February 25, 2024

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Fantasy basketball streamers and NBA betting cheat sheet for Wednesday

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.

Jump ahead: Game of the night | Picks and props | Analytics edge


What you need to know for Wednesday’s slate

By Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe

Cavalier Kevin: The Cavaliers won’t have Evan Mobley for tonight’s matchup against the Mavericks and Jarrett Allen remains sidelined, setting up Kevin Love (70% available) for a robust role in Cleveland’s depleted frontcourt. Love has sported a 27.5% usage rate and enjoys a team-high leap in fantasy points per minute with both Allen and Mobley off the floor this season. Love’s raw production is also impressive. He has averaged 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds, and a whopping 13.4 3-point attempts per 36 minutes when Allen and Mobley are off the floor.

Rocket Man: There are a handful of games on tonight’s full slate that pit playoff teams against one another and carry significant meaning for the NBA’s second season… Rockets-Kings is certainly not one of them. That said, we are in the business of compiling fantasy numbers and this game is as good a spot to do so as any on the board. Josh Christopher (99% available) is far from a finished product, but he showed promise Monday night against the Spurs (20 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists). He’s averaged 20.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists per 36 minutes over his past three games. In a game with two bottom-5 defenses and top-10 paced offenses, there’s plenty of hidden value and Christopher is an easy way to get exposure to the fireworks in Houston.

Riding The Wiz: Fading a team on the second night of a back-to-back is common, but like anything, it’s worth taking a look at the data before blindly committing to a train of thought. The Wizards have covered five of their past six games in such situations and, dating back to last April, overs are 12-3 in their past 15 such spots. Washington has also seen 10 of their past 12 home games go over the total, so while a Magic-Wizards game is far from a star-studded affair, don’t dismiss it as a potential fun one tonight when it comes to prop betting and DFS roster construction.

Pick Poku: We touted Aleksej Pokusevski (90% available) as a strong play against Portland on Monday,. Poku responded with a career-high 11 dimes, finishing the overtime win two boards shy of his first career triple-double. With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and several other key members of the rotation out for tonight’s matchup with the Hawks, Pokusevski is an ideal pickup ahead of tonight’s massive 11-game slate. Keep an eye on Tre Mann’s (90%) status, as he could command a rewarding creation role if active. If Mann can’t go, Theo Maledon (98%) is the guard to target for the Thunder.

Davion Day: There isn’t a better widely-available talent among point guards than Davion Mitchell (70% available). Mitchell has posted at least 21 points and at least seven dimes in each of his past four games. The Kings likely won’t have De’Aaron Fox or Domantas Sabonis for the rest of the season, which vaults Mitchell into a valuable role against the Rockets tonight. Dejounte Murray scored a career-high 33 points against Houston’s porous defense, evidence Mitchell is poised for success. For those in deep and demanding formats, center Damian Jones (99% available) has averaged 14 points and nearly six boards over his past four games.


Game of the Night

Miami Heat at Boston Celtics
7:30 p.m. ET, TD Garden, Boston, MA


Line: Celtics (-4)
Moneyline: Celtics (-190), Heat (+160)
Total: 215 points
BPI Projected Total: 212.5 points
BPI Win%: Celtics (74%)

Key players ruled out: Robert Williams III

Notable: The Heat covered on Monday as a 14-point favorite against the Kings, snapping a streak of seven straight ATS losses.

Best bet: Celtics (-4). Boston is 9-3 ATS in their past 12 games and faces a Heat team that is dealing with internal turmoil (0-7 ATS). The Celtics are home and rested, considering Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford did not play Monday against the Raptors. The Celtics are 2-0 against the Heat this season and will look to go for the sweep tonight. — Anita Marks


Breaking down the rest of the slate

Phoenix Suns at Golden State Warriors
10 p.m. ET, Chase Center, San Francisco, CA


Line: Suns (-4)
Moneyline: Suns (-250), Warriors (+205)
Total: 224.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 218 points
BPI Win%: Suns (76.6%)

Key players ruled out: none

Notable: Nobody can slow the Suns these days and that includes the books: Phoenix has covered seven of their past eight games.

Best bets: Suns (-4); Chris Paul over 24.5 points + assists. The Warriors have been a shell of themselves without Stephen Curry (1-6 ATS). Draymond Green is not playing well and Golden State has started games slowly each night. The Suns are healthier, rested and sport offensive and defensive firepower. Devin Booker has averaged 27 PPG this season and Mikal Bridges is arguably one of the best defensive players in the NBA. The Suns are 13-1 ATS when playing a team they previously lost to. — Marks


Dallas Mavericks at Cleveland Cavaliers

7 p.m. ET, Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, OH


Line: Mavericks (-2.0)
Moneyline: Mavericks (-130), Cavaliers (+110)
Total: 214.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 221 points
BPI Win%: Mavericks (56.5%)

Key players ruled out: Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen

Notable: The Cavaliers have failed to cover five straight games and have actually seen their past two go under the total (their previous six games all went over).


Denver Nuggets at Indiana Pacers

7 p.m. ET, Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN


Line: Nuggets (-9.5)
Moneyline: Nuggets (-450), Pacers (+350)
Total: 232 points
BPI Projected Total: 237 points
BPI Win%: Nuggets (75.3%)

Key players ruled out: none

Notable: The Pacers have failed to cover four straight and have cashed just one over ticket in their past six.

Fantasy Streamer: Oshae Brissett (available in 93.4% of leagues) missed Monday’s game, but isn’t listed on the injury report today. In the five games he played before Monday, he averaged 16.4 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.6 3PG, 1.2 SPG and 0.6 BPG. Also keep an eye on Keifer Sykes (100.0% available), who started in place of Malcolm Brogdon on Monday. Sykes scored 16 points, had four 3-pointers and four assists in 34 minutes. — André Snellings


Orlando Magic at Washington Wizards

7 p.m. ET, Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.


Line: Wizards (-3.0)
Moneyline: Wizards (-150), Magic (+130)
Total: 218.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 223 points
BPI Win%: Wizards (59.7%)

Key players ruled out: Wendell Carter Jr., Jalen Suggs

Notable: Four of Orlando’s past five games have gone under the total.

Fantasy Streamer: Chuma Okeke (95.4% available) likely moves back into the starting lineup in place of Wendell Carter Jr. In his two starts replacing Carter last week Okeke averaged 12.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.5 3PG and 1.5 BPG in 34.5 MPG. — Snellings


Charlotte Hornets at New York Knicks

7:30 p.m. ET, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY


Line: Hornets (-3)
Moneyline: Hornets (-140), Hornets (+120)
Total: 222 points
BPI Projected Total: 220 points
BPI Win%: Knicks (58.3%)

Key players ruled out: none

Notable: The Hornets are 6-3 ATS in their past nine and recently, their success has been coming in a different fashion: three straight unders, quite the change from a team that was an over machine back in November.


Minnesota Timberwolves at Toronto Raptors

7:30 p.m. ET, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON, CA


Line: Raptors (-3)
Moneyline: Raptors (-145), Timberwolves (+125)
Total: 229.0 points
BPI Projected Total: 229.5 points
BPI Win%: Raptors (59.1%)

Key players ruled out: none

Notable: Unders are 10-5 in Toronto’s past 15 games as they look to improve their seeding and avoid the play-in tournament.


Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets

8 p.m. ET, Toyota Center, Houston, TX


Line: Kings (-3.0)
Moneyline: Kings (-150), Rockets (+130)
Total: 229.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 230 points
BPI Win%: Rockets (50.2%)

Key players ruled out: De’Aaron Fox

Notable: Don’t look now, but the Rockets have covered three straight. Houston over/unders are always high and recently, too high: six unders in their past seven.


Atlanta Hawks at Oklahoma City Thunder

8 p.m. ET, Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OK


Line: Hawks (-12)
Moneyline: Hawks (-800), Thunder (+550)
Total: 230 points
BPI Projected Total: 229 points
BPI Win%: Hawks (75.5%)

Key players ruled out: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Questionable: Tre Mann

Notable: Baby steps. The Hawks have covered consecutive games after going 2-9 ATS in their previous 11 games.


Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs

8:30 p.m. ET, AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX


Line: Grizzlies (-5)
Moneyline: Grizzlies (-220), Spurs (+189)
Total: 232.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 222.5 points
BPI Win%: Grizzlies (65.2%)

Key players ruled out: Ja Morant

Notable: The Grizzlies aren’t just winning without Ja Morant, they are covering (five straight, three as a favorite and two as an underdog).

Best bet: Dejounte Murray over 23.5 points. Who knew that the Spurs they would still be competing to make it into the postseason after the trade deadline? Murray has been the elixir and should score over 23 points tonight — in what I expect to be a high-scoring game against Memphis. Lots of motivation for Murray to shine tonight. — Marks


New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers

10 p.m. ET, Moda Center, Portland, OR


Line: Pelicans (-14.5)
Moneyline: Pelicans (-1400), Blazers (+800)
Total: 225.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 226.5 points
BPI Win%: Pelicans (85.6%)

Key players ruled out: none

Notable: The Blazers have been the bizzaro Suns: they aren’t just losing, they are losing by more than expected. Portland is just 4-12 ATS over their past 16 (they’ve lost by at least 17 points in five of their past eight games).

Fantasy Streamer: Drew Eubanks (73.0% available) has seen his production increase due to the astounding number Trail Blazers injured. He’s averaged 17.2 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.8 SPG and 0.5 BPG in 32.3 MPG over his past 10 games. Eubanks notched back-to-back double-doubles, including Monday’s career effort of 27 points and 14 rebounds in 41 minutes. — Snellings


Analytics Edge

BPI highest projected totals

1. Denver Nuggets (122.5 points)
2. New Orleans Pelicans (119.3 points)
3. Atlanta Hawks (118.4 points)

BPI lowest projected totals

1. Miami Heat (102.8 points)
2. Golden State Warriors (104.9 points)
3. Portland Trail Blazers (107.2 points)

BPI top probability to win (straight up)

1. New Orleans Pelicans (85.6%)
2. Phoenix Suns (76.6%)
3. Atlanta Hawks (75.5%)