Wednesday’s NBA slate features 11 games with a couple notable injuries and questionable players. We’ll hit on the following situations:
- Detroit Pistons at Indiana Pacers: 7 p.m. ET
- New York Knicks at San Antonio Spurs: 8:30 p.m. ET
Injuries: Blake Griffin (hamstring, knee) is out. Markieff Morris (back) will play. Reggie Jackson (back) is probable.
Injury background: Griffin is still rehabbing after arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason and will not be available to start the year. The Pistons said they will reevaluate him the start of November.
Morris was questionable with back tightness, but the Pistons recently announced he would start Wednesday.
Tonight’s impact: There were rumblings that the Pistons might go super small with Luke Kennard getting the start, but they in fact will bring him off the bench and roll with Morris and Bruce Brown in the starting unit.
Current odds: Pacers -7.5; over/under 210.5 (via PointsBet — claim your 200% deposit match, an exclusive promotion for Action Network users)
There’s obviously a lot of uncertainty with rotations currently, but the Pistons do look like nice values on this slate given their salaries. Both Morris and Kennard stand out in our FantasyLabs models at $3,600 and $3,300, respectively, on DraftKings. They both are projected to outperform salary-based expectations by more than seven points, as is backup guard Derrick Rose ($4,400).
Morris will largely fill in at the PF spot, but Kennard could slide over in small-ball units, and Christian Wood, who is cheap on FanDuel at $3,900, is also likely in line for a few more minutes both at PF and backup center behind Andre Drummond.
Betting-wise, this line opened up at Pacers -5 and currently sits at a consensus number of -7.5. I bet it at -6.5, and I think the value is gone past -7. At this point, I’d get exposure to this situation in the DFS and props markets.
New York Knicks
Injuries: Mitchell Robinson (ankle) is out. Taj Gibson (calf) will play.
Injury background: Robinson sprained his ankle in practice Monday, and after being questionable for tonight’s game, he’s been ruled out.
Tonight’s impact: With Robinson out, the Knicks on the road will likely start a unit of Dennis Smith Jr., RJ Barrett, Marcus Morris, Julius Randle and Bobby Portis. Yes, that’s right: Portis will be their primary rim protector against a Spurs team that will get point guard Dejounte Murray back and already ranked in the top five in field goal percentage at the rim last year.
Current odds: Spurs -10; over/under 214.5 (via PointsBet — claim your 200% deposit match, an exclusive promotion for Action Network users)
To be fair, the Spurs did rank last in the league in percentage of shots at the rim, although that could change with Murray back in the fold. In his main 2017-18 season, he ranked in the 94th percentile of all guards in percentage of shots at the rim.
The Spurs currently sit at -10.5 after the news at some of the sharper books, although there’s still a few 10s sitting out there at the time of writing. I wouldn’t go past 11 given the uncertainty of the first game of the season.
It’s a long year. Perhaps the better bet is the over/under, which I grabbed at 214. Robinson was the only good defender in that starting unit, and this Knicks team with Portis at center projects to be terrible defensively.
DFS-wise, Portis is somewhat standing out on FanDuel, where his $5,100 salary comes with a +4.32 Projected Plus/Minus. Still, this is a low total game on a big 11-game slate. Perhaps the more interesting side is the Spurs, who are pricey but obviously have nice upside in tournaments in this spot.
Pictured Above: Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23)
Photo Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports