The ESPN fantasy and betting cheat sheet is your pregame destination for our best intel and data to help you make smart fantasy and wagering decisions. NBA game odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.
Pencil In Porzingis: Kristaps Porzingis isn’t priced as a top-10 center across the DFS industry tonight and he’s up against a Lakers team that has been out-rebounded in five of their past six games. Porzingis has converted 15-of-26 shots in his two games back on the floor with three blocked shots in those 47 minutes. He carries risk, but the potential reward at this reduced price is at least worth consideration.
Putting The “New” In “New Orleans”: Jose Alvarado is available in over 99% of leagues, but with the Pelicans missing both Brandon Ingram (hamstring) and CJ McCollum (health and safety protocols), there’s some serious usage to absorb against a Hornets team that ranks third in pace of play. Alvarado profiles as a nice add and keep option down the stretch of the fantasy regular season and a fine DFS punt play.
Opportunity Knicks: New York will be without Cam Reddish, Derrick Rose, Nerlens Noel and Quentin Grimes tonight’s tilt with Memphis. Keep an eye on Alec Burks (86% available). Burks has played at least 35 minutes in three of his last four games and had 25 combined rebounds and dimes across his last two outings. He has even emerged as a solid target for shooting (at least three 3-pointers in three of last four) and rebounding props (7.1 RPG last seven games).
Motown Marvin: The Pistons have ruled out Isaiah Stewart due to a knee injury. Marvin Bagley III (47%) was quiet against Chicago earlier this week, but foul trouble limited him in that one. Bagley is likely to start and top 30 minutes against a Boston team that ranks 21st in rebounding percentage over the past 10 games, His path to a double-double appears achievable.
Pricing Cleveland: With Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert ruled out for Cleveland’s game against the Heat this evening, Rookie of the Year favorite Evan Mobley is in a good spot to hit rebounding props (29 in the last two games), while Darius Garland has surpassed his assist prop in three straight games. For those seeking some waiver help from the Cavs, Kevin Love (70% available) cruised to 22 points with nine combined rebounds and assists in a win over Miami earlier this season.
Weekend Waivers : Consider some proactive waiver claims heading into the weekend. Minnesota’s Malik Beasley (60% available) has posted incredible shooting volume in recent games, including a franchise record 11 3-pointers last time out. Oklahoma City’s Isaiah Roby (88% available) has been busy collecting steals while also posting respectable scoring results. Kyle Kuzma is in a great spot to produce against his former team tonight, as is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (86% available), who has enjoyed a major uptick in playmaking duties in the wake of Bradley Beal’s injury and Spencer Dinwiddie’s move to Dallas.
Line: Heat (-5.5)
Moneyline: Heat (-240), Cavaliers (+195)
Total: 209.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 210.5 points
BPI Win%: Heat (76%)
Remarkable: The Cavaliers have covered three straight games after failing to cover any of their six games prior. Over tickets have come through in three of the past four games in which Cleveland has covered.
Fantasy Streamer: Isaac Okoro. Okoro has seen his usage rate increase with LeVert out of the lineup. Over the last three games, Okoro has averaged 11.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 2.0 APG in 28 MPG. He is available in 96.4% of ESPN leagues and someone to consider in deeper formats. –Eric Moody
Best bet: Over 209.5 points. Jarrett Allen is one of the anchors of the Cavaliers’ defense, and without him Cleveland is more vulnerable to higher scoring games. Both teams have also trended in that direction as of late, with the Cavs and their opponents going over 209.5 points in four of their last five games. Meanwhile, the Heat and their opponents going over in seven of their last nine. — Andre Snellings
Breaking down the rest of the slate
Line: Timberwolves (-7)
Moneyline: Timberwolves (-310), Magic (+245)
Total: 233 points
BPI Projected Total: 223.5 points
BPI Win%: Timberwolves (69.6%)
Key players ruled out: none
questionable: Anthony Edwards, Jarred Vanderbilt, Jordan McLaughlin, Taurean Prince
Remarkable: Not one. Not two. Not three… after blowing out the Thunder on Wednesday night, that’s now six straight covers for the Timberwolves (the past two of which have gone under the total).
Best Bet: Over 233 points. The Timberwolves are playing away from home so we should see plenty of points from both teams in Orlando. Over the Wolves past 16 road games, the two teams have averaged 244.3 combined points and gone over 233 points in 13 of them (including the last nine games in a row). –Snellings
Line: Hawks (-6)
Moneyline: Hawks (-240), Clippers (+195)
Total: 228.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 219.5 points
BPI Win%: Hawks (72%)
Key players ruled out: Robert Covington
Remarkable: Each of the Clippers’ past six road games have gone under the total.
Fantasy Streamer: Luke Kennard. The Clippers ran an eight man rotation without Robert Covington on Wednesday night. With Covington out again on Friday, Kennard (95.4% available) should see a ton of minutes. He’s averaged 17.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per 40 minutes this season. — Moody
Line: Celtics (-14)
Moneyline: Celtics (-1500), Pistons (+850)
Total: 216 points
BPI Projected Total: 215 points
BPI Win%: Celtics (91.6%)
Key players ruled out: Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart
Remarkable: The Celtics are working on a four game unbeaten streak ATS, their longest run since a five gamer in November.
Fantasy Streamer: Cory Joseph. Killian Hayes’ injury opens the door for Joseph (99% available) to see additional minutes. Joseph is an excellent streamer in deeper formats and has averaged 13.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 6.0 assists per 40 minutes this season. — Moody
Best Bet: Pistons +14. The Pistons’ recent strong play has flown largely under the radar. They are 7-0-2 against the spread in their last nine games, including outright wins over the Hawks, Raptors, Hornets, Cavaliers and these same Celtics, last time they played in Boston. I understand that the Celtics are scorching themselves, but 14 is a LOT of points, for a team that has been as hot as the Pistons have. –Snellings
Line: Mavericks (-11.5)
Moneyline: Mavericks (-630), Rockets (+450)
Total: 225.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 224.5 points
BPI Win%: Mavericks (72.7%)
Key players ruled out: none
questionable: Dennis Schroder, Jae’Sean Tate, Christian Wood
Remarkable: The Mavericks lost to the Knicks by 30 on Wednesday night as a 9-point favorite. They haven’t failed to cover consecutive games since the beginning of February.
Line: Grizzlies (-9.5)
Moneyline: Grizzlies (-450), Knicks (+340)
Total: 230.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 217.5 points
BPI Win%: Grizzlies (73.1%)
Key players ruled out: Obi Toppin, Nerlens Noel, Cam Reddish, Quentin Grimes
Doubtful: Dillon Brooks
Remarkable: The Knicks have covered each of their past four games after a 1-10 ATS mark in their previous 11.
Line: Hornets (-1.5)
Moneyline: Hornets (-130), Pelicans (+110)
Total: 231.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 224.5 points
BPI Win%: Pelicans (58.9%)
Key players ruled out: CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram
Remarkable: Unders are 5-2 in the past seven New Orleans games and if you zoom out even further, under trends are also strong for the Hornets: 11-6 in their past 17.
Best bet: Jonas Valanciunas over points + rebounds. Valanciunas should see a significant increase in his usage of him against a Hornets team that has given up 26 PPG and 17.5 RPG to centers this season. He’s averaged 16.0 PPG and 9.3 RPG over his past four games. — Moody
Best bet: Hornets -1.5. The Pelicans were surprisingly froggy after the trade that brought in CJ McCollum, playing at a playoff level. But, with both Ingram and McCollum out, they don’t have the firepower to stay at that level. In the last two games without Ingram, McCollum averaged 32 PPG but the Pelicans still lost by six at home to the Magic and by 21 points to the Grizzlies at FedEx Forum. The largely healthy Hornets are still competing for the playoffs in the East and should control this matchup. –Snellings
Line: Jazz (-7.5)
Moneyline: Jazz (-320), Spurs (+250)
Total: 230.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 226.5 points
BPI Win%: Jazz (62.3%)
Key players ruled out: Bojan Bogdanović
Remarkable: Under tickets have cashed in four straight Utah games and four-of-five San Antonio games.
Fantasy Streamer: Royce O’Neale. O’Neale has seen additional minutes and field goal attempts with Bojan Bogdanovic out due to a leg injury. He’s averaged 9.5 PPG , 5.6 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 1.0 SPG over the last eight games and the Spurs rank 20th in points allowed per 100 possessions while also allowing opponents to amass a ton of offensive rebounds. — Moody
Line: Suns (-6)
Moneyline: Suns (-260), Raptors (+210)
Total: 221.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 216 points
BPI Win%: Suns (63.4%)
Key players ruled out: cameron johnson
Remarkable: Under tickets have cashed in four straight Utah games and four-of-five San Antonio games
Fantasy Streamer: Jae Crowder Crowder (74% available) is a solid streamer with Johnson is out due to a quad injury. He’s averaged 13.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, and 2.0 SPG over his past six games and the Raptors allow opponents to shoot a high field goal percentage and grab a plethora of offensive rebounds. — Moody
Line: Lakers (-4)
Moneyline: Lakers (-195), Wizards (+165)
Total: 228 points
BPI Projected Total: 228 points
BPI Win%: Lakers (52.7%)
Key players ruled out: none
questionable: LeBron James, Talen Horton-Tucker
Probable: Malik Monk
Remarkable: Over tickets have cashed in four straight (and six of seven) Wizard games while three of the past four Laker games have gone over the total.
Best Bet: Kristaps Porzingis over points + rebounds + assists. Porzingis will be available tonight against the Lakers, but will rest Saturday. He shouldn’t have his minutes capped in a very favorable matchup against a Los Angeles team that ranks 17th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Porzingis has averaged 22.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in the two games he’s played with the Wizards. — Moody
BPI highest projected totals
1. Dallas Mavericks (115.6 points)
2. Boston Celtics (114.7 points)
3. Utah Jazz (114.9 points)
BPI lowest projected totals
1. Detroit Pistons (99.6 points)
2. Cleveland Cavaliers (101.5 points)
3. New York Knicks (105.2 points)
BPI top probability to win (straight up)
1. Boston Celtics (91.6%)
2. Miami Heat (76%)
3. Memphis Grizzlies (73.1%)