NBA Injury Report (Oct. 28): Betting, DFS Impact of Jrue Holiday, Joel Embiid Injuries
Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joel Embiid
- The NBA Injury Report breaks down the slate most important injuries and how they'll impact DFS and betting.
- Tonight we're focusing on the injuries to Joel Embiid, Jrue Holiday and more for Monday's 11-game slate.
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Monday’s NBA slate features 11 games with a couple notable injuries and questionable players. We’ll hit on the following situations:
- Philadelphia 76ers at Atlanta Hawks: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Golden State Warriors at New Orleans Pelicans: 8 p.m. ET
Injuries/news: Joel Embiid (ankle, lip) is questionable.
Background: Embiid sprained his ankle late last week, which held him out of Saturday’s win over the Detroit Pistons. He’s questionable to suit up today against the Hawks due to the ankle plus a lip laceration that required sutures.
Tonight’s impact: In Saturday’s affair, the 76ers elected to not swap Embiid out for a center, instead starting rookie wing Matisse Thybulle and moving Al Horford over to the 5. Thybulle got 23 minutes, Mike Scott played 22 and the biggest change in playing time was to Kyle O’Quinn, who received 14 minutes of action.
Current odds: 76ers -4.5 at Hawks; over/under 224.5 (via PointsBet — claim your 200% deposit match, an exclusive promotion for Action Network users)
No surprise, the 76ers currently own one of the league’s best defenses, allowing 97.6 points per 100 possessions through two games according to Cleaning the Glass, which scrubs out garbage time. On Saturday without Embiid, they allowed a still respectable 104.7 number, although a big part of that was due to Detroit turning the ball over a ton, getting few rebounds and having a nonexistent transition game.
More concerning was the Pistons attacking the rim: 46% of their shots were in that area, which ranks in the 92nd percentile of NBA games. And worse: They shot 70% on those attempts. It wasn’t even a huge Andre Drummond game, either, as he went just 5-of-10 from the field. Rather, it was Derrick Rose and the guards getting into the paint.
There’s no doubt Embiid is one of the most impactful defenders in the league, even on a roster with excellent defensive personnel. Last season, the Sixers were 7.6 points/100 worse with him off the floor. Teams shot a ridiculous 5.2% better at the rim.
That could be concerning today against a Hawks, who lead the league with 73.8% shooting at the rim so far this season. The athletic, young team has really benefited from another Trae Young leap. The Hawks are likely to regress a bit, but this is definitely a more potent offense than expected.
The biggest jump in play without Embiid for the Sixers on Saturday was Tobias Harris, who finished 10-of-15 for 29 points. Still, that was mostly hot shooting; he used only 18.8% of the possessions while on the floor. Both Ben Simmons and Al Horford had a higher usage rate in the game.
Embiid is the highest-rated player for this game in our FantasyLabs DFS models, and he’ll be able to clean up against a Hawks team that has been solid defensively to start the season but projects as a poor defense over the long run. Several other players are standing out given their low salaries on DraftKings. Young will have his work cut out for him against this defense but is a hard fade after putting up more than 60 DraftKings points in each of his first two games.
Betting-wise, it seems the market is expecting Embiid to return, as the Sixers are currently 4.5-point road favorites. Last game, I bet Philly after the line dropped to -3 following the Embiid news, but that was against a worse roster. If Embiid is out, there would be some value on the Hawks at the current number. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
New Orleans Pelicans
Injuries: Jrue Holiday (knee) is questionable.
Injury background: Holiday sprained his knee last week, which caused him to miss Saturday’s close loss to the Houston Rockets. He’s questionable to suit up today vs. the struggling Warriors.
Tonight’s impact: No Jrue, no problem on Saturday against the Rockets. The Pelicans played very well, easily covering the 11.5-point spread on the road.
Current odds: Pelicans -3.5 vs. Warriors; over/under 235 (via PointsBet — claim your 200% deposit match, an exclusive promotion for Action Network users)
Because the Pelicans already start two point guards in Jrue and Lonzo Ball, they subbed in wing Josh Hart, who played 33 minutes, scoring 23 points on 5-of-12 shooting behind the arc. He also pitched in two steals and a block, outperforming his salary-based expectations on FanDuel by nearly 19 points.
The real surprise this year has been Brandon Ingram, who has played extremely well through three games after being a poor player by most metrics for the beginning of his career. The Pels are 0-3, but they’ve had tough games against the Raptors (on ring night), Mavericks and Rockets.
It’s really tough to handicap this game for both betting and DFS given the atrocity that has been the Golden State Warriors early on. The Dubs lost by 19 to the Clippers last week (it was much worse than that) and by 28 to the Thunder last night (it was that bad). The roster has been absolutely miserable, especially with the bench units. The Warriors have the worst Net Rating in the league by a mile, even with scrubbing out garbage time, and they rank dead last in defensive efficiency, allowing 133.7 points/100.
There are some takeaways to believe it won’t be this bad for the Dubs moving forward. Notably, they shot just 4-of-25 from behind the arc yesterday, including 0-of-5 from the corner. All in all, it led to a 35.8% effective field goal percentage before garbage time kicked in (the entire fourth quarter). They will not be that bad certainly (maybe?).
But they’re still likely to be below average given the current roster, which Sunday started Marquese Chriss. Eric Paschall, Omari Spellman, Jordan Poole, Jacob Evans and Damion Lee all played 15 minutes. Some of those guys are still young and could improve. But they also just might not be NBA rotation-caliber guys ever, and that’s a huge problem.
Perhaps getting Kevon Looney healthy (he’s out again tonight with a tight hamstring) will help defensively, and it can’t get much worse shooting, but that doesn’t mean that will happen tonight. It will be fascinating to see how the betting market treats this team. As of now, the line suggests these teams are about even on a neutral court.
For DFS updates, make sure to check out FantasyLabs models, especially as we update projections in real-time as we get injury news on Jrue and others. This game is likely to be somewhat popular tonight given the Warriors’ terrible defense and the high 238 over/under.