some other value spots to mention. Terance Mann ($5,000) will still get plenty of opportunities, but we'll also take a moment to mention two guys who are getting increased run recently, and they are very recognizable names. Rajon Rondo ($3,500) has played 22 minutes in his last two appearances, and DeMarcus Cousins ($5,600) came out of nowhere with a double-double Monday night. With so many excellent centers on the slate, it would be tough to award Cousins the sole center slot.
One would expect more 10k-plus players on a 10-game slate, but there are only three that eclipse that mark tonight. Nikola Jokic ($11,100) is in one of his most favorable spots of the season against New Orleans. His two performances against the Pelicans are just downright silly. He put up 66 FP against them a few weeks ago, and we are due for a number like this from the potential MVP. He's regressed a bit due to standout play from his teammates, but he's understandably tough to avoid tonight. Russell Westbrook ($11,100) is also a no-brainer, although his pace will be slightly curtailed against the Lakers, who sometimes struggle to score but still play lockdown defense. Joel Embiid ($10,500) could also ball out against the Hawks. He put up a 24/11 double-double against them back in January, and the current pace of the game makes Embiid another great play at center at the top.
Moving down into the 9k range, we see several names worth mentioning. Julius Randle ($9.900) will get the benefit of increased pace against the Bulls, and he's an excellent play when you can get the Knicks to speed things up. Due to the deficiencies in the backcourt, I think Jimmy Butler ($9,500) is fine but not necessary, and I feel similarly about Bradley Beal ($9,500), who could run into trouble at the perimeter against the Lakers. Zion Williamson ($9,400) is still the king of this range, and even against the streaky Nuggets, he should be able to work around Jokic enough to be relevant. Although his rebound numbers weren't as great when he last played the Nuggets, he did torch them for 30 points.
Damian Lillard, POR ($8,100) @ MEM
Although Dame is on a back-to-back, it's hard to move away from him when he is this cheap. This game possesses one of the fastest paces on the slate, and in two very recent games against the Grizzlies, he hovered around 40 FP in both contests. I also don't mind CJ McCollum ($7,700) as a pivot from Lillard, as he only played 25 minutes Tuesday night and will be better rested than his All-Star counterpart.
For tonight's slate, you're either in one camp or the other. Stacking these two chalk plays might not be bad either, but I'm putting an exclusion limit on the duo in my builds. Porter is playing out of sight currently and can't be faded, but Ingram may represent one of his stiffest defensive challenges since the beginning of his stellar run of production. There's no question that Porter is the hotter player currently and comes in $300 cheaper. There's merit to Ingram's inclusion, however. He filled up his stat line with 30 points, eight assists and six rebounds against the Nuggets back in March, and his success is probably credited to Denver's focus on Zion. Both guys are on a day of rest, and they'll probably line up against each other. Your builds should include one of them, and to diversify, it's best to go with Porter if you have Zion, and Ingram if you have Jokic.
Rudy Gobert, UTA ($7,900) @ SAC
We have several standout centers on the slate, but if you do more of a guard-focused build, Gobert is someone you must consider to keep your costs down. He had a mediocre game against the Kings two weeks ago, so he will be looking to remedy that regression tonight. The Kings may be without one of their primary rebounding threats in Harrison Barnes, so that could result in more opportunities in the paint.
Tyrese Haliburton, SAC ($7,000) vs. UTA
As expected, Haliburton is the presumptive point guard with Fox out, and he's living up to the hype with two consecutive 40-FP performances. As long as he stays at this salary point, Haliburton is a value-beating nightly proposition for your builds, even against a tough Utah team. The added advantage is that the Jazz are without Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley, which can only be good news for a slashing sharpshooter like Haliburton. I will also gladly give Buddy Hield ($6,500) a look in this matchup.
Although I can't give full-throated endorsements to Spurs like DeMar DeRozan ($8,100) and Dejounte Murray ($7,500) due to the horrendous pace of the game, they are both priced appropriately. They could be in store for decent games as they compensate for Derrick White's absence. That's especially true for Murray, who will be shouldering a bigger load.
As usual, several values are in the injury section, and there are also a few spots where late swap will be integral to your strategy (Boston). Here are some additional value options, beginning with Utah.
We have to consider a few players as chalk options against the Kings with Mitchell and Conley out. Jordan Clarkson ($6,300) presents the best value for the price, as he experiences a huge jump in usage when Conley is out. You can also make room for Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,200) and Joe Ingles ($6,100). Clarkson is your best cash option, and the explosive upside for Bogdanovic makes him a better tournament play. I already see many builds with both brothers featured as core plays.
Lonzo Ball, NOR ($6,500) @ DEN
Any game with a decent pace and a challenging opponent is usually a good spot for Ball, and he's on a roll after almost hitting a triple-double against the Clippers. His assist numbers rarely falter, and his shot volume is very consistent. If he can get open enough for double-digit attempts from beyond the arc, watch out.
Mikal Bridges, PHO ($5,100)
I didn't give much love to the Suns in this article, and while that may be at my own peril, I think Bridges is in a good spot with Leonard out. The Clippers' defense certainly takes a hit when Kawhi is absent, and Bridges' position is where they see the biggest defensive gaps. If he can find enough off-the-ball openings, Chris Paul and Devin Booker should be able to find him for some shot volume and baseline drives to the hoop. Paul and Booker are fine for me. They didn't get a mention because there were better values at their positions.
Dean Wade, CLE ($3,500) vs. ORL
Wade is my favorite bargain-basement play because he still crushes value even if he only gets 20 FP. Our projections currently have him at about 25 FP, which puts him at an almost 7x multiplier. Kevin Love has experienced some issues with his shot, so Wade could step in and provide some spark to Cleveland on both ends of the ball.