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Fantasy basketball tips and NBA betting picks for Wednesday

Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

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 6th are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.


What you need to know for Wednesday's games

​​​Big Favorites: There are a handful of games on tonight's packed slate that see a team favored by at least six points, a spot that has seen underdogs cover roughly 53% of the time. Not much of an edge to gain there in either direction, but when dealing with point totals ... different story. When a game with a big favorite has a point total over 230 points, under tickets come through 62.2% of the time (45.8% of the time when the projected total is over 230 points. Based on opening lines, but the Thunder/Grizzlies and the Warriors/Jazz games fit into that high-total, big-favorite spot.

​​​Double Header: Both games of our double header tonight (Hawks/Knicks followed by Celtics/Suns) have a spread under three points and should be highly competitive to the final whistle: so how do we bet it? There's zero edge in taking a team ATS in these coin flip situations (underdogs are 40-39-1 this season), but unders have come through 60% of the time. This trend spits in the face of recent Phoenix results (10 of 12 have gone over), but the other three teams have been paying under bettors recently.

​​​Backing Off Brooklyn: Tonight will mark the 43rd time during the Kevin Durant era in Brooklyn that the Nets are favored by more than eight points and the results have been great ... for those betting the other side. The Nets are just 15-27 ATS (35.7%) in those spots, including a 2-13 run over their past 15 in that spot. Yikes.

​​​Big Easy: New Orleans won't have Brandon Ingram in the lineup tonight against the visiting Pistons due to a toe injury. This means second-year wing Trey Murphy III will serve an important scoring and defensive role on the perimeter for the Pelicans. Murphy, a free agent in nearly 80% of ESPN leagues, has averaged 19.2 points, four boards, three 3-pointers, and 2.4 combined steals and blocks across his past five games, four of them starts in place of Ingram. The Pistons, meanwhile, rank 29th in defensive rating.

Pursuing Pistons: If there is one roster rife with productive fantasy free agents on tonight's slate, it's Detroit. A series of injuries, namely a lingering shin ailment for Cade Cunningham, has led to some new names earning rewarding roles. Alec Burks (95% available), for instance, posted 18 points and nine rebounds last time out and is never afraid to find his own shot. The arrival of Killian Hayes (75%) has been impressive to watch, especially as finding assists on the waiver wire is often difficult. Hayes has averaged seven dimes over his last 10 games, all starts in place of Cunningham. In the frontcourt, Isaiah Stewart (76%) is suddenly shooting from deep with impressive efficiency while maintaining strong rebounding numbers.

Golden Values: The Warriors are resting several stars tonight ahead of a matchup with the Jazz in Salt Lake. Draymond Green, Stephen Curry, and Andrew Wiggins will all miss the game. With Jordan Poole expected to play the Curry role tonight as a heliocentric scorer, him being $6,500 on DraftKings stands out as a major value during a game that should see him sport a 30% usage rate and play well over 30 minutes. For streaming purposes, Jonathan Kuminga (95% available) could play a major role given the frontcourt minutes and touches vacated by Wiggins and Green.

-- Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe


Game of the night

Boston Celtics at Phoenix Suns
10 p.m. ET on ESPN, Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona

Line: Celtics (-2)
Money line: Celtics (-130), Suns (+110)
Total: 230 points
BPI Projected Total: 233.8 points
BPI Win%: Celtics (56.6%)

Questionable: Duane Washington Jr.
Ruled Out: Malcolm Brogdon, Chris Paul, Torrey Craig
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Jaylen Brown over 25.5 points

Jayson Tatum will receive a great deal of defensive attention from the Suns, which will benefit Brown. In four of his last five games, he has scored 26 or more points. -Eric Moody

Breaking down the rest of the slate

LA Clippers at Orlando Magic
7:00 p.m ET, Amway Center, Orlando, Florida

Line: Clippers (-7)
Money line: Clippers (-278), Magic (+222)
Total: 216 points
BPI Projected Total: 224.7 points
BPI Win%: Clippers (67.7%)

Ruled Out: Marcus Morris Sr., Norman Powell, John Wall, Luke Kennard, Jalen Suggs, Gary Harris, Chuma Okeke
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy Streamer: Markelle Fultz (available in 87.3% of leagues) has had his minutes restriction eased and has played two non-second-half-of-back-to-back games since then. In those two games, he's averaged 15.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.0 SPG and 1.0 3PG in 31.0 MPG. He's likely to start for the Magic again tonight with Jalen Suggs still out. -- Andre Snellings

Fantasy Streamer: Reggie Jackson (available in 81.2% of leagues) will be starting tonight while John Wall is out. In his past three games starting in place of Wall, Jackson has produced lines of 18 points, seven assists and two 3-pointers on Nov. 7, 17 points, six assists and three 3-pointers on November 14, and 24 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and two 3-pointers on November 29. Jackson could be in for another big game tonight. -- Snellings

Charlotte Hornets at Brooklyn Nets
7:30 p.m. ET, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Line: Nets (-10)
Money line: Nets (-480), Hornets (+360)
Total: 223 points
BPI Projected Total: 234.2 points
BPI Win%: Nets (76.2%)

Ruled Out: Dennis Smith Jr., LaMelo Ball, Mark Williams, Yuta Watanabe, Ben Simmons
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks
7:30 p.m. ET, Madison Square Garden, New York

Line: Knicks (-2)
Money line: Knicks (-125), Hawks (+105)
Total: 232.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 231.1 points
BPI Win%: Knicks (51.9%)

Ruled Out: Trent Forrest, De'Andre Hunter
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Trae Young over 36.5 points + assists

Young played against the Thunder on Monday after missing the previous game with a shoulder injury. He finished with 23 points and 10 assists. Young has a strong chance of surpassing those numbers against a Knicks team that has given up a lot of points and assists to point guards this season. New York ranks 24th in points allowed per 100 possessions. - Moody

Best bet: Trae Young over 36.5 points + assists

My anecdotal impression is that ever since the Madison Square Garden crowd booed Young in their 2021 Eastern conference playoff matchup, Young has torched the Knicks. However, this isn't entirely true...Young had a pedestrian game against the Knicks earlier this season. In three matchups against the Knicks last season, Young averaged 35.7 PPG and 6.7 APG. This season, prior matchup aside, the Knicks have struggled against opposing point guards, among the worst in the NBA with averages of 25.9 PPG and 9.6 APG allowed to the position. -- Snellings

Los Angeles Lakers at Toronto Raptors
7:30 p.m.ET, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Line: Raptors (-9)
Money line: Raptors (-420), Lakers (+320)
Total: 229.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 230.6 points
BPI Win%: Raptors (71.2%)

Questionable: Anthony Davis
Ruled Out: Otto Porter Jr., Juancho Hernangomez
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy Streamer: Thomas Bryant (available in 92.5% of leagues) replaced the ailing Anthony Davis (flu-like symptoms) on Tuesday night after Davis left the game, and scored 19 points with 9 rebounds and an assist in 28 minutes. While Davis is listed as a Game Time Decision, it wouldn't be surprising if he were to sit the second half of the back-to-back, which could give Bryant another chance to shine on Wednesday. -Snellings

Best bet: Scottie Barnes over 29.5 points+assists+rebounds

Barnes should have a lot of success against a Lakers team most likely to be without Anthony Davis. He's averaged 21.0 PPG, 3.6 APG and 10.0 RPG over the last three games. The Lakers rank 19th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Barnes is well-positioned to exceed this total. - Moody

Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls
8 p.m. ET, United Center, Chicago, Illinois

Line: Bulls (-5)
Money line: Bulls (-210), Wizards (+175)
Total: 227.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 228.7 points
BPI Win%: Bulls (58%)

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

Fantasy streamer: Corey Kispert (rostered in 0.9% of ESPN leagues) will be provided significant minutes with Bradley Beal already ruled out for Wednesday's game because of a hamstring injury. Kispert has scored 29 or more fantasy points in consecutive games. He's a solid streaming option, especially for deeper formats. - Moody

Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies
8 p.m. ET, FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

Line: Grizzlies (-7.5)
Money line: Grizzlies (-320), Thunder (+250)
Total: 232 points
BPI Projected Total: 233.1 points
BPI Win%: Grizzlies (79.3%)

Ruled Out: Ziaire Williams, Kenrich Williams
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Sacramento Kings at Milwaukee Bucks
8 p.m ET, Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Line: Bucks (-6)
Money line: Bucks (-260), Kings (+210)
Total: 236 points
BPI Projected Total: 229.7 points
BPI Win%: Bucks (68.4%)

Questionable: MarJon Beauchamp, Terence Davis
Ruled Out: Serge Ibaka
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Indiana Pacers at Minnesota Timberwolves
8 p.m. ET, Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Line: Timberwolves (-4.5)
Money line: Timberwolves (-195), Pacers (+162)
Total: 236.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 236 points
BPI Win%: Timberwolves (65.8%)

Questionable: Myles Turner, Tyrese Haliburton, T.J. McConnell, James Johnson, Jalen Smith
Ruled Out: Karl-Anthony Towns, Taurean Prince
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best Bet: D'Angelo Russell over 25.5 total points + assists

Russell has been producing bigger numbers in recent weeks, and is particularly playing a higher usage role with Karl-Anthony Towns out injured. Russell has averaged 18.2 PPG and 8.2 APG in his last six outings, and those numbers increase to 21.0 PPG and 8.0 APG in the two games since KAT has been out. - Snellings

Best bet: Anthony Edwards over 26.5 points

Edwards is in the midst of a career season and should score a ton of points against a Pacers team that ranks 22nd in points allowed per 100 possessions. He's scored 25 or more points in five consecutive games. This season, Edwards has averaged 18.1 field goal attempts and 36.6 minutes per game. - Moody

Detroit Pistons at New Orleans Pelicans
8 p.m ET, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

Line: Pelicans (-10.5)
Money line: Pelicans (-550), Pistons (+400)
Total: 229 points
BPI Projected Total: 231.7 points
BPI Win%: Pelicans (85.9%)

Ruled out: Herbert Jones, Brandon Ingram
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Trey Murphy III (rostered in 24.0% of ESPN leagues) has been provided more minutes and field goal attempts with Brandon Ingram out with a toe injury. Murphy III has scored 30 or more fantasy points in five consecutive games. -Moody

Best Bet: Zion Williamson over 38.5 total points + assists + rebounds

Williamson has picked up the pace of late, particularly with Brandon Ingram out injured in the last four games. Over his last six games, Williamson has averaged 26.2 PPG, 9.2 RPG and 5.0 APG (40.4 PAR on average) while going over 38.5 PAR in four of those six games, including over in three of four with Ingram out. - Snellings

Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz
9 p.m. ET, Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

Line: Jazz (-7.5)
Money line: Jazz (-320), Warriors (+250)
Total: 233 points
BPI Projected Total: 237.3 points
BPI Win%: Warriors (78.8%)

Ruled Out: Mike Conley, Draymond Green, Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Jordan Poole over 35.5 points+assists+rebounds

As Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins are ruled out, Poole should see an expanded role. Over the past two games, Poole has started for the Warriors. He finished with 32 points+assists+rebounds against the Pacers on Monday. On Wednesday, Poole should have a lot of success against the Jazz. - Moody