This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
Thursday's nine-game slate bears a lot of similarities to Wednesday's action-packed evening of games. Late-breaking injury news will result in a late-swap bonanza on FanDuel. Although we've got a lot of information already available, the slate before the All-Star Break tends to be very unpredictable. It's critical to be around before lock to take advantage of late pivots tonight.
TOR @ BOS (-8) O/U: 217.5
LAC @ WAS (+6) O/U: 236
DET @ NYK (-5) O/U: 210
DEN @ IND (+4.5) O/U: 225.5
MIL @ MEM (+5.5) O/U: 233.5
MIA @ NOR (-3.5) O/U: 224.5
OKC @ SAS (-6) O/U: 219.5
SAC @ POR (-4.5) O/U: 238
GSW @ PHO (-5.5) O/U: 224
Odds via the FanDuel Sportsbook
Games/Teams to Target in BOLD, Games/Teams to Fade in ITALICS
TOR: Fred VanVleet (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT
TOR: Pascal Siakam (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT
TOR: OG Anunoby (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT
The Raptors are on a back-to-back and are in the same injury scenario tonight. Rather than waste space below on this spot, let's take a quick look at the significant beneficiaries in Wednesday's game:
Kyle Lowry ($8,500): 40 FP
Norman Powell ($7,400): 42.5 FP
Chris Boucher ($6,600): 35 FP
Aron Baynes ($4,000): 21 FP
Terence Davis and DeAndre' Bembry didn't factor into the game to the extent we expected. Overall, Powell and Boucher were the value-beaters, and I'd expect them to repeat as the best options in this spot.
LAC: Kawhi Leonard (back) - QUESTIONABLE
LAC: Marcus Morris (concussion) - DOUBTFUL
It wouldn't be surprising to see the Clippers take a cautious route with Kawhi, so he has more time to resolve the back issue leading into All-Star weekend. We'll identify a prime target later in the article, but I would anticipate boosts for Nicolas Batum ($4,200) and Reggie Jackson ($5,300), as well, if Kawhi sits.
DET: Jerami Grant (quad) - QUESTIONABLE
DET: Delon Wright (groin) - OUT
DET: Josh Jackson (Illness) - QUESTIONABLE
The Pistons injury scenario turned out to be a cornucopia of value for several players, as Dennis Smith ($5,500), Mason Plumlee ($6,300), Wayne Ellington ($4,000) and Svi Mykhailiuk ($3,700) all crushed projections. Rodney McGruder ($3,500) exploded, as well. Plumlee is a favorite call if Grant is out, and Smith is my favorite among the remaining mentions in the rotation.
NYK: Derrick Rose (COViD-19 Protocols) - QUESTIONABLE
NYK: Elfrid Payton (hamstring) - DOUBTFUL
NYK: Taj Gibson (ankle) - DOUBTFUL
FanDuel made a friendly call for the public by putting Nerlens Noel ($5,500) at center and Julius Randle ($9,300) at PF. The designation makes Noel a nice budget pivot at the position. If Rose is out, Immanuel Quickley ($5,100) is your top pivot.
DEN: JaMychal Green (shoulder) - OUT
DEN: Paul Millsap (knee) - OUT
DEN: Gary Harris (thigh) - OUT
DEN: Facundo Campazzo (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT
Check in to confirm Denver's starting five and head there for your best options.
MIA: Jimmy Butler (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
MIA: Bam Adebayo (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
Miami's two best players could be out tonight. Kelly Olynyk ($4,400) is the prudent pivot for Bam, but there isn't anyone on the roster who can emulate Butler's production. Lately, Duncan Robinson ($4,800) has stayed off the injury report and produced well, so he's a fair budget play for the Heat.
SAS: LaMarcus Aldridge (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
SAS: Derrick White (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT
SAS: Rudy Gay (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT
The Spurs were last week's Raptors in terms of absences, but things have improved somewhat for San Antonio. This isn't a game I'm particularly high on, so I'll refrain from offering pivots here.
OKC: Al Horford (possible rest)
OKC: Hamidou Diallo (groin)
As I said, not a game I'm looking at tonight, but keep an eye on Horford. A rest day here could result in a nice day for Isaiah Roby ($4,600).
GSW: Kelly Oubre (wrist) - Questionable
There's a decent chance Oubre could miss another game as the Warriors finish out their first-half schedule with a back-to-back. Kent Bazemore ($4,200) had a great day in his absence, but the starters should be your primary focus here.
Nikola Jokic ($11,600) tops the slate, and rightfully so. His recent performances are chock-full of gems in the 65-75 FP range, and the differential between Jokic and the next available center is vast.
A whopping $4,100 separates Jokic and the second center on this slate (Deandre Ayton at $7,500), so the valuable center position is genuinely a go-big-or-go-home proposition tonight. You can't blame anyone for spending up for Jokic against the Pacers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300) slides in right behind Jokic in a nice spot against the Grizzlies. These two teams have yet to meet, but Memphis should be able to keep it close, which is always a boon for Giannis, who tends to disappear in blowout contests. Bradley Beal ($10,400) and Damian Lillard ($10,100) round out the 10k-plus options, and to be honest, neither player jumps off the page. Lillard is on a back-to-back, and Beal has a tough matchup against the Clippers.
Better options emerge as we move through the 9k range. Russell Westbrook ($9,700) might be my favorite play in this range, despite facing the Clippers. Although some of his numbers don't quite hit value, his floor has been solid, and he possesses the ability to pop on any given night. Look Westbrook's way if you want to target upside in GPP formats.
Julius Randle ($9,300) does just about everything for the Knicks, and if Jerami Grant fails to take the floor, Randle could be in a plum spot for an explosive total. Finally, Zion Williamson's ($8,900) floor continues to amaze. Although he'll play a key role in All-Star Weekend, the Pelicans need to finish strong to have any hope of contending, so I don't think they will rest him against the Heat.
Paul George, LAC ($7,900) @ WAS
If Leonard remains out, George transforms into a gigantic chalk play, but he'll still see his fair share if his All-Star teammate accompanies him in this soft matchup against the Wizards. He blitzed them for 43 FP in their last matchup, and that's good enough for 5x at this salary point.
Paul loves to turn it on against longtime rivals like Stephen Curry, and I think he's got an excellent chance to post a good number against the Warriors. Booker is uttered in the same paragraph because the guard is probably raring to go after a dramatic ejection against the Lakers, and his recent scores indicate that a reliable floor has returned.
Khris Middleton, MIL ($7,500) @ MEM
The numbers that stand out for Middleton recently are his assist totals. He typically is a shot-dependent guy who can save his line with rebounds, but he's on pace for a career-best average of 5.8 assists per game, and over his past six games, he's collected 34 of them. Middleton is still a great rebounder and is a great candidate tonight if he can string everything together.
The bulk of our value recommendations appear in the injury section, but here are a few more budget options that you don't want to miss.
PF: Robert Covington, POR ($6,000) vs. SAC
SF: Will Barton, DEN ($5,600) @ IND
PG: Saben Lee, DET ($4,700) @ NYK