Wednesday , July 6 2022

Fantasy basketball and NBA betting cheat sheet for Friday

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.

Starless Suns: With Chris Paul sidelined through March at the very least and Devin Booker in health and safety protocols, there’s all sorts of usage to be had. Cameron Payne (92% available) got his first start of the season on Wednesday and handed out eight assists in just 20 minutes. In the process, he also took eight shots and recorded 3 steals + blocks. The per minute production won’t always look like that, but the role is there and that makes him worth a look in everything fantasy/gambling related.

Ailing Edwards: Anthony Edwards hasn’t looked right since getting banged up (ankle/knee) against the Pacers before the All-Star Break (five games: 16-of-55 from the field) and will sit for a second consecutive game. Malik Beasley (65% available) poured in 20 points on Tuesday against the Warriors and has made 14-of-22 3-point attempts since the All-Star Break.

DFS Sleeper: Raul Neto (available in 96% of ESPN leagues) has been solid in three games since the break (13.0 PPG with 18 assists against just two turnovers) and he gets a Hawks team that has allowed over 114 PPG on the second night of back-to-backs in 2022. He also quietly has a steal in six straight games (multiple steals in half of those games) and is a much more efficient shooter at home (51% FG) than on the road (39.4% FG).

Shai Day: With Josh Giddey and Luguentz Dort ruled out ahead of tonight’s matchup with Minnesota, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander claims slate-breaking upside in DFS play. The dynamic guard has averaged 51.1 DraftKings points four games since the break and makes for a strong candidate for scoring props given he’s averaged a point per minute with both Giddey and Dort off the floor this season. For those seeking a streaming solution from the frontcourt, Darius Bazley (84% available) has collected seven steals across his last three games.

Wing Man: The Cavaliers are uniquely thin at the wing this season. Caris LeVert won’t play in Philadelphia tonight and that aids Cedi Osman‘s (97% available) case as a plug-and-play option for redraft leagues. With LeVert off the floor, Osman has lofted 8.8 3-pointers per 36 minutes this season, suggesting he’s also an option for 3-point props.

Game of the Night

Line: Bucks (-4.0)
Moneyline: Bucks (-180), Bulls (+155)
Total: 240.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 232 points
BPI Win%: Bucks (58%)

Key players ruled out: none

Notable: The Bucks have failed to cover and seen the over hit in six of their past seven contests, including Wednesday night’s comeback win over the Heat.

Best bet: Bucks race to 15 points (-140). The Bucks are known as a fast starting team. They have the best first quarter rating in the NBA and the Bulls rank 23rd and are coming off a game last night in Atlanta. I expect the Bucks to take an early lead from the jump. — Anita Marks

Best bet: Jrue Holiday over 30.5 total points + assists + rebounds. Holiday has been heating up . During that time, he averaged 22.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists. Bulls are 21st in points allowed per 100 possessions and allow opponents to shoot well against them. This puts Holiday in a position to accumulate counting stats. — Eric Moody

Breaking down the rest of the slate

Line: Suns (-6.5)
Moneyline: Suns (-320), Knicks (+250)
Total: 223 points
BPI Projected Total: 211 points
BPI Win%: Suns (73.1%)

Key players ruled out: Devin Booker, Chris Paul

Notable: The Knicks have covered just once since the beginning of February, dropping each of their past six against the spread in the process (also: five straight overs have hit in New York games).

Fantasy Streamer: Cameron Payne. Payne should flourish with Chris Paul sidelined by a thumb injury and Devin Booker in league protocols. He’s available in 92% of ESPN leagues and has averaged 20 points, 7.3 assists, and 5.4 rebounds per 40 minutes. Additionally, he’s a nice value on FanDuel ($5,000) and DraftKings ($4,800). — Moody

Line: Pacers (-3.0)
Moneyline: Pacers (-145), Pistons (+125)
Total: 228 points
BPI Projected Total: 225 points
BPI Win%: Pistons (53.9%)

Key players ruled out: none

Questionable: Chris Duarte

Notable: It may not look like the Pacers are in win-now mode, but they have covered four of six games after dropping six-in-a-row ATS.

Line: 76ers (-7.0)
Moneyline: 76ers (-320), Cavaliers (+250)
Total: 217.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 214 points
BPI Win%: 76ers (73.7%)

Key players ruled out: Caris LeVert, Rajon Rondo

Notable: Cover-cover-cover. Over-over-over. The James Harden era in Philadelphia is off to a good start, as they’ve won all three of his games by at least 15 points and their have been over 230 points scored in each of those games.

Best Bet: Joel Embiid over 29.5 points. History has proven that Embiid has his way with Jarrett Allen. Joel is just too dominant of a presence in the paint. The addition of Harden showcases the 76ers as the best pick in roll in the business, and I see a lot of Harden feeding Embiid in the paint with a plethora of post up points. — Marks

Best bet: Lauri Markkanen over 13.5 total points Markkanen has averaged 17 points and three triples in his previous four games. The 76ers allow opponents to rebound a high number of their misses and a high percentage on mid-range shots. This is a perfect storm for Markkanen to thrive. — Moody

Line: Hawks (-4.0)
Moneyline: Hawks (-180), Wizards (+155)
Total: 224.0 points
BPI Projected Total: 231 points
BPI Win%: Hawks (59.1%)

Key players ruled out: none

Notable: Over tickets have come through in five of Washington’s past six home games (and in three of Atlanta’s past four games on the second night of a back-to-back).

Line: Raptors (-8.0)
Moneyline: Raptors (-340), Magic (+270)
Total: 221.0 points
BPI Projected Total: 213.5 points
BPI Win%: Raptors (72.6%)

Key players ruled out: Markelle Fultz, OG Anunoby, Mo Wagner

Questionable: Fred VanVleet (knee), Wendell Carter Jr. (illness)

Notable: It doesn’t require a great offense to cash over tickets, just one that is a bit underrated… or a forgiving defense. The Magic might have both, as the over has hit in nine of their past 14 games, including four straight when they are the underdog.

Line: Jazz (-4.5)
Moneyline: Jazz (-170), Pelicans (+145)
Total: 224.0 points
BPI Projected Total: 225 points
BPI Win%: Jazz (56.1%)

Key players ruled out: none

Notable: Jazz games have a way of seeing points scored when not played in the thin air of Utah: over tickets have come through in five of their past six road games.

Best Bet: Bojan Bogdanovic over 16.5 total points. Bogdanovic has averaged 17 points and 2.3 triples over his past 10 games. The only other Jazz player with more field goal attempts than Bogdanovic (14) is Donovan Mitchell (19). As a team, the Pelicans allow 112.2 points per 100 possessions, 18th in the league, and are vulnerable to mid-range jumpers and triples.— Moody

Line: Timberwolves (-9.5)
Moneyline: Timberwolves (-450), Thunder (+350)
Total: 229.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 225 points
BPI Win%: Timberwolves (63.2%)

Key players ruled out: Anthony Edwards, Josh Giddey, Derrick Favors, Luguentz Dort,

Questionable: Jarred Vanderbilt (knee)

Notable: The upstart Wolves have covered consecutive games and are 9-4-1 against the number since late January.

Best bet: Karl-Anthony Towns over 37.5 points + rebounds. With Edwards sidelined, Towns is expected to shoulder a heavier load. In 21 career games against the Thunder, Towns has averaged 25 PPG and 10.6 RPG. In DFS, he’s a great player to build a lineup around. Centers have scored the seventh-most DraftKings points and the fourth-most FanDuel points per game against the Thunder this season. — Moody

Fantasy Streamer: Malik Beasley. Edwards’ absence puts Beasley on the streaming radar. Beasley is available in 65% of ESPN leagues and has averaged 19 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per 40 minutes this season. Shooting guards have averaged 22 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 5.3 APG against the Thunder this season. — Moody

Line: Nuggets (-13.5)
Moneyline: Nuggets (-1100), Rockets (+700)
Total: 234.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 224 points
BPI Win%: Nuggets (88.9%)

Key players ruled out: none

Questionable: Dennis Schroder, Eric Gordon

Notable: The Rockets have covered two of three games after a brutal 2-10 stretch against the number.

Analytics Edge

BPI highest projected totals

Denver Nuggets (118.8 points)
Milwaukee Bucks (117.3 points)
Atlanta Hawks (117.1 points)

BPI lowest projected totals

New York Knicks (102.1 points)
Orlando Magic (103.3 points)
Cleveland Cavaliers (103.6 points)

BPI top probability to win (straight up)

Denver Nuggets (88.9%)
Philadelphia 76ers (73.7%)
Phoenix Suns (73.1%)

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