Matchups and Correlations 2/4

With only 4 games tonight in the NBA, I’m going deeper into my normal analysis. In this article I’ll combine the previous matchup statistics with correlation in order to try and make as accurate predictions as possible. Tonight will be harder than most, the value plays are few and far between. Every player is essentially.

Pacers vs Hawks

In their previous matchup (the box score can be found here: about a month ago, the Hawks won 97-87 at home. Lance Stephenson did not play. Here are some notable performances:

Paul George: 28/12/3/2

Korver: 17/2/2/1
Teague: 15/5/6/1
Carroll: 11/4/4/3

Millsap: 4 pts (1/10 shooting)/6/5/1/1
Hibbert: 22 minutes, 2/4/1

My Thoughts:

Paul George correlates highest with pace of play, so it makes sense that he did well against a high paced team in Atlanta. I expect him to be a safe play tonight, but I’m worried his performance will be slightly worse with Lance Stephenson on the floor who is arguably their number 1 option on offense. George is $9,000 on DraftKings, which is just too high a price for a player who rarely breaks 50 FPs.

Lance Stephenson didn’t play, but his price on DraftKings is very reasonable at $7,200. He correlates highly with DvP (Atlanta is middle of the pack against SGs) and has a reverse correlation with opponent wins (meaning: the worse the team he faces, the better he does). He’s also a energetic rebounder, an area where Atlanta struggles. Atlanta isn’t the strongest matchup for him, but it’s strong enough where I reccomend him for his price.

Roy Hibbert had an unexpectedly bad game, given that he was going up against an undersized Atlanta team. However, correlations suggest Hibbert has only a small correlation with matchup. While Hibbert’s performance was probably mostly a fluke, I don’t expect him to have a killer game tonight and I’d rather go with the much more reasonably priced Ronny Turiaf at Center or the hot Andrew Bogut.

Paul Millsap had a terrible game, which makes sense. He is inversely correlated with wins and is an undersized PF going up against the big beefy D of Indiana. You should absolutely stay away from Millsap tonight.

I think Kyle Korver may be a sneaky play tonight. He’s only $5,200 on DraftKings and is mostly a spot up shooter, the type of player that’s mostly uneffected by good defense. In a game where Atlanta is trailing, he could pick up some 3’s and be relied on for some late game scoring. Gustavo Ayon has a bad matchup, but they’ll need him to guard Hibbert and he probably has some nice value because of the minutes he’ll get tonight. Lastly, I think Demarre Carroll will have a reasonable game again and is an option at $4,600.

Suns vs Bulls

In their previous matchup, the Suns lost to the Bulls at Chicago 92-87. Carlos Boozer did not play. Here are the notables:

Joakim Noah 14/16/6/1/1

Goran Dragic 21/3/2
Taj Gibson 19/10/3
Jimmy Butler 13/5/3/4
DJ Augustin 13/2/9/1 in 29 minutes

PJ Tucker 4/3/1/1 in 20 minutes

Markieff Morris 2 PFs

Joakim Noah was booted from the Sacramento game last night after yelling “F**k you” to everyone on the court. Surprisingly, it looks like he’ll get a fine and it doesn’t look like the team will be suspending him given Tom Thibodeaus comments postgame. Noah doesn’t really correlate with anything, but given Phoenix’s lack of beef inside it doesn’t surprise me that Noah had a good game. He’s been doing consistently well ever since Deng was shipped off to Cleveland and his price is reasonable on DraftKings at only $8,000. I think he’s a great play tonight.

Goran Dragic has a mediocre game for his $8,100 price, but he was matched up on Kirk Hinrich for most of the game. DJ Augustin gets more playing time now and is a worse defender than Hinrich. However, Chicago is pretty beefy inside and moves at a slow pace, Dragic thrives off of fast breaks and drives to the basket. I really don’t think this is a good matchup for him and he’s not worth his high price.

DJ Augustin on the other hand had a good game in limited minutes. Phoenix does badly overall against PGs, so look for him to do well again tonight. My only concern is his price, which is $6,000 DraftKings, a lot for a player who won’t get over 35 minutes.

Taj Gibson had a good game, but that was with Carlos Boozer out. I’d say Gibson’s line is telling for Boozer, a physical, offensive big man who will dominate the skinny Channing Frye down low. I like Boozer tonight.

PJ Tucker’s line was probably a little flukey, but Chicago’s guards SFs well and he probably should be avoided.

Jimmy Butler has a solid game, I expect the same tonight. I recommend him.

Lastly, Markieff Morris didn’t have a good game but he did have only 2 fouls. This is important because Morris’ biggest enemy is foul trouble. Every night Morris plays he’s a reasonable GPP play, and tonight is no exception.

Warriors vs Bobcats

In their previous matchup, the Bobcats shocked the Warriors 115-111. The game was fast paced but sports bettors suggest it could be much slower tonight, setting the over-under at only 199. Andre Iguodala was out. Here are some notable performances:


Steph Curry 43/6/9/2
Kemba Walker 31/5/5
Josh Mcroberts 11/10/6/1/1


Gerald Henderson 24/3/1/1
Andrew Bogut 8/12/1/2 in 25 minutes
David Lee 14/16
Klay Thompson 22/2/5


Al Jefferson 11/9/1/1/1

Steph Curry had an exceptional game but inexplicably played 46 minutes. Sadly, Steph Curry’s performances in general correlate to absolutely nothing, but the fact that he had a great game in a previous matchup is telling. Curry didn’t shoot exceptionally well but did take a ton of shots. Analyzing the data, I’m not confident Curry has a good game but he’s definitely someone to consider putting in your lineup.

Al Jefferson on the other hand did terribly. He has everything going against him tonight: Kemba Walker is back which will cut down on his touches. He’s playing a good defense in Golden State who has a big body in the middle in Bogut to shut him down. He had a bad previous game. His salary is now so high that it would be absolutely foolish to start him tonight, stay away.

Josh McRoberts did well in his previous matchup, and it makes perfect sense given his correlations. He correlates to both DvP and pace, and Golden State does poorly against PFs and is one of the fastest teams in the league. Given all this information, we can be fairly certain that Mcroberts has a good game tonight and at $4,200 on DraftKings I love him tonight.

Andrew Bogut has been hot lately and it’s possible Marc Jackson is finally convinced that he should be played more than 25 minutes. He correlates highly with DvP, and Charlotte is one of the worst teams in the league against Centers. There’s a chance David Lee is out tonight, and if he is, Bogut is a must play. Regardless, I think he should be prioritized in your lineup.

Kemba Walker had a great game last time he faced GSW and is back tonight after a long absence. He correlates highly with DvP and Golden State struggles against PGs. That being said, I’m worried about Walker a) being rusty and b) getting a full minute load coming off an ankle injury. His price is pretty ridiculous on both DraftKings and FanDuel at over $8,300, so while it’s tempting to play Walker, I would stay away tonight.

Lakers vs Minnesota

Sked will be analyzing this game in an article found here, but I’ll highlight some notable performances for you anyway:

Kevin Love 25/13/3/1
Nikola Pekovic (out tonight) 22/13/1/2
Ricky Rubio 6/6/7/1

Jodie Meeks 17/3/4/1
Nick Young 25/3/4
Jordan Hill 4/1/0/1 (14 minutes)

I hope this information can help you carefully craft your lineup on a very tough night like tonight. Good Luck!

View all posts by Max J Steinberg
Max J Steinberg

About the Author

Max J Steinberg Max Steinberg is a professional poker player and a top Daily Fantasy player who uses his creativity and mathematical abilities he cultivated as a poker player to win money on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He already has several big tournament scores to his name including the Victiv Bowl and countless MLB Monster wins. Follow him on twitter @maxjsteinberg.

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