NBA Injury Report: DFS, Betting Impact of Caris LeVert, Andrew Wiggins Injuries
- The NBA Injury Report is a daily piece that runs through the slate's key injuries and their betting and DFS impact.
- There are two key teams with multiple injuries to analyze on Wednesday night: the Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves.
After a small Tuesday slate, Wednesday comes with 11 games. There are quite a few injuries to keep your eye on tonight, and this piece will focus on two specific situations: the Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Injuries: Jarrett Allen (illness) is questionable and Caris LeVert (foot) is injured.
Injury background: Allen has already missed a game with this illness, while LeVert went down with a gruesome injury during Monday’s loss. He’s since been diagnosed with a dislocated foot, which is relatively good news given that it appeared far worse. LeVert is expected to return at some point this season.
Impact if Allen is ruled out: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson got the start in Allen’s place and saw 27 of the 48 available minutes at center, with Ed Davis getting the remaining 21. Both were among the top value plays on Monday’s slate, though that resulted in Hollis-Jefferson getting a major price hike, particularly on FanDuel where he’s now $6,200. Davis is a far more reasonable $4,200 on DraftKings and $3,900 on FanDuel; he would be the preferred value play if Allen was to miss additional time.
The impact isn’t just limited to the Nets’ side, however. Karl-Anthony Towns went off for 25 points and 21 rebounds against this undersized frontcourt on Monday, and Hassan Whiteside could deliver another 20-20 line if Allen is ruled out. The Nets are already a disaster at defending centers (27th in efficiency); it only gets worse when they don’t have the size to combat these seven-footers.
The loss of LeVert can’t be overstated. He led the Nets in minutes and scoring and has been the team’s most consistent player to this point. They’ll have to fill in for him by committee with Spencer Dinwiddie, Allen Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll, and Hollis-Jefferson. Dinwiddie has seen the largest usage rate and DraftKings Plus/Minus differential this season with LeVert off the court, per the FantasyLabs’ On/Off tool. He’s far too cheap at just $4,900 on DraftKings, where he has a 97% Bargain Rating.
The Nets actually have a better Net Rating with LeVert off the court this season, trading worse offense for significantly better defense at a slower pace. The Heat’s offense has sputtered lately, ranking 20th in Offensive Rating over the past four games, so there could be some value on the under if it gets to 220 or above.
Injuries: Andrew Wiggins (quad) and Jeff Teague (knee) are questionable.
Injury background: Wiggins has been dealing with a right quad contusion for over three weeks after originally suffering the injury on October 22. He’s missed four games as a result, though he’s been able to play in six of the Wolves’ last seven. Teague returned to the lineup on Monday to play 35 minutes after missing six straight contests due to a left knee contusion.
Tonight’s impact: There are a lot of moving parts here, as it’s unclear if Robert Covington and Dario Saric will make their debuts after being traded from the 76ers. Regardless of who plays, this is the best overall game environment on Wednesday featuring two of the top-five leaders in pace this season and the highest over/under (230.5).
Teague remains underpriced on DraftKings for the second straight game at just $5,600, despite exceeding his salary-based expectation there by a whopping 27.4 points in Monday’s win, during which he led the Wolves in usage rate. Towns draws a tough matchup against one of the league’s best defenders in Anthony Davis, though it’s one he can overcome. The Pelicans rank just 26th in defensive efficiency and are bottom 10 in efficiency allowed to centers, partially due to the blistering pace with which they play.
Saric and Covington didn’t practice with the team Tuesday, so if they do debut on Wednesday it’ll be with just a shootaround or walkthrough. It seems highly unlikely that either will be thrust into massive 30-plus minutes roles from the outset — particularly Saric given the presence of Taj Gibson. Gibson would become an extremely strong cash-game play at just $4,800 should Saric’s debut be pushed back until Friday.