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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.
What you need to know for tonight’s NBA slate
by Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe
Bobby Buckets: Bobby Portis has a DFS price tag that sandwiches him between big names like Deandre Ayton and Andre Drummond and it makes sense. It could also result in a suppressed roster percentage tonight against a Bulls team that has seen their defensive efficiency dip and rebound rate fall off a cliff over the past three weeks. Portis has at least eight boards in seven of his past eight games and has totaled 42 points and 16 rebounds in 49 minutes so far this month. Could Milwaukee rely on him more down the stretch as they prepare for another deep playoff run? That’d be nice, but it’s not mandated at this price tag. There is far more upside than downside in Portis tonight.
Tre Day: The Spurs won’t have Dejounte Murray in the lineup against the Thunder this evening, which means second-year guard Tre Jones (99% available) is set to start his third straight game. Jones delivered 18 points and 14 combined rebounds and assists in a win over the Trail Blazers last weekend, evidence he can thrive against a shallow Denver backcourt this evening.
More Mo: Filling in for Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley is a tall task for any frontcourt, but Cleveland unearthed a productive option in Moses Brown (94% available). Facing Joel Embiid over the weekend, Brown pulled a dozen boards and has collected 47 rebounds over his past four games. Brown is a double-double threat facing an Orlando team allowing nearly 47 DraftKings points to centers over the past 15 games, the ninth-highest rate in the NBA over this stretch. For those in truly deep formats, Moritz Wagner (98%) produced 18 points and nine rebounds his last time out.
The Alps: The Rockets are leaning on their youth movement down the stretch. Productive vets Christian Wood and Dennis Schroder are sidelined for tonight’s matchup with Brooklyn, positioning Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. with heaps of creation equity. Beyond the backcourt, we find rookie center Alperen Sengun (82% available) positioned to produce as the primary post playmaker for the Rockets. Last time out, Sengun tallied 14 points, 15 rebounds, and four dimes, evidence he can thrive against a Brooklyn team that still lacks proven interior defense.
Hyphenated Hype: While bad teams often give young players heavy minutes during this time of the season, there are also scenarios where steady vets see a surge in production. Such is the case for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (75% available). With Kyle Kuzma still sidelined, Caldwell-Pope has scored at least 17 points in five straight games and has averaged 23.8 points on stellar percentages over that span. Next up is a meeting with a Timberwolves defense allowing nearly 43 DraftKings PPG to small forwards over the past 15 games.
Memphis Deep: With Ja Morant out and Dillon Brooks is listed as doubtful, Tyus Jones (90% available) can help fantasy rosters. He netted 25 points and 11 combined assists and rebounds against the Spurs last Wednesday. De’Anthony Melton (82%) also should see more minutes with Brooks ailing. He sits second in the league made 3-pointers over the past five games behind only Jalen Green.
Game of the Night
Line: Bucks (-4.5)
Moneyline: Bucks (-190), Bulls (+160)
Total: 234 points
BPI Projected Total: 219.5 points
BPI Win%: Bucks (58.9%)
Key players ruled out: none
Notable: The Bulls are just 5-13 in their past 18 games against the spread.
Best bet: Bucks -4.5. The Bucks are just too big for the Bulls, especially with the Bulls starting DeMar DeRozan at power forward against Giannis Antetokounmpo. The way these two teams have played of late favors the Bucks. The Bulls have lost seven of their last 11 games with a -7.5 point scoring margin, while the Bucks have won 11 of their last 14 games (+5.6 point margin) that Giannis has played. — Andre Snellings
Breaking down the rest of the slate
Line: 76ers (-12.5)
Moneyline: 76ers (-800), Pacers (+550)
BPI Projected Total: 233 points
BPI Win%: 76ers (69.9%)
Key players ruled out: Chris Duarte
Joel Embiid continues to make his case for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award. David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images
Notable: After a stretch where four of five games went under the total, each of Indiana’s past four games have gone over Vegas’ projection.
Line: Cavaliers (-8.5)
Moneyline: Cavaliers (-360), Magic (+285)
Total: 214.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 215.5 points
BPI Win%: Cavaliers (63.9%)
Notable: The Cavs have covered consecutive games on the heels of dropping four straight ATS.
Line: Nets (-17.5)
Moneyline: Nets (-2800), Rockets (+1200)
Total: 243.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 232.5 points
BPI Win%: Nets (82.5%)
Notable: The Nets have failed to cover four straight and have seen four under tickets chase in their past five games.
Best bet: Jalen Green over 23.5 points. Green is ending his rookie season at a sprint. In his last six games, he has averaged 29.0 PPG (48.4 FG%, 80.8 FT%, 45.8 3P%). He’s scored at least 30 points in four straight, and will be facing a weak Nets defense that ranks 20th in the NBA in defensive rating and plays with the 11th-fastest pace. — Snellings
Line: Heat (-5.5)
Moneyline: Heat (-230), Hornets (+190)
Total: 226.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 226 points
BPI Win%: Heat (58.9%)
Key players ruled out: none
Line: Raptors (-4)
Moneyline: Raptors (-180), Hawks (+155)
Total: 226 points
BPI Projected Total: 224 points
BPI Win%: Raptors (59.6%)
Key players ruled out: John Collins
Notable: The Raptors are looking to avoid consecutive ATS losses for the first time in nearly a month (March 4-6).
Best bet: Scottie Barnes over 27.5 points+ assists + rebounds. OG Anunoby is questionable due to a quad injury. Regardless, Barnes will play a significant role for the Raptors. In the last six games, he’s averaged 16 PPG, 5.0 APG, and 6.0 RPG. The Hawks are 26th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Barnes is in a great position to surpass his per game averages during that time period. — Moody
Fantasy streamer: De’Andre Hunter. Hunter has been a steady producer for the Hawks this season. Over the last 14 games, he’s averaged 14.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.6 APG and 1.0 SPG in 30.2 MPG. Hunter is available in 87% of ESPN leagues. Danilo Gallinari (knee) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee) are both questionable, so Hunter might see additional minutes. — Moody
Line: Timberwolves (-11.5)
Moneyline: Timberwolves (-700), Wizards (+475)
Total: 234 points
BPI Projected Total: 240 points
BPI Win%: Timberwolves (76.8%)
Notable: Three straight Washington games have gone over the total, this coming after four of five went under.
Line: Thunder (-3.5)
Moneyline: Thunder (-160), Blazers (+140)
Total: 223.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 224.5 points
BPI Win%: Thunder (72.1%)
Notable: Don’t look now, but the Thunder are 8-2 ATS over their past 10 games.
Fantasy streamer: Theo Maledon. On Tuesday night, Tre Mann will miss his fifth consecutive game due to a right hamstring injury. This means Maledon will continue to see extensive playing time. He has averaged 16 points, 5.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds per 40 minutes this season, and is available in 95% of ESPN leagues. — Moody
Line: Nuggets (-6.5)
Moneyline: Nuggets (-240), Spurs (+200)
Total: 234.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 223.5 points
BPI Win%: Nuggets (79.6%)
Key players ruled out: Dejounte Murray
Notable: The Spurs continue to overachieve down the stretch: 6-1 ATS in their past seven contests.
Fantasy streamer: Tre Jones. In his second start in place of Dejounte Murray on Sunday, Jones finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and one steal in 34 minutes. Murray is ill and will not play against the Nuggets on Tuesday night. Jones is available in 99.5% of ESPN leagues. — Moody
Line: Jazz (-5)
Moneyline: Jazz (-210), Grizzlies (+175)
Total: 221.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 222 points
BPI Win%: Jazz (63.4%)
Key players ruled out: Ja Morant
Notable: The Jazz have dropped seven straight ATS (but only one of those games came in front of their home crowd).
Line: Pelicans (-8)
Moneyline: Pelicans (-360), Kings (+300)
Total: 225.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 225 points
BPI Win%: Pelicans (65.7%)
Notable: The Kings have seen seven of their past nine games go over the total.
Fantasy streamer: Davion Mitchell. Mitchell continues to be a great streamer in his absence of De’Aaron Fox, who is out again with a hand injury. Over the last seven games, Mitchell has averaged 20 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 9.0 APG and 1.0 SPG in 41 MPG. Mitchell is available in 55% of ESPN leagues. — Moody
Line: Suns (-11.5)
Moneyline: Suns (-715), Lakers (+510)
Total: 231.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 219 points
BPI Win%: Suns (85.5%)
Key players ruled out: none
Notable: The Lakers are 1-3 ATS in their past four with the over coming through in three of those four games.