Wednesday’s NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Jeff Teague, DeMarcus Cousins Injuries
Photo credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: DeMarcus Cousins
- The NBA Injury Report details the slate's key injuries and their betting and DFS impact.
- In this piece, we'll break down the impact of the injuries to Wolves PG Jeff Teague and Warriors C DeMarcus Cousins.
Wednesday night’s NBA slate features 11 games with injuries and questionable players. We’ll analyze the following two:
- Minnesota Timberwolves at Atlanta Hawks: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Golden State Warriors at Miami Heat: 7:30 p.m. ET
Wolves PG Jeff Teague (knee) is questionable.
Injury background: Teague is questionable to suit up on Wednesday after missing last game due to a sore left knee.
Robert Covington (knee) remains sidelined but was assigned to the G League on Wednesday to practice. He won’t play in any games but appears close to a full return.
Tonight’s impact: With Teague absent on Monday, Tyus Jones drew the start and responded with 36.75 DraftKings points in 31 minutes. He has now averaged 10.6 points, 7.4 assists and 2.4 steals per start this season. His salary remains too cheap on DraftKings and FanDuel, and he’ll once again be an elite cash-game option if Teague is unable to suit up.
Since the Jimmy Butler trade, Derrick Rose, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins have benefited from the highest usage rate increase with Teague and Covington off the court, per the NBA On/Off tool. In those minutes, all three players have a usage rate of at least 27.5%.
Rose led the team with a 38.1% usage rate in Monday’s win and has exceeded his salary-based expectations in three straight games. However, he has yet to exceed 25 minutes in a game since returning from an ankle injury, limiting his overall upside.
After missing two games due to a concussion stemming from a car accident, Towns exploded for 34 points and 21 rebounds on Monday. With an increase in offensive possessions, he’ll also make for a strong play if Teague remains out. Towns and Jones also benefit from an exceptional matchup, as the Hawks currently rank 28th in Defensive Rating this season.
The Wolves are presently four-point favorites, and the chances of covering could be increased if Teague is ruled out. Jones carries a higher Net Rating, leads the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio and ranks third out of all point guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus this season.
Warriors C DeMarcus Cousins (rest) is out.
Injury background: Cousins will be held out of Wednesday’s game due to load management as part of his ongoing Achilles recovery.
The Warriors also play on Thursday, but coach Steve Kerr confirmed that Cousins is the only player resting on Wednesday.
Tonight’s impact: Kevon Looney started 20 of the last 21 games before Cousins made his season debut, and he also drew the start at center when Cousins rested right before the All-Star break in the second leg of a back-to-back.
In his most recent start, Looney logged 24 minutes while providing 20 DraftKings points. With a minimum-priced salary ($3,500) on FanDuel, he makes sense as a viable punt candidate where the lowest score can be dropped.
In 14 games with the team, Cousins has ranked first with a 28.3% usage rate. His absence will allow for increased rates for Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Durant and Curry each produced a usage rate above 30% without Cousins, and both players remain under $10,000 on DraftKings and FanDuel.
Looney profiles as a cash-game option due to price, but Curry, Durant and Thompson are likely better geared for tournament consideration against a Heat squad that ranks seventh in Defensive Rating and 23rd in pace this season.
The Heat have been struggling lately with a -5.4 Net Rating over their last 15 games. In that same span, the Warriors have ranked third with a +8.1 Net Rating.
While the Warriors are currently 9.5-point favorites on the road, the team’s Net Rating actually increases with Cousins off the court this season. Assuming no starters are limited in the front leg of the back-to-back, value can still be found taking the points.