Two-game NBA DFS slates are always the perfect time to either take the slate off, or get a bit weird with your lineup. My best advice on a super-small slate? Don’t play cash games, play multiple lineups in low-priced, high-prize contests. Two-game slates are the perfect time to go for a lottery ticket win.
Houston Rockets @ Miami Heat (o/u 208.5, HOU -3.5)
Houston is 27th in defensive rating, 29th in pace.
Miami is 9th in defensive rating, 15th in pace.
The Rockets head to Miami on a tail-end of a back to back to face a Heat team that has surprisingly struggled to win at home. In terms of a matchup, the Heat provide a slight pace-up spot but are also a fairly tough defense to go against. The Vegas 208.5 implied total isn’t the most ideal number, but on a two-game slate we can’t be picky!
This one is fairly straightforward: With only two games it’s pretty tough to fade James Harden. On super-small slates think less about value and more about total points, and Harden has the highest floor on the slate. The reason for fading Harden tonight is to strictly be different. From a matchup standpoint, the Heat have struggled to defend ball-dominant scoring guards, and that sounds exactly like Harden. This is a good spot for him.
The Heat have also struggled against traditional point guards, so Chris Paul is firmly worth considering. If you’re fading Harden, you should have Paul in your lineup. While both will be fairly high owned individually, stacking the two of them is a way to differentiate yourself tonight.
Expect Clint Capela to be fairly under owned, as center is one of the deeper positions for a two-game slate. But Clint is rock solid, and his high floor is desirable. The $8000 on DK is a nice price.
On a small slate we have to find a way to differentiate our lineups to attempt to win big, otherwise you will likely split your winnings with hundreds or thousands of people and that’s never fun. A Gerald Green and Danuel House stack-punt (new word?) is an interesting strategy on FD. On DK, I think having one of the two as a punt is an interesting idea for GPPs. On the second night of a back to back, both might see a few added minutes, Green is always capable of getting hot, and House has shown he is capable of producing.
On DK, Nene is a usable punt at center. Nene has produced in his limited minutes thus far on the year, so you can consider punting him at center on a two-game slate. Perhaps his day off yesterday will lead to added activity on the court tonight.
The Heat will be without Goran Dragic for the foreseeable future. While the Rockets are one of the slowest paced teams in the NBA, they also continue to struggle to defend anyone. So this is a decent spot for Miami Heat players.
I’m really interested in Hassan Whiteside tonight, strictly because I think he will be the least-owned center on the slate. Whiteside is always a risk as his minutes are erratic, especially with the recent emergence of Bam. With that being said, Whiteside is the sort of risk I like to take on a two-game slate, as he carries legit 50+ point upside priced at $8000 on FD and $7000 on DK. That’s not particularly easy to find. Whiteside has the added bonus of facing Clint Capela, which will keep him around the rim whenever he is in the game, and give him the added opportunity of seeing extended minutes.
No Dragic means Tyler Johnson and Dwyane Wade will see added ball-handling opportunities. I’d expect both to be on the higher owned side, with Johnson potentially being one of the highest owned players on the slate. Wade is a fun target tonight, as this is an appealing matchup for him during his retirement tour. I’d expect Wade to try and show up vs his good friend Paul and the top player at his position, Harden.
No Dragic also means more ball-handling opportunities for Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow. A word of warning, though: While Justise said he’s good to go for tonight, the Heat have listed him as questionable. While Richardson is a bit pricey on both sites and not the easiest target to fit, the upside is there for him. Winslow is priced far more appealingly and I’d rather take a shot with him, but he also carries far more risk. If I’m only building one lineup I don’t think either would make the cut.
It seems like coach Spo has fully implemented both Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk into the rotation. Both have been consistently seeing 25+ minutes since Whiteside returned, and have produced well. Kelly is really cheap if he’s going to continue to play the minutes he’s been getting, having been over 5x value of his current price in eight of his last nine games. Of course, take everything I write about Kelly with a grain of salt, as he’s personally made it his mission to make me look dumb in the past.
I guess the Derrick Jones Jr. production run is real? I still don’t trust him, but it’s hard to ignore what he has done of late. The Rockets turn the ball over a lot, so Jones could see +steals.