Fantasy basketball tips and NBA betting picks for Mondayon January 9, 2023 at 5:05 pm

ESPN’s fantasy basketball and basketball betting tips cheat sheet is your pregame destination for basketball betting predictions and our best intel and data to help you make smart fantasy and wagering decisions. NBA game odds for January 9th are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.

Game Script: There are three games that opened with a total north of 237 points: Bulls-Celtics, Lakers-Nuggets and Magic-Kings. Games with such a total have gone under the projected number 61.1% of the time this season, so who does an underwhelming scoring night favor? So far, the Bulls, Nuggets and Magic hold the edge in their respective games in terms of ATS record when unders cash with Denver holding the biggest edge (they are 11-7 ATS when under tickets chase while the Lakers are just 5-11 ATS in those spots).

Bucks On Milwaukee: When the Knicks are a small underdog this season (three or fewer points), unders are 6-3, a similar cashing rate to when the Bucks are small favorites (6-4). That gives this game SGP potential when you consider that Milwaukee is 4-1-1 ATS in those six under instances. As far as the total goes, don’t let the recent run of Buck overs fool you … unders are 10-8 in their games with a sub-225-point total (8-13 otherwise).

Pelican Pickups: The Pelicans will be without both Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson due to respective injuries for tonight’s matchup against the Wizards. The New Orleans front office has amassed unique depth at the wing, with the likes of Naji Marshall (93% available in ESPN leagues) capably stepping up when called on. Marshall has posted 47 points and six steals across his last two games and is just $5,500 on DraftKings. Jonas Valanciunas ($6,600) is also a key DFS play given reasonable pricing in a matchup that should see him approach 30 minutes of exposure.

Bank on Brogdon: The Celtics’ investment in more backcourt depth is paying off, as they can turn to Malcolm Brogdon to orchestrate offense when needed. With Marcus Smart listed as doubtful to play against the Bulls in Chicago tonight, Brogdon — a free agent in nearly a third of ESPN leagues — is positioned as a top DFS value and spot starter in redraft leagues.

Getting Ahead: In some competitive fantasy hoops formats it can pay off to be proactive. For instance, adding the Suns’ Duane Washington Jr. (99% available in ESPN leagues) ahead of Tuesday’s tilt with the Warriors. With Chris Paul unlikely to play and Cameron Payne still sidelined, Washington can build on his recent 25-point opus against the Cavaliers as Phoenix’s lone active point guard.

Target Thomas: The Lakers are warming up in the win column thanks in part to the play of Thomas Bryant, as he’s been able to hold down the paint while Anthony Davis recovers from a foot injury. Ahead of tonight’s matchup with Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, Bryant is somehow still a free agent in two-thirds of leagues despite averaging nearly 22 points and 13 boards over the past week.

— Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe

New Orleans Pelicans at Washington Wizards7 p.m. ET, Capital One Arena, Washington, Washington D.C.

Line: Wizards (-1)Money line: Wizards (-120), Pelicans (+100)Total: 227 pointsBPI Projected Total: 233.8 pointsBPI Win%: Wizards (56.6%)

Questionable: Larry Nance Jr.Ruled Out: Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, Bradley BealNote: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Kyle Kuzma over 22.5 points. With Bradley Beal already ruled out for Monday’s game against the Pelicans due to a hamstring injury, Kuzma will play a major role for the Wizards. This season, New Orleans allows the fifth most points per game to small forwards. This season, Kuzma is averaging 21.4 points per game, a career high. — Moody

Best bet: Jonas Valanciunas over 26.5 points + rebounds. Due to Zion Williamson’s hamstring injury, Valanciunas should continue to play a more important role for the Pelicans. Over the last four games, he’s averaged 16.3 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. This season, the Wizards have given up the second most points per game to centers. — Moody

Best bet: CJ McCollum over 24.5 points. McCollum isn’t on the injury report after sitting Saturday’s game, likely for rest purposes on the second half of a back-to-back. With Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram still out, McCollum should again be the focal point of the Pelicans’ offense. Including the game Zion left injured, McCollum has scored 28, 28 and 26 points in his last three games as that focal point, and overall has averaged 26.3 PPG in his last 12 games while going over 24.5 points in eight of the 12. –– Snellings

Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics7:30 p.m ET, TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Line: Celtics (-8.5)Money line: Celtics (-355), Bulls (+278)Total: 237.5 pointsBPI Projected Total: 237.6 pointsBPI Win%: Celtics (80.2%)

Questionable: Alex Caruso, Marcus SmartRuled Out: Tony Bradley, Javonte GreenNote: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Jayson Tatum over 44.5 points + assists + rebounds. This season, forwards have been very successful against the Bulls. In three games against Chicago this season, Tatum averaged 30.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 6.0 assists. This season, the Bulls rank 19th in points allowed per 100 possessions and allow the fourth-highest effective field goal percentage to opponents. — Moody

Best bet: Over 241.0. Both the Lakers and Nuggets have been subpar defensively all season long. However, offensively it’s been different for both teams. In five of their last seven games, the Lakers have scored 120 or more points. Five of the Nuggets’ last six games have exceeded that total. It is also likely that this will be a high-scoring game as the Lakers are second in pace in the league. — Moody

Best bet: Zach LaVine over 23.5 points. After a shaky start to the season as he continued to recover from knee surgery, LaVine has settled in at his usual level for more than a month now. In his last 18 games, LaVine has averaged 25.7 PPG while scoring more than 20 points in 14 of those games. He’s been particularly hot of late, averaging 29 points in his last four while scoring 36 or more in his last two outings. — Snellings

Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks7:30 p.m. ET, Madison Square Garden, New York

Line: Bucks (-1)Money line: Bucks (-120), Knicks (+100)Total: 221 pointsBPI Projected Total: 236.1 pointsBPI Win%: Knicks (61.6%)

Ruled Out: Khris Middleton, Serge Ibaka, RJ BarrettNote: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Immanuel Quickley (rostered in 19.4% of ESPN leagues) is once again on the streaming radar with RJ Barrett considered doubtful for Monday’s game. Six consecutive games have seen Quickley score 25 or more fantasy points, including two with 50 or more. -Eric Moody

Best bet: Over 221.0. In the Bucks’ last seven games, the over has cashed five times. Eight of the last ten games for the Knicks have ended with the over cashing. Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s lowest-scoring game of the season coincided with the Bucks’ 29-point home loss to the Hornets on Friday. As they look to bounce back, the Bucks will likely be aggressive in this game. — Moody

Best bet: Giannis Antetokounmpo over 32.5 points. Giannis is coming off one of the worst games of his career on Friday, a nine-point/four-rebound performance with zero assists and three turnovers in 22 minutes of a home blowout against the Hornets. He seemed to be worn down in that game. Giannis had been carrying a huge load, even for him, with both Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday missing time in these last few weeks. He had averaged 39.1 PPG in the eight games before Friday and has now had three days rest since that debacle. Monday is a good bounce-back opportunity against a Knicks squad that he dropped 37 points against the last time he saw them just over a month ago. — Snellings

San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies8 p.m. ET, FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

Line: Grizzlies (11)Money line: Grizzlies (-600), Spurs (+430)Total: 238 pointsBPI Projected Total: 240.9 pointsBPI Win%: Grizzlies (82.2%)

Questionable: Keldon Johnson, Jakob PoeltlRuled Out: Devin VassellNote: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Romeo Langford (available in 99.3% of leagues) has moved back into the starting lineup with Devin Vassell out. In the two games since, he’s averaged 14.5 PPG and 4.5 RPG in 30.0 MPG. In fact, in his last five starts where he’s played at least 28 minutes, Langford has scored double digits in all five games while averaging 16.4 PPG. — Snellings

Best bet: Tyus Jones (rostered in 9.7% of ESPN leagues) is once again on the streaming radar if Ja Morant is ruled out for Monday’s game due to a thigh injury. This season, Jones averages 17.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 8.1 assists per 40 minutes. He should have success against a Spurs team that ranks 30th in points allowed per 100 possessions. — Moody

Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets9 p.m. ET, Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado

Line: Nuggets (-10)Money line: Nuggets (-440), Lakers (+335)Total: 241.5 pointsBPI Projected Total: 245 pointsBPI Win%: Nuggets (81.4%)

Questionable: Russell Westbrook, Troy Brown Jr., LeBron JamesRuled out: Jeff GreenNote: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Jamal Murray over 23.5 points + assists. Over the last three games, Murray has averaged only 19 PA, but he is well-positioned to have more success against a Lakers team on Monday that has allowed some very good performances to opposing point guards. Los Angeles ranks 23rd in points allowed per 100 possessions. In three games against the Lakers this season, Murray has averaged 19.0 points and 5.7 assists. — Moody

Best bet: Lakers +9.5. The Lakers have won five straight games and are quietly creeping up the standings in their division. The Nuggets are as hot as any team in the West, having won eight of their last 10, but the last time these teams faced off the Lakers won by 18 points. I can agree with the Nuggets being favored to win, but with the way the Lakers are playing right now I’d take them with almost 10 points against pretty much anyone in the West. — Snellings

Orlando Magic at Sacramento Kings10 p.m. ET, Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California

Line: Kings (-6.5)Money line: Kings (-240), Magic (+196)Total: 237 pointsBPI Projected Total: 242.1 pointsBPI Win%: Kings (74.2%)

Ruled Out: Bol BolNote: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Markelle Fultz (available in 65.2% of leagues) Fultz has become one of the best defensive guards in the league, and it adds an element to his all-around game that makes him a starter in most fantasy formats. In his last 12 games, Fultz has averaged 12.5 PPG, 6.3 APG, 5.3 RPG and 2.4 SPG. In his last outing, on Saturday, he turned in a 4×5 game with 16 points, 7 assists, 6 steals and 5 rebounds in 31 minutes. — Snellings

Best bet: Magic +5.5. With how the Kings have played lately, it’s difficult to see Sacramento defeating the Magic by more than 5.5 points. The Kings are 1-4 in their last five games against the spread. In their last four road games against teams with winning records at home, the Magic are 4-0 against the spread. — Moody

Best bet: De’Aaron Fox over 32.5 points + assists. Over the last 12 games, Fox has averaged 27.7 points and 6.9 assists. The Magic ranks 18th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Fox scored 37 points and amassed three assists against Orlando back on November 5th, 2022. — Moody

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