NBA Grind Down: Thursday, November 8th
Welcome to the RotoGrinders NBA Grind Down. In this all-encompassing preview of today’s NBA action, every game will be broken down statistically, with several key elements highlighted in our charts.
Vegas lines are broken down to show projected Implied Team Totals, to give you an idea of who is favored to win, and often more importantly, how many points they’re expected to score. We also provide pace numbers, so you can spot a game that might have a few extra possessions and more opportunities for fantasy points.
We also provide position-by-position matchup rankings for every team, to give you an idea of the players who will be in better situations to succeed. Using Defense versus Position data, every projected starter is listed along with his opponent’s rank in points allowed to players of his position. These color-coded charts will help you spot the best matchups of the night at a glance.
Note: As always, if you want to try a new DFS site, be sure to click through a RotoGrinders link and use our DraftKings promo code, FanDuel promo code, and FantasyDraft promo code to receive the best perks in the industry.
Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder – 8:00 PM ET
|Houston Rockets||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Vegas Total||214.0||Vegas Total||214.0|
|Vegas Spread||-4.0||Vegas Spread||4.0|
|Implied Team Total||109.0||Implied Team Total||105.0|
|Pace Projection +/-||3.5||Pace Projection +/-||-1.7|
|Projected Starters||Chris Paul||James Harden||James Ennis III||PJ Tucker||Clint Capela||Projected Starters||Dennis Schroder||Terrance Ferguson||Paul George||Jerami Grant||Steven Adams|
Michael Carter-Williams (Out)
Eric Gordon (Questionable)
Points Per Game: 105.3 (25 of 30)
Implied Implied Team Total: 109.0 (6 of 8)
Projected Point Differential: 3.7 (2 of 8)
Points Allowed Per Game: 108.8 (10 of 30)
Defensive Efficiency: 101.6 (4 of 30)
Rebounding Differential: + 0.5 (14 of 30)
Pace of Play: 107.2 (5 of 30)
We have a light four-game slate on tap tonight and before we started, I wanted to get everyone’s thoughts on adding a betting section to the end of the Grind Down each day. I am by no means a professional handicapper, but I’m obviously heavily researching these games and there are typically a few lines that stand out to me each night. If that sounds interesting, let me know and I’ll start adding it at the end of the Grind Down and we’ll keep a tally to see how the picks fare.
We start with the Rockets and Thunder. For full disclosure, I actually saved writing about this game for last because I was waiting on an update for Russell Westbrook. The Rockets have been a big disappointment to start the year, as many predicted them to win more games than the Warriors during the regular season. They are only 4-5 to start the season, but they have won three in a row. Tonight they face the Thunder, who are playing their second game in as many nights. The Rockets are listed as 4-point favorites with an implied total of 109 points, which is 3.7 points above their season average.
You’ll notice that there are a few new columns in the player tables below. The L4 +/- columns show the difference in FP/game and minutes over the last four games. For instance, Chris Paul 1.3 more fantasy points and 2.0 more minutes in his last four games compared to his season averages. You will also see a DvA column, which shows how well a particular defense fares against a certain type of player. In Paul’s case, the Thunder have allowed 9.4% less fantasy production to combo guards this season. It’s another metric to use to gauge how favorable a matchup is.
Paul is firmly on my radar at his current price point and he sees a significant matchup boost now that Westbrook has been ruled out. Dennis Schroder has long been a turnstile on defense, which is highlighted by his DRPM grade in the table below. James Harden has been quiet this season and we have no shortage of superstars available in this slate. While his $10,100 price tag is enticing on DraftKings, I prefer paying up for the likes of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Rockets’ role players are all risky targets tonight. Carmelo Anthony, PJ Tucker, James Ennis, and Gerald Green would all see small boosts if Eric Gordon is unable to suit up, but I’m not particularly interested in any of them. Clint Capela could be the forgotten man at center tonight. As we will get to shortly, my favorite play at center on FanDuel is Deandre Ayton and my favorite on DraftKings is Steven Adams. Capela is an intriguing pivot off of the two, as he has quietly averaged 37 fantasy points per game this season.
|Player||FD Salary||DK Salary||FDRFT Salary||FP/Game||L4 +/-||Minutes||L4 +/-||FP/Min||True Usage||DEFF||DvA||DRPM|
|James Ennis III||$3,800||$3,800||$7,000||15.3||1.7||22.2||-1.0||0.69||12.3%||5||-4.6%||9|
Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook (Out)
Points Per Game: 111.4 (11 of 30)
Implied Implied Team Total: 105.0 (7 of 8)
Projected Point Differential: -6.4 (8 of 8)
Points Allowed Per Game: 110.1 (17 of 30)
Defensive Efficiency: 107.8 (19 of 30)
Rebounding Differential: -2.8 (22 of 30)
Pace of Play: 102.0 (21 of 30)
Russell Westbrook has just been ruled out of tonight’s game, which helps take some of the guesswork out of this slate. The Thunder draw an exploitable matchup against the Rockets, who are ranked below the league average in points allowed per game, defensive efficiency, and rebounding differential. Oklahoma City has an implied total of only 105 points, but that’s still pretty high for a team that is missing a former MVP.
If we run CourtIQ with Russell Westbrook off the floor, Paul George has averaged 1.30 FP/min with a 38% usage rate since the start of last season. Since joining the Thunder, Dennis Schroder has averaged 1.11 FP/min with a 33% usage rate. It’s worth noting that George hasn’t been great in the three games that Westbrook has missed, while Schroder has really stepped up. Both are viable targets tonight against the Rockets, but Schroder is more of a core play than George.
Alex Abrines will see a boost in playing time off the bench, but is best suited as a play on FanDuel where we have the drop a score feature. Jerami Grant will likely be defended by PJ Tucker, who is still a very good defender, both in the paint and on the perimeter. There aren’t any obvious plays at power forward tonight, so you can still look Grant’s way on FanDuel, but I won’t be forcing him into any lineups. Steven Adams is basically a lock and load play on DraftKings ($5,800). I’m not sure what happened with the pricing, but I will certainly be taking advantage of it. The Rockets are ranked 28th in efficiency against centers this season.
|Player||FD Salary||DK Salary||FDRFT Salary||FP/Game||L4 =/-||Minutes||L4 =/-||FP/Min||True Usage||DEFF||DvA||DRPM|