As we inch closer to the NBA AllStar Break, we also find ourselves roughly a month out from our NBA Fantasy postseason. Complacency has led to many a disappointing season finish. At the Fantasy Unicorns, we want to make sure you’re able to take a step back and consider different factors that may affect your lineup. A sneaky way to go beyond the obvious is to leverage betting odds. This can give you a nice edge, particularly in deep leagues.
The 2020 title odds continue to be a three-team race, and that’s only become more true over the past month. As reported by My Top Sportsbooks The Lakers (+215), Bucks (+315), and Clippers (+350) are the only teams shorter than +1100. Together, they are given nearly an 80% to win the NBA championship, leaving the other 13 playoff teams-to-be just 20% to divvy amongst themselves.
As the favorites, we need to keep an eye on the Lakers’ superstars. LeBron James has been enjoying a solid (for him) season. They’ve been managing his minutes a little bit more, but he’s averaging a career-high in assists (10.7) and keeping at back end first-round fantasy value. He’s only missed 2 games this season and I expect that trend to hold, though we may see more of a minutes and load management approach as they try to keep him fresh for that championship run. Anthony Davis has been a beast this season, #1 in fantasy. He’s missed a few more games, but has justified his draft spot. At still just 26 years old, there’s probably not much need to rest him, but little injuries like bruised glute tend to affect him. He’ll be fine for the rest of the season.
Use the odds data showing that the Lakers will be in the best position down the road. This will allow them to be a little more liberal with rest, especially for LeBron. Look for Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, and Alex Caruso to have elevated roles in the fantasy playoffs.
While he’s upped his 3 point shooting, his huge dip in his already bad free throw shooting percentage has dropped Giannis Antetokounmpo outside of the top 30 for fantasy purposes. Getting the ball ripped out of his hand from Zion aside, the Freak is a 25-year-old physical marvel, who has had his minutes monitored well this season. Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez have also been playing well, #25 and #42 in fantasy. Coach Budenholzer will continue to find the right balance so the players stay focused but fresh. I expect no change for these players as you head into your fantasy playoffs.
If you roster Kawhi Leonard and/or Paul Geroge on your fantasy team, you’re used to the rollercoaster. Kawhi has missed his normal allotment of games and still returned value as he’s #5 per game in fantasy. PG13 missed more games and has been hovering just outside of the top 20, in stark contrast to his #4 rank last season. Even though they aren’t the favorites, expect more rest games for both players, with Doc wanting to keep the vets fresh for a postseason run. This will obviously open up more potential for Lou Williams and Landry Shamet.
Keep checking the odds and let that be your secret edge.