Although 11 games are on tap for Monday, the majority of playable contests are in FanDuel's six-game offering that tips off at 6:00 p.m. EST. Today's article will focus only on that slate.
MIL (-3.5) @ ATL O/U: 229.5
ORL (-0.5) vs. POR O/U: 215
MIA (-3.5) vs. TOR O/U: 209
DAL (-10) vs. OKC O/U: 207.5
PHO (-4) @ SAS O/U: 224.5
UTA (-4.5) @ LAL O/U: 232.5
The injury report is as thin as we've seen it in months, so while there aren't many game-time decisions, it's always important to keep an eye on late developments. There is almost always an unexpected scratch or two due to the health and safety protocols.
The UTA/LAL and MIL/ATL games represent tonight's best DFS value. Despite the low over/under total, I like the depressed salaries of a few Toronto players against Miami. The OKC/DAL game is essentially a fade.
MIL Jrue Holiday (ankle) - OUT
ATL Clint Capela (ankle) - OUT
ATL Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee) - OUT
POR Norman Powell (COVID-19 Protocols) - QUESTIONABLE
POR Larry Nance (knee) - OUT
ORL Wendell Carter (hamstring) - OUT
In Carter's absence, Chuma Okeke ($5,000) should be the top beneficiary.
MIA Bam Adebayo (thumb) - QUESTIONABLE
MIA Kyle Lowry (personal) - OUT
We may see Adebayo back as soon as this evening, but it's a near certainty that the team will bring Bam along slowly, making a clear pivot uncertain at this position. With Lowry out, Gabe Vincent($5,000) will move up in the rotation.
PHO Deandre Ayton (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
PHO Cameron Johnson (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
The severity of Ayton's ankle injury is unknown, but JaVale McGee ($4,900) will be the obvious pivot if he misses time.
UTA Hassan Whiteside (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT
LAL Carmelo Anthony (back) - QUESTIONABLE
With one of the highest projected game totals on the slate, Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300)looks to be a wise investment against the Hawks, and we should probably expect a similar result for LeBron James ($11,200), who is playing in the game with the highest projected total against the Jazz. I would endorse Giannis over LeBron, however. James' ability to beat value is certainly there, but $11,200 is a season-high salary that might be tough to fit in.
We are sliding past the Toronto elites as we plan to attack their roster a bit differently, at which point we fall to Jimmy Butler ($9,100). The total against Toronto isn't great, but with Lowry out and the Heat taking it slowly with Adebayo, Butler is finally back in a spot where an upside total is possible.
Also consider: Luka Doncic, DAL ($10,400) vs. OKC
EXPECTED CHALK AND CORE TARGETS
Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($8,100) @ LAL
This is the Jazz's first matchup against the Lakers, and it will be interesting to see the end result. While Utah's defense will be the most intriguing aspect of the matchup, we shouldn't discount the Jazz's ability to put points on the board. Mitchell and Gobert are at full health, and they usually improve when both of them are on the court. Mitchell has been lights out over his past four games, averaging 28.8 points, 5.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals.
Devin Booker, PHO ($8,100) @ SAS
Even though this is a back-to-back road game for the Suns and a long trip from Detroit, Booker only played 30 minutes against the Pistons and had an outstanding game. Booker hasn't experienced a back-to-back since late November, and he posted more than 30 points on both ends, so even though he hasn't had a quick turnaround in some time he's playing too well to pass up at this salary. The back-to-back might also result in a scratch for Chris Paul, and I'd like Booker even more in that scenario.
Jusuf Nurkic, POR ($7,500) @ ORL
Wendell Carter is out for Orlando, and although Mo Bamba is back, CJ McCollum is also suiting up for this game, and he adds one more player who can dish the ball inside. As I've said numerous times, Nurkic offers the team its best chance to take their campaign to the next level, and Damian Lillard's output needs to be absorbed by a group effort for the Blazers to stay competitive. Although he's been up and down, Nurkic's last game was a huge 23/14 double-double, which was his fifth in seven games. Portland hasn't played Orlando yet, but Nurkic should stack up well against them.
Josh Giddey, OKC ($6,500) @ DAL
We'll once again slide to Giddey, as I think Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at $8,400 is a bit too expensive for my taste. You could certainly go in that direction, but the $1,900 difference should come close to paying off the point-per-dollar value. Two weeks ago, the Mavericks gifted Giddey one of the best games of his career, a triple-double in a low-scoring affair.
My favorite values from the Injuries section are McGee, Allen and Ariza.
While Fred VanVleet at $9,300 and Pascal Siakam at $9,900 are also viable, Barnes and Anunoby offer immense value at these salaries. Anunoby is having an excellent January, averaging 18.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He's also popped for over 20 points in half of the games he's played this month. Barnes has dealt with a knee injury that has limited his appearances recently, but he is clear of the injury report and has played well after a rest day.
Mo Bamba, ORL ($5,700) vs. POR
Without Wendell Carter, we should see more of Bamba, who will have his work cut out for him against Jusuf Nurkic. After a two-game absence, Bamba came off the bench, but I expect he will start at the five today and see around 30 minutes. It's been a while since we've seen a run of production like Bamba had at the beginning of the season, and his lack of playing time due to extended stays on the injury report is the primary cause.
Keldon Johnson, SAS ($4,900) vs. PHO
With Dejounte Murray's salary reaching lofty (albeit justified) levels, getting to the Spurs on the cheap is a sound way to go, especially against a tough Phoenix defense. We wouldn't want to spend too much against one of the league's best teams, but the Suns are on a back-to-back. Johnson's salary is low enough to roll the dice on an upside game, as he will often be the second-highest scorer on the roster.
De'Andre Hunter, ATL ($4,400) vs MIL
I've always been a big fan of Hunter, but injuries have kept us all from using him. With Bogdan Bogdanovic out and Cam Reddish out of the picture, a huge opportunity opens up for Hunter, who will only have to compete with Kevin Huerter to fill this gap.