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 December 1 are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.
What you need to know for Thursday's games
Beyond Doncic: Among the league leaders in usage rate, Luka Doncic is as heliocentric as they come on the Harden scale of ball dominance. This reality can make mining for fantasy value in the Mavericks' rotation a bit challenging, but it appears Tim Hardaway Jr. is warming up in time to roster in redraft and DFS lineups this evening; the scoring guard lofted 11 3-pointers on his way to 22 points in the win over the Warriors earlier this week. Adding to his case, THJ has a green light to shoot facing a Pistons team allowing 44.6 DraftKings points per game to shooting guards, the seventh-highest clip in the league.
Detroit Distributor: After several sluggish seasons, Killian Hayes (86% available) is starting to show deft distribution skills as the team's top passer in the wake of Cade Cunningham's injury. After all, the former lottery selection paces the Pistons in averaging 46.2 passes and 10.6 potential assists during the past five games and has posted at least six actual dimes in six of his last seven. Ranked 52nd overall on the Player Rater the past week, Hayes has a real shot to provide value in all formats in addition to being a nice target for passing props.
In his Bag: The Pistons are missing Cunningham to a shin injury, which means his high-usage role trickles throughout the rotation to Hayes and the likes of Marvin Bagley III, who has been second on the team in rebounding chances (11.2) and point touches (5.4) per game during the team's last five outings. Rostered in 20 percent of ESPN leagues, Bagley is a savvy streaming addition on a night with a single game and he's even a nice target for rebounding and double-double props facing a Dallas team that ranks 29th in the league in rebounding percentage.
Stretch Five: The Pistons just got Isaiah Stewart back in the lineup earlier this week after he'd missed seven games due to a toe injury. Maybe he was working on his shot during that time, as he brought newfound floor-spacing skills to Tuesday's game against the Knicks, knocking down a career-high five of his career-high nine 3-point attempts in the loss. This performance signals freedom to stretch the floor for a Detroit team in need of improved spacing. Rostered in a fifth of leagues, Stewart is likely to start next to Bagley while facing an undersized Dallas frontcourt on Thursday.
-- Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe
Game of the night
Line: Mavericks (-8)
Money line: Mavericks (-345), Pistons (+270)
Total: 220.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 227.7 points
BPI Win%: Mavericks (76.2%)
Fantasy streamer: Killian Hayes (16.3% rostered) Hayes is doing just fine as a starter with Cade Cunningham out, averaging 10.8 PPG, 6 APG, 1.5 SPG and 1.4 3PG over 10 starts, and while he may never be known as a particularly good shooter, at least he's raising his career mark. Hayes has topped 35 fantasy points in each of his past three games. -- Eric Karabell
Best bet: Spencer Dinwiddie, under 16.5 points. The Pistons are one of the worst defensive teams in the league, but Dinwiddie has topped 16.5 points in only one of the past eight contests, averaging 14.6 PPG in that two-plus week span. The Pistons are struggling, and this game's outcome may not be in doubt in the second half. Look for the Mavericks to give their reserves as many minutes as possible. -- Karabell
Best bet: Mavericks -8.0. The Pistons are shorthanded, and the Mavericks have one of the top players in the league in Luka Doncic. Detroit ranks 25th in points scored per 100 possessions and ranks 29th in points allowed per 100 possessions. The Mavericks are 5-1-1 against the spread in their last seven games against the Pistons. -- Eric Moody
Fantasy streamer: Isaiah Stewart (rostered in 23.8% of leagues) hit the ground running in his first game back after missing time with a sprained toe. On Tuesday, he scored 30 fantasy points against the Knicks. Stewart should have a prominent role against the Mavericks, given how shorthanded the Pistons are. -- Eric Moody