Thursday NBA Injury Report (Oct. 31): How Trae Young, Derrick Favors Injuries Impact Betting, DFS
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15).
- 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 Trae Young, Derrick Favors and more for Thursday's three-game slate.
Thursday’s NBA slate features three games with a couple notable injuries and questionable players. We’ll hit on the following situations:
- Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks: 7 p.m. ET
- Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Pelicans: 9:30 p.m. ET
Injuries/news: Trae Young (ankle), Chandler Parsons (knees) and Evan Turner (Achilles) are out. De’Andre Hunter (dental) is no longer on the injury report.
Background: Young sprained his ankle in the first half of Tuesday’s game in Miami. It thankfully doesn’t seem to be that bad: X-rays were negative, and he won’t need an MRI. He’s out tonight, but he’s day-to-day moving forward and could return next week.
Tonight’s impact: In Wednesday’s game, the line closed at Heat -8.5 in Miami with Trae playing. I’d have home court worth 2.5 to 3 points for both of these teams — it’s a little higher for some teams like the Jazz and Nuggets, who play at elevation — which means a neutral-court line would’ve been around Heat -5.5 to -6. Tonight’s game is at Heat -6.5 in Atlanta, which means a neutral court line is about -9 to -9.5.
Current odds: Heat -6.5 at Hawks; over/under 215.5 (via PointsBet — claim your 200% deposit match, an exclusive promotion for Action Network users)
That signifies the betting market thinks Young is worth about 3-4 points to the spread. Is that right?
It’s tough to say. Last season, the Hawks were 1.3 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor vs. off. He was very valuable on offense, but gave away some value on the other end.
This season, however, he’s seemingly taken a leap, and the Hawks have been a stupid 25.4 points/100 worse without him. That’ll regress with a larger sample, but it’s indicative of his importance as well as the Hawks’ lack of depth at lead guard without him.
We currently have DeAndre’ Bembry projected to start in Young’s place; he’ll slide in with Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter, John Collins and Alex Len.
None of those guys are great shot-creators — in fact, some of them are downright bad for their positions — and there aren’t really good options otherwise. Kevin Huerter has some upside, but will continue to have his minutes capped around 20.
The obvious candidate to take over lead guard duties would be Evan Turner, but he’s also out with an Achilles injury. I’m not expecting great things from this Hawks offense tonight.
Another big question is how real their defense is. So far on the season, they rank seventh in defensive efficiency. They’ve held opponents to poor shooting and have generated a lot of turnovers.
Is that sustainable though? The fundamentals are weird: They’re allowing a lot of shots at the rim and beyond the arc; opponents just aren’t hitting them.
All in all, it seems they’ve gotten pretty lucky: They have an expected effective field goal percentage allowed of 53%, but opponents have posted a mark of just 46.5%. They will likely regress, especially as the play better shooting teams — their recent games have been against the Sixers, Magic and Pistons.
All said, I’m not touching this over/under given the dynamics listed above. I think there’s still a bit of value on the Heat at -6.5, but I probably wouldn’t bet it above that number. Trae is already (rightfully) getting a lot of value here.
DFS-wise, the Hawks are a big question mark tonight. They’re missing about 40% usage without Trae.
Bembry is going to get the start for Trae, which makes him underpriced but volatile on both sites. Reddish is apparently the de facto point guard tonight. It’s going to be some game.
Huerter, who has a minutes cap but will likely have to handle some ball-handling duties, is very cheap at $3,400. Some Hawks player will likely pop for tournaments — maybe it’s John Collins — but there’s some uncertainty in this situation given Trae’s importance.
New Orleans Pelicans
Injuries: Derrick Favors (knee) is doubtful. Jrue Holiday (knee) is probable.
Injury background: Favors missed last game with a sore right knee, and it looks like it’ll keep him out tonight as well. Holiday has been upgraded to probable after missing the previous two games with a sprained left knee.
Tonight’s impact: We currently have Jahlil Okafor projected to start for Favors, which is certainly a downgrade on both ends of the floor.
Current odds: Nuggets -4 at Pelicans; over/under 223 (via PointsBet — claim your 200% deposit match, an exclusive promotion for Action Network users)
Two guys popping in our FantasyLabs NBA models are Will Barton and Jamal Murray. They’re both mid-priced DraftKings options, and they have the benefit of going up against a Pelicans defense that has been utter trash so far. They’re 28th in defensive efficiency (scrubbing out garbage time).
In fact, the Pels are in the bottom-10 in all four defensive four factors: eFG% allowed (21st), turnover rate (21st), defensive rebounding (30th) and opponent free throw rate (25th). They’ve allowed the highest percentage of shots at the rim and the fifth-most from beyond the arc. They allow transition possessions at a high rate, and they’re playing at the third-fastest pace in the league.
I don’t think I need to sell you anymore on the Nuggets in this pace-up spot, even with the under getting hit with sharp money today. There will be fantasy opportunities, making those guys great values, plus Nikola Jokic is a worthy stud to target as well.
On the Pelicans’ side, Okafor is popping as a value on DraftKings at $3,400. In fact, he currently owns the highest Projected Plus/Minus at +8.9 currently. There’s downside given he’s unlikely to play huge minutes and the tough matchup against Jokic, but he could easily surpass expectations.