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Fantasy basketball and NBA betting cheat sheet for Tuesday

Ja Morant has an excellent matchup against the Pelicans. Bob Levey/Getty Images

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 Tuesday night's NBA slate

By Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe

Drummond The Giant: Andre Drummond ($5,800 on DraftKings) is not shy from the occasional big night and tonight could be one of them with LaMarcus Aldridge (hip) ruled out. This Nets team lacks front court depth and all Drummond has done is produce when given the chance since being acquired: 13 PPG and 13.3 RPG when playing over 20 minutes. Lock him in against a bottom-10 rebounding team in Charlotte tonight.

Opportunity Knocks: Tuesday's contest between the Hornets and Nets claims the highest total of the slate by 10 points, which means it could be rewarding to find multiple streaming and DFS candidates on Charlotte's roster. With Gordon Hayward still sidelined, it's worth noting Kelly Oubre Jr. (35% available) has shot at least eight 3-pointers in six straight games -- sinking multiple shots from deep in each. P.J. Washington (35% available), meanwhile, has posted multiple steals + blocks in six of his last eight games. He should see plenty of run against a smaller Brooklyn rotation.

The Other CP: Both Devin Booker and Chris Paul are unavailable for the Suns' game in Orlando this evening. In their place, Cameron Payne has thrived as a lead creator for Phoenix in recent games, posting 32 dimes across his last three outings. Expected to consume a usage rate around 30% against a young Orlando backcourt, Payne (available in 85% of leagues) is in an ideal spot for streaming, DFS value, and assist props.

Sneaky Value: The Pelicans are playing at a shockingly high level right now and while most of their production comes from their stars, don't sleep on Herbert Jones tonight in an up-tempo spot against the Grizzlies. The rookie has multiple steals in all five of his games following the All-Star Break and there is hope for value elsewhere (averaging over eight shots per game during that stretch with 6.6 rebounds + assists a night). Nothing flashy, but hopeful in roto leagues and/or the prop betting market.

Feel the Love: Cleveland won't have Jarrett Allen or Caris LeVert in the lineup against the Pacers due to respective injuries. It's somewhat obvious Rookie of the Year favorite Evan Mobley is in a good spot to produce against Indiana's patchworked frontcourt, but it's also a great window for Kevin Love (70% available) to shine. A strong double-double candidate who has made at least three 3-pointers in three of his last four games, it's easy to like Love's fantasy profile this evening.


Game of the Night

New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies, 7:30 p.m. ET


Line: Grizzlies (-5.5)
Moneyline: Grizzlies (-235), Pelicans (+190)
Total: 231.5 points
BPI projected total: 223 points
BPI win%: Grizzlies (60.6%)

Notable: Ja Morant and company are exciting, but Vegas is accounting for that: five of Memphis' past six games have gone under the total.

Key players ruled out: Dillon Brooks

Best bet: Steven Adams over 17.5 total points + assists + rebounds. Adams has averaged 10 PPG, 11.7 RPG, and 4.7 APG over the last 10 games. In his past five games against the Pelicans, he's averaged 14.2 PPG, 11 RPG, and 3.0 APG. Adams should continue to play an active role as the Grizzlies seek a home court advantage in the playoffs. -- Eric Moody

Best bet: Under 231.5. The Pelicans defense has been mostly stellar since the All-Star Break gave them the chance to consolidate their new team. Before their overtime loss to the Nuggets on Sunday (in which Nikola Jokic had his historic 46/12/11 triple-double), the Pelicans had their previous four post All-Star opponents - the Jazz, Kings, Lakers and Suns - to an average of 95.5 PPG. When you factor in the note above about the Grizzlies' recent history, and the BPI projected total of only 223 points, this game seems poised to go under. -- André Snellings


Breaking down the rest of the slate

Brooklyn Nets at Charlotte Hornets, 7 p.m. ET


Line: Nets (-3.5)
Moneyline: Nets (-155), Hornets (-135)
Total: 241.5 points
BPI projected total: 227.5 points
BPI win%: Hornets (59%)

Key players ruled out: LaMarcus Aldridge, Gordon Hayward, Jalen McDaniels

Notable: Sunday's showdown with the Celtics was a fun watch and it resulted in the sixth over in Brooklyn's past eight games.

Fantasy Streamer: Andre Drummond is available in 56.1% of leagues, and as mentioned above should be on major double-double watch tonight. When he gets minutes, he crashes the boards. And with LaMarcus Aldridge out but both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets should be competitive enough for Drummond to get his minutes...and thus his boards. -- Snellings

Best bet: LaMelo Ball over 32.5 total points + assists + rebounds. Like any young player, Ball has had his ups and downs this season. Ball, however, has averaged 20.5 points, 6.5 assists, and 6.1 rebounds during his last 10 games. Even with Durant in the lineup, the Nets are still a poor defensive team, ranking 16th in points allowed per 100 possessions and giving up a lot of offensive rebounds. -- Moody

Best bet: Nets -3.5. The Hornets have won two straight, but overall are 4-11 in their past 15 games with a -2.5 PPG average scoring margin. Five of those losses were by double digits. The Nets have struggled of late as well, but the elephant in that room is that Durant was out for most of those games and Irving has only been playing on the road. On Sunday, it took a herculean effort from Jayson Tatum and a red-hot Celtics squad to edge the Nets with Durant and Irving. The Hornets aren't playing on that level, so with their two core guys available the Nets should have the advantage. -- Snellings


Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m. ET


Line: Cavaliers (-4)
Moneyline: Cavaliers (-190), Pacers (+160)
Total: 223 points
BPI projected total: 226.5 points
BPI win%: Cavaliers (53.9%)

Key players ruled out: Jarrett Allen, Rajon Rondo, Caris LeVert

Questionable: Lance Stephenson, Chris Duarte

Notable: After failed to cover six straight games, the Cavs enter play tonight having covered consecutive games.

Best bet: Evan Mobley over 27.5 points + rebounds. Evan Mobley has at least 15 points and 15 rebounds in three of his games this season, which is the most among rookies. With Jarrett Allen out with a finger injury, he is going to be a statistical monster. The Pacers (114.4) rank 26th in points allowed per 100 possessions. -- Moody

Fantasy Streamer: Kevin Love is available in 69.4% of leagues, and as pointed out above, has a big opportunity to produce with Jarrett Allen out. In the last four games that he's played at least 26 minutes, including his most recent two outings, Love has averaged 18.3 PPG and 7.8 RPG. -- Snellings


Phoenix Suns at Orlando Magic; 7 p.m. ET


Line: Suns (-15.5)
Moneyline: Suns (-320), Magic (+250)
Total: 221.5 points
BPI projected total: 213 points
BPI win%: Suns (58.7%)

Key players ruled out: Cameron Johnson, Devin Booker, Chris Paul

Questionable: Jalen Suggs

Notable: We've seen four of the past five Orlando games go under the total.

Best bet: Deandre Ayton over 28.5 total points + assists + rebounds. Ayton will be an integral part of the Suns' run to the playoffs without their top playmakers. On Sunday night, Ayton scored 30 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out two assists. The stat line for Tuesday night may be similar -- Moody

Fantasy Streamer: Cameron Payne. Both Devin Booker and Cameron Johnson are out, so Payne will have a big game. In the last two games, he averaged 20 points, 12.5 assists, and 2.5 rebounds. Payne is still available in 85.4% of ESPN leagues. He's also a good DFS value at $6,600 on FanDuel and $5,300 on DraftKings. You can also bet his over for total points + assists + rebounds. -- Moody


Milwaukee Bucks at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m. ET


Line: Bucks (-14.5)
Moneyline: Bucks (-1250), Thunder (+750)
Total: 230 points
BPI projected total: 227 points
BPI win%: Bucks (76.9%)

Key players ruled out: Grayson Allen, Josh Giddey, Derrick Favors

Questionable: Isaiah Roby

Notable: Milwaukee's outright results have been a bit underwhelming, but they've been money on cashing over tickets ... 10-2 over their past 12.


LA Clippers at Golden State Warriors, 10 p.m. ET


Line: Warriors (-7)
Moneyline: Warriors (-275), Clippers (+220)
Total: 220.5 points
BPI projected total: 220 points
BPI win%: Warriors (65.4%)

Key players ruled out: Draymond Green

Notable: The Clippers got blown out by the Knicks on National TV over the weekend, but don't let that distract you: prior to that dismal effort, they had covered seven of eight.

Best bet: Ivica Zubac over 21.5 total points + assists + rebounds

Zubac struggled against the Knicks on Sunday, but over the last nine games he's averaged 13.2 PPG, 10.3 RPG and 2.3 APG and his usage rate is 20.6%. Zubac averaged 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in the three games he's played against the Warriors this season.


Analytics edge

ESPN's NBA Basketball Power Index (BPI) is a measure of team strength developed by the ESPN Analytics team.

BPI highest-projected totals

1. Milwaukee Bucks (117.8 points)
2. Charlotte Hornets (114.9 points)
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (113.8 points)

BPI lowest-projected totals

1. Orlando Magic (105.1 points)
2. LA Clippers (107.7 points)
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (109.2 points)

BPI top probability to win (straight up)

1. Milwaukee Bucks (76.9%)
2. Golden State Warriors (65.4%)
3. Memphis Grizzlies (60.6%)