This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Sunday's NBA action actually consists of six games, but DraftKings is not including the early CHI/NO game in their main slate. We will follow suit in this article and stick with the five games available in the majority of contests on the site.
HOU (-4) @ MIA O/U: 223.5
SAC (-2) @ NYK O/U; 215.5
LAL (-1) @ SA O/U: 219.5
DAL (-5) @ CLE O/U: 215
LAC (4.5) vs. UTA O/U: 212
(Odds provided via DraftKings Sportsbook and are subject to change)
All of our games fall within 11 points of each other in terms of the O/U line, so our considerations should be more based on pace. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot of information for us either. Aside from a mild slowdown for the Lakers, the pace differential is pretty nominal on this slate. Below that, I'll just identify where the chalk and value are on every individual game and reduce my exposure based on the overall opportunity of each player relative to their opponent.
I think Sacramento is one place where you will find a lot of value, as there isn't a really high-priced option on the team beyond De'Aaron Fox ($8,000). Conversely, you have a stable of four guys on the Rockets who are incredibly chalky and should be heavily considered. I doubt I will find much to like in the DAL/CLE matchup aside from a budget flyer or two, especially with Luka Doncic's (head) status in question.
INJURY SITUATIONS TO MONITOR
I already mentioned Doncic, and he'll be a game-time decision. He avoided a concussion, so I would be willing to wager we'll see him on Sunday.
Jimmy Butler (toe) - QUESTIONABLE
Justise Winslow (back) - QUESTIONABLE
Butler has missed a lot of time already due to the birth of his child, and the Heat's replacements have fared fine without him. I doubt he wants to miss facing off against the Houston elites, but he's currently a bit more of a question mark than Donicic. If he can't go, Tyler Herro ($5,600) would be the most sensible pivot. If Winslow fails to go, I would favor a pivot to Kendrick Nunn ($5,700) and Goran Dragic ($5,500).
Kyle Kuzma ($5,800) - PROBABLE
This is less of a situation to monitor than it is a welcome return for the Lakers. He debuted on Friday and should now be back on the radar. He was still sore and only played 19 minutes, but we should see a slight uptick in minutes with a day of rest.
The smaller slates are always going to be shallow at the center position, and you see a precipitous drop-off after Clint Capela at $7,100. The forward spot brings some of those dual-eligibility picks below Capela into sharper focus and more usability, and this position should probably offer more value options. The guard position is fairly deep as well, but there aren't too many sound pivots below the DK median price.
As is always the case with a Rockets/Lakers/Clippers slate, you will have to contend with how to value the five marquee guys. All of them are facing quality defenses, but I'm going to favor one duo over the other today.
I find myself going in this direction based on how fiercely the Spurs played the Clippers. And while I think James and Davis will have good games, they are suffering from a mild pace-down and the incorporation of Kyle Kuzma should somewhat spread the scoring out. Miami is no slouch defensively, but I like Harden's history versus a team that's mostly identical to last year's squad - especially if Butler is absent. Harden went off for 95 DKFP against the Heat the last time they met, and Westbrook scored well into the 50 DKFP range in the two contests they played last year. Although Miami looks like a better defense than San Antonio on paper, I favor Harden/Westbrook over James/Davis just a bit more. Furthermore, I'm more inclined to lean toward Westbrook due to the recent streakiness of Harden's jump shot.
While I don't fault a rostering of Kawhi Leonard ($9,800), the Jazz are extremely tough defensively and haven't allowed a small forward to score more than 33 DKFP over their past five games. Granted, none of those players were of Leonard's caliber, but the Jazz's deliberate pace could cause the Clippers' possessions to decrease somewhat. I'm likely to limit my exposure to him today.
EXPECTED CHALK AND PRIMARY TARGETS
Mike Conley, UTA ($6,900) @ LAC
Conley is attractively priced as players search for a workable point guard on this slate, and there's no denying the veteran's potential ceiling. After a disappointing game versus the Suns, he woke up with 43 against the Clippers and should probably find similar success against them tonight. Conley has enjoyed more success versus the Clippers than guys like Dejounte Murray and Stephen Curry.
RJ Barrett, NY ($6,500) vs. SAC
The Kings are a little stronger off the glass than you'd expect, but they're near the basement in scoring defense through six games this season. As you'd expect, the rookie's floor is far from set in stone, so you're likely to assume a greater deal of risk with a first-year guy, but his ceiling is definitely too good to ignore - especially in a tournament lineup.
Bojan Bogdanovic, UTA ($5,300) at LAC
I really like Bojan's price here versus the Clippers. He's been very consistent and continues to deliver a solid floor at this price, and he's at the target salary you need if you're rostering two elites. While the Clippers represent an offensive powerhouse, they're a little weaker on the defensive side of things. He only posted 21 DKFP against LA in their first meeting, but I think he'll be ready to beat that number on Sunday.
Kendrick Nunn, MIA ($5,700) vs. HOU
Especially when you consider the limits placed on Butler and Winslow, I think it's smart to give Nunn a go against a Rockets' frontcourt more concerned with scoring than defending. He's scored well into the 30 DKFP range in every game this season, which is excellent against his price. We may see even more than that on Sunday versus the Rockets.
Mitchell Robinson, NY ($5,100) vs. SAC
I needed to give you a center in this category, so I opted for Robinson as he faces a team that has to travel across the country without a serviceable center. OK, that's an overstatement, but I don't see Richaun Holmes or Dewayne Dedmon matching up well in this game. We've yet to see a double-double out of Robinson, but today may be the day.
Jordan Clarkson, CLE ($4,100) vs. DAL
Clarkson sees enough minutes to be relevant, and has lately taken advantage of the opportunities given to him. He put up 33 DKFP in his last game, which is a great number to get at this price. His production seems to depend on the success of rookie Darius Garland, who is struggling with his shot in his first season. If Garland falters, we should see Clarkson's numbers trend up.
Meyers Leonard, MIA ($3,700) vs. HOU
Leonard is going to be chalky on Sunday, as his name's floated around in DFS circles all week as a juicy target for bargain hunters. I think he carries a lot of risk when you consider the small sample size, but there's no question the Heat need some assistance in the frontcourt and Leonard is seeing around 25 minutes per game at this point. You could certainly do a lot worse.
Danny Green, LAL ($4,000) @ SA
Kyle Kuzma's return shouldn't affect Green that much, as he's firmly planted at the two. I like the opportunity for Green, as he's logging an average of around 30 minutes per game. He's also been a popular assist target for LeBron, who has confidence in Green to drain the jumpers when they're needed. He's also collected 16 rebounds and seven steals over the first five games, so he's a solid defensive contributor.
Dorian Finney-Smith, DAL ($3,200) @ CLE
This is a serious GPP flyer here, but I always like to look for opportunity when hunting for a slate-breaker and Finney-Smith fits that bill. He's hovering close to 30 minutes per game and has yet to find his stroke from beyond the arc, but he's certainly due. Slotting him will allow me a lot of room to buy up at other positions.
Other guys I like who slipped through the cracks in these categories include:
Kevin Love ($9,000) vs. DAL
P.J. Tucker ($4,800) at MIA
Buddy Hield ($6,600) at NY