Fantasy basketball tips and NBA betting picks for Sunday

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 4th are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.

What you need to know for Sunday's games

​​Profit On The Pistons: Did you know that home teams that are catching more than four points this season have a winning record (28-27) outright? That'll work. Teams in such spots are a gaudy 35-16-4 ATS this season and that is exactly the spot the Pistons find themselves in tonight with the Grizzlies coming to town. In that game is the 52% available Brandon Clarke, a player who has blocked a shot in five straight games and, over his past four, is averaging a rebound every 3.4 minutes (10.6 per 36 minutes).The minutes are underwhelming, but the production warrants increased run in a front court that is far from deep in Memphis

​​Touting Turner: Damian Lillard is expected back tonight and that's, in theory, great news for the Blazers. But can we expect the full version of him from the get-go following an injury that sidelined him for two weeks? If you're skeptical, Myles Turner needs to be locked into DFS lineups with his overs smashed in the prop market. In the six games he missed, the Blazers allowed 11.4% more points per possession than they did in their past six with him and their rebounding numbers dipped. In Indiana's four most efficient games with Turner active this season, the center has averaged 26.8 points on 64.2% shooting and 10.3 rebounds.

​​Back-to-back: The Knicks, Blazers and Kings are all hosting a game tonight on the second night of a back-to-back. The common train of thought is to fade teams on no rest, but, based on early data this season, doing so might be costing you money. Teams that host the second night of a back-to-back this season are 29-20-4 ATS, good for a 59.2% cover rate. Blindly fading a situation is bad betting practice and that's even more so the case if the logic behind that action has been proven faulty thus far.

-- Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe

Game of the night

Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets
6 p.m. ET, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Line: Celtics (-3)
Money line: Celtics (-135), Nets (+115)
Total: 234 points
BPI Projected Total: 234.6 points
BPI Win%: Celtics (66.9%)

Questionable: Marcus Smart
Ruled Out: Edmond Sumner, Ben Simmons, Yuta Watanabe
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: T.J. Warren (available in 97.0% of leagues) played his first game in two years on Friday, on a minute restriction, and scored 10 points with 4 rebounds and a steal in 17 minutes of action. It's possible it's a bit too soon for Warren, but if healthy, remember this is a guy that averaged more than 30 PPG in the 2020 NBA bubble just before his injury. The Nets are a thin team with an injured frontline, and Warren is worth both a potential stream and a "tryout" for a permanent slot on fantasy squads. -- André Snellings

Best bet: Celtics -3. The Nets have won the first four games of this home stand, six in a row at home, and seven of their last 10 overall. That's impressive, but the Celtics have been the dominant team in the division all season. They've won 14 of their last 16 games, and 11 of those wins were by at least eight points. The Celtics are also coming off a loss, in which Jayson Tatum had arguably his worst game of the season. I look him to bounce back big on Sunday, in a game that the BPI predictor agrees that the line should be closer to -5 than -3. -- Snellings

Breaking down the rest of the slate

Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Pelicans
3:30 p.m. ET, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

Line: Pelicans (-1)
Money line: Pelicans (-115), Nuggets (-105)
Total: 229 points
BPI Projected Total: 232.2 points
BPI Win%: Pelicans (54.1%)

Ruled Out: Jeff Green, Michael Porter Jr., Brandon Ingram, Herbert Jones
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Bones Hyland (available in 84.6% of leagues) returned on Friday from a four-game illness absence and scored 16 points with 3 3-pointers, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal in 22 minutes. In his six games before the illness felled him, Hyland averaged 20.2 PPG, 4.2 APG, 3.5 RPG, 3.8 3PG and 1.2 SPG in 27.0 MPG off the bench. -- Snellings

Fantasy streamer: Trey Murphy III (available in 82.3% of leagues) continues to take advantage of his larger opportunity with teammates Brandon Ingram and Herbert Jones out. In his last four games, three of which were starts, Murphy has averaged 21.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.5 3PG, 1.5 SPG and 0.8 BPG in 33.3 MPG. -Snellings

Phoenix Suns at San Antonio Spurs
4:00 p.m ET, AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

Line: Suns (-9)
Money line: Suns (-455), Spurs (+345)
Total: 229 points
BPI Projected Total: 240.7 points
BPI Win%: Suns (76.3%)

Probable: Mikal Bridges
Questionable: Romeo Langford, Doug McDermott
Ruled Out: Chris Paul, Torrey Craig, Cameron Johnson, Jae Crowder, Josh Richardson, Jeremy Sochan, Jakob Poeltl, Blake Wesley
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Memphis Grizzlies at Detroit Pistons
6 p.m. ET, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan

Line: Grizzlies (-6)
Money line: Grizzlies (-220), Pistons (+180)
Total: 230.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 236.5 points
BPI Win%: Grizzlies (67.4%)

Questionable: Jake LaRavia, Steven Adams
Ruled Out: Ziaire Williams, Desmond Bane, Isaiah Livers, Cade Cunningham
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks
6 p.m. ET, Madison Square Garden, New York

Line: Cavaliers (-3)
Money line: Cavaliers (-115), Knicks (+130)
Total: 222 points
BPI Projected Total: 230.5 points
BPI Win%: Cavaliers (60.4%)

Questionable: Ryan Arcidiacono
Ruled Out: Jarrett Allen, Dean Wade
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Cavs -2.5. The Cavs are the three seed in the East, have won seven of their last nine games, and all seven of those wins were by more than 2.5 points. The Knicks are the 11 seed in the East, have lost six of their last eight games, and all six losses were by more than 2.5 points. The Knicks are on the second half of a back-to-back, after a 21-point blowout loss to the Mavericks on Saturday. I'll give the points to take the Cavs. -- Snellings

Los Angeles Lakers at Washington Wizards
6 p.m. ET, Capital One Arena, Washington. Washington D.C.

Line: Wizards (-2.5)
Money line: Wizards (-135), Lakers (+115)
Total: 233.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 232.7 points
BPI Win%: Wizards (66.7%)

Questionable: Dennis Schroder, Anthony Davis, LeBron James
Ruled Out: Rui Hachimura
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Lakers +2.5. The Lakers are playing some of the best basketball in the NBA right now. They've won seven of their last nine, and are coming off the signature win of their season in Milwaukee over the Bucks. Anthony Davis is playing his best basketball since their championship season in 2020, averaging 32.9 PPG and 15.9 RPG during that span, LeBron James is back, and the team from top-to-bottom seems to have settled into their roles. The Wizards are solid, and playing at home, but if the Lakers play to the level they've recently established they have a good chance to keep the game close if not win outright. I'll take them and the points. -Snellings

Chicago Bulls at Sacramento Kings
6 p.m. ET, Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California

Line: Kings (-3)
Money line: Kings (-145), Bulls (+122)
Total: 238 points
BPI Projected Total: 240.4 points
BPI Win%: Kings (62.6%)

Questionable: Javonte Green, Alex Caruso
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Kings -2.5. This line actually confused me, enough that I went and double-checked that the Kings didn't have an injury I wasn't aware of. The Kings are currently the fifth seed out West, have won nine of their last 12 games, and all nine of those victories were by more than 2.5 points. The Bulls are the 12th seed in the East, have lost seven of their last 10 games, and six of those seven losses were by more than 2.5 points. The Kings are at home, and the BPI predictor suggests the spread should be almost a full point higher at Kings -3.4. I'll give the points and take the Kings. -- Snellings

Indiana Pacers at Portland Trail Blazers
9 p.m. ET, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

Line: Blazers (-3.5)
Money line: Blazers (-165), Pacers (+140)
Total: 234.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 238.2 points
BPI Win%: Blazers (54.1%)

Questionable: Tyrese Haliburton, Josh Hart, Drew Eubanks
Ruled Out: Gary Payton II, Nassir Little, Keon Johnson, Damian Lillard
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Analytics edge

BPI highest projected totals

1. Denver Nuggets (123.9 points)
2. Sacramento Kings (122 points)
3. Memphis Grizzlies (120.8 points)

BPI lowest projected totals

1. New York Knicks (113.8 points)
2. Los Angeles Lakers (114.9 points)
3. Brooklyn Nets (114.9 points)

BPI top probability to win (straight up)

1. Phoenix Suns (76.3%)
2. Memphis Grizzlies (67.4%)
3. Boston Celtics (66.9%)