Fantasy basketball tips and betting picks for Wednesday

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ESPN's fantasy basketball and basketball betting tips cheat sheet is your pregame destination for basketball betting predictions and our best intel and data, featuring ESPN's proprietary Basketball Power Index (BPI) to help you make smart fantasy and wagering decisions. NBA game odds for Feb. 8 are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.

What you need to for Wednesday's games

An amazing part of fantasy basketball is that while watching LeBron James secure the all-time scoring title last night, I became most interested in the breakout performance of Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Jalen Williams. In helping his team secure the road win, the Santa Clara product produced 25 points, seven rebounds, and six steals. While you can't acquire James without sending a robust offer to his manager, Williams is still a free agent in 80% of ESPN leagues.

Looking at Wednesday's slate, we find fellow rookie Walker Kessler of the Utah Jazz in a plus spot against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team that drafted and then dealt him in the Rudy Gobert blockbuster. Kessler is one of just four players averaging at least two blocks this season and only Defensive Player of the Year favorite Jaren Jackson Jr. is ahead of him in block percentage. Kessler appears underpriced at $5,700 on DraftKings and is a free agent in nearly 70% of leagues even after posting career highs in scoring and rebounds in his last matchup with Minnesota.

Revisiting the league's most recent blockbuster, it appears the pairing of Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic won't debut for the Dallas Mavericks tonight against the LA Clippers. Doncic has been ruled out due to a heel injury, which makes the recent rise of Josh Green (98% available) quite appealing in this spot. Other than securing the Brooklyn Nets' white-hot Cam Thomas (70%), Green is a priority addition in all formats ahead of Wednesday's action.

-- Jim McCormick

Breaking down Wednesday's slate

Detroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers
7 p.m. ET, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, Ohio

Records (Against the Spread)
Pistons: 14-41 (24-30-1)
Cavaliers: 34-22 (29-25-2)

Line: Cavaliers (-11.5)
BPI Projection: Cavaliers (121.9-108.1)
Money Line: Cavaliers (-650), Pistons (+460)
BPI Projected winner: Cavaliers (90.4%)
Total: 221.5 points BPI Projected Total: 230.0 points

Injury Report:
Pistons: Marvin Bagley III, (OUT - Hand); Cade Cunningham, (OUT - Lower Leg)
Cavaliers: None reported
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Donovan Mitchell over 25.5 points. The Pistons have allowed the third most points to opposing shooting guards this season. While Mitchell hasn't scored over 25.5 points since Jan. 12, he torched the Pistons for 32 points in their November clash last year. Mitchell should be able to break out of his scoring slump tonight and I'll be surprised if he doesn't score at least 30 in what should be a fourth straight win for the Cavs. -- Alexander

Charlotte Hornets at Washington Wizards
7 p.m. ET, Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

Records (Against the Spread)
Hornets: 15-40 (23-30-2)
Wizards: 24-29 (24-28-1)

Line: Wizards (-4)
BPI Projection: Wizards (119.5-115.9)
Money Line: Wizards (-160), Hornets (+135)
BPI Projected winner: Wizards (63.1%)
Total: 235.4 points BPI Projected Total: 235.4 points

Injury Report:
Hornets: Cody Martin, (OUT - Knee); Kelly Oubre Jr., (OUT - Hand)
Wizards: Bradley Beal, (GTD - Foot); Kyle Kuzma, (GTD - Ankle)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Deni Avdija (rostered in 13.5% of ESPN leagues) Avdija has averaged 16.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.6 three-pointers in seven games of his past nine games. As a result, we've seen his roster percentage climb over the past couple of weeks. Avdija did have a 12-point, 13-rebound game against Charlotte earlier this season but didn't produce much in the other two. However, he is hot right now and should be a decent fantasy streamer for tonight. -- Alexander

Best bet: Terry Rozier over 22.5 points. Rozier has gone over 22.5 points in five of his past six games and missed this number by just three points in the other one. The Wizards have allowed the eighth-most points to opposing shooting guards and Rozier put up 25 against them in their last meeting on Dec. 2. He didn't fare as well in their previous two meetings but has a nice matchup tonight. -- Alexander

Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics
7:30 p.m. ET, TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Records (Against the Spread)
76ers: 34-18 (28-23-1)
Celtics: 38-16 (27-26-1)

Line: Celtics (-4.5)
BPI Projection: Celtics (116.0-114.2)
Money Line: Celtics (-190), 76ers (+158)
BPI Projected winner: Celtics (56.8%)
Total: 224.5 points BPI Projected Total: 230.2 points

Injury Report:
76ers: Joel Embiid, (GTD - Foot)
Celtics: Jaylen Brown, (GTD - Illness); Luke Kornet, (GTD - Ankle); Robert Williams III, (GTD - Ankle); Marcus Smart, (OUT - Ankle); Danilo Gallinari, (OUT - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Joel Embiid over 41.5 points and rebounds. Embiid had 26 points and 15 rebounds in the regular season opener Boston and crushed this number in five of his past nine games. He has been resting his foot since Sunday and should be ready to go tonight. The Sixers are going to need big numbers from him if they're going to get the win at TD Garden this evening. -- Alexander

Trend: In the marquee matchup of the night, the Boston Celtics host the Philadelphia 76ers in what could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals. The 76ers are 8-5 ATS this season when given the underdog role, a designation they hold in this spot. Let's not stop there. Over tickets have come through in 16 of Philadelphia's past 23 covers and the scoring trends could continue ... overs are 18-9 in games at TD Garden this season -- Soppe

Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat
7:30 p.m. ET, FTX Arena, Miami, Florida

Records (Against the Spread)
Pacers: 25-30 (29-26-0)
Heat: 29-25 (20-31-3)

Line: Heat (-7)
BPI Projection: Heat (113.9-111.8)
Money Line: Heat (-278), Pacers (+222)
BPI Projected winner: Heat (57.9%)
Total: 223.0 points BPI Projected Total: 225.7 points

Injury Report:
Pacers: Chris Duarte, (GTD - Ankle)
Heat: Gabe Vincent, (GTD - Ankle); Orlando Robinson, (GTD - Thumb); Duncan Robinson, (OUT - Finger); Victor Oladipo, (OUT - Ankle); Kyle Lowry, (OUT - Knee); Nikola Jovic, (OUT - Back); Omer Yurtseven, (OUT - Ankle); Dewayne Dedmon, (OUT - Not Injury Related)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Gabe Vincent (rostered in 1% of ESPN leagues) is probable tonight with a sore ankle and should get all the point-guard minutes he can handle against the Pacers. In six starts this season, he's averaging 16.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.3 steals and 2.7 3-pointers and Indy gives up 22 points per game to opposing point guards. Vincent should see 30 minutes tonight and he had 15 points, three boards, three steals and three triples in their previous meeting this season. -- Alexander

Best bet: Buddy Hield over 16.5 points. Hield has scored 21 and 19 points in his previous two meetings with the Heat and Miami won't have Kyle Lowry or Victor Oladipo available tonight. Hield has scored at least 19 points in five of his last eight games and should be able to get loose for 20 or so tonight. -- Alexander

San Antonio Spurs at Toronto Raptors
7:30 p.m. ET, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Records (Against the Spread)
Spurs: 14-40 (23-31-0)
Raptors: 25-30 (27-28-0)

Line: Raptors (-10.5)
BPI Projection: Raptors (126.5-115.6)
Money Line: Raptors (-550), Spurs (+400)
BPI Projected winner: Raptors (85.6%)
Total: 232.5 points BPI Projected Total: 242.1 points

Injury Report:
Spurs: Charles Bassey, (GTD - Undisclosed); Jeremy Sochan, (GTD - Back); Keldon Johnson, (GTD - Ankle); Tre Jones, (GTD - Foot); Romeo Langford, (OUT - Thigh); Devin Vassell, (OUT - Knee)
Raptors: O.G. Anunoby, (OUT - Wrist); Otto Porter Jr., (OUT - Foot)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Malaki Branham (rostered in 2.9% of ESPN leagues) Branham is hot, scoring 15, 26 and 22 points in his three February games. He hasn't been stealing or blocking, but he's hit eight triples in those three games while getting solid numbers in rebounds and assists. With Keldon Johnson and Tre Jones questionable and Jeremy Sochan doubtful, Branham should be in line for another solid workload. -- Alexander

Trend: Both the Spurs and Raptors are at risk of sitting players that are involved in trade deadline talks, but operating off the opening line, it's worth noting that the Spurs are a winning team when catching 10-plus points this season (6-5 ATS, overs: 7-3-1). That isn't overwhelming, but the Raptors have been a letdown this season when favored by at least four points (7-11-1 ATS), with defense being the primary issue (overs are 13-6 in those 19 games). -- Soppe

Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets
8 p.m. ET, Toyota Center, Houston, Texas

Records (Against the Spread)
Kings: 30-23 (29-24-0)
Rockets: 13-41 (20-31-3)

Line: Kings (-8)
BPI Projection: Kings (126.3-119.4)
Money Line: Kings (-355), Rockets (+278)
BPI Projected winner: Kings (72.7%)
Total: 240.5 points BPI Projected Total: 245.7 points

Injury Report:
Kings: None reported
Rockets: None reported
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: De'Aaron Fox over 31.5 points + assists. Fox is back after the birth of his son and while he totaled just 24 points and assists in his return on Monday, he should fare much better tonight. Houston is the worst team in the league at stopping opposing point guards and Fox will be looking to replicate his 31-point, 10-assists performance he had against the Spurs a week ago. The chances of Houston stopping him in two straight games aren't great. -- Alexander

Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz
9 p.m. ET, Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

Records (Against the Spread)
Timberwolves: 29-28 (27-30-0)
Jazz: 27-28 (30-25-0)

Line: Jazz (-5.5)
BPI Projection: Jazz (124.2-119.5)
Money Line: Jazz (-210), Timberwolves (+175)
BPI Projected winner: Jazz (66.2%)
Total: 236.0 points BPI Projected Total: 243.7 points

Injury Report:
Timberwolves: Kyle Anderson, (GTD - Back); Austin Rivers, (OUT - Suspension); Karl-Anthony Towns, (OUT - Calf)
Jazz: Jarred Vanderbilt, (GTD - Back); Micah Potter, (OUT - Elbow)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Lauri Markkanen over 25.5 points. Markkanen fouled out before he could hit the 20-point plateau on Monday night, breaking his 20-game streak of scoring at least that many points. He averaged 28.5 points per game in January and is at 24.0 points through his three February games. He's always over or on the brink of scoring 26 every time out and the Wolves are the sixth worst team at stopping power forwards, giving up 23 ppg to opposing big men. Look for Markkanen to start a new streak tonight and don't be surprised if he's over 30 points in this one. -- Alexander

Trend: The Minnesota Timberwolves are a perfect 3-0 ATS with three outright wins as underdogs when playing on the second night of back-to-backs since New Years. That trend alone puts them in a bounce back spot after getting the brakes beat off them last night and it doesn't hurt that the the Utah Jazz are the opponent: 5-9 ATS as a favorite since Christmas.-- Soppe

Dallas Mavericks at LA Clippers
10 p.m. ET, Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California

Records (Against the Spread)
Mavericks: 29-26 (19-33-3)
Clippers: 31-26 (29-28-0)

Line: Clippers (-8)
BPI Projection: Clippers (122.6-110.2)
Money Line: Clippers (-345), Mavericks (+270)
BPI Projected winner: Clippers (87.9%)
Total: 220.5 points BPI Projected Total: 232.8 points

Injury Report:
Mavericks: Frank Ntilikina, (GTD - Illness); Kyrie Irving, (GTD - Calf); Markieff Morris, (GTD - Knee); Luka Doncic, (OUT - Heel); Maxi Kleber, (OUT - Hamstring); Davis Bertans, (OUT - Calf)
Clippers: Moussa Diabate, (OUT - Undisclosed); John Wall, (OUT - Abdomen)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Josh Green (rostered in just 1.6% of ESPN leagues) scored 29 points for the Mavericks on Monday and while it's true that Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving weren't quite ready for that one, I don't think it matters. Green has a shot at competing with Christian Wood to be the No. 3 scoring option behind Luka and Kyrie, and there are holes to fill left by the departures of defensive wizard Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie. Green's not going to score like that every night and will still have some quiet games, but he's worth grabbing in most formats now that he should have an expanded role. -- Alexander

Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers
10 p.m. ET, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

Records (Against the Spread)
Warriors: 28-26 (25-28-1)
Blazers: 26-28 (27-26-1)

Line: Blazers (-2.5)
BPI Projection: Blazers (121.6-117.4)
Money Line: Blazers (-140), Warriors (+118)
BPI Projected winner: Blazers (64.8%)
Total: 234.5 points BPI Projected Total: 239 points

Injury Report:
Warriors: Andre Iguodala, (OUT - Hip); Stephen Curry, (OUT - Lower Leg); Ryan Rollins, (OUT - Foot)
Blazers: Drew Eubanks, (GTD - Back); Keon Johnson, (GTD - Ankle); Justise Winslow, (OUT - Ankle); Jusuf Nurkic, (OUT - Calf)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Damian Lillard over 35.5 points. Lillard has scored at least 36 points in nine of his past 14 games and faces a Warriors team that has allowed the fourth-most points to opposing point guards this season. Lillard just missed the over in their other meeting earlier this season when he scored 34 points, but he'll be looking for his fourth 40-point outing over his past seven games tonight. -- Alexander