Fantasy basketball tips and NBA betting picks for Tuesday

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 November 22 are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.


What you need to know for Tuesday’s games

Laker Fade: The Lakers have won three straight (all without LeBron James) … it’s a trap! Fading the Lakers at every turn makes sense tonight given that the books have adjusted a bit for their recent run. During the four games James has missed, Los Angeles’ offensive efficiency has spiked (up 15.1%), but is that a predictive stat? Three of those four games have come against the three worst defenses in the NBA that all play at a top-12 pace. This matchup is not that as the Suns rank eighth in defense and 25th in pace. Somehow, despite the sped-up matchups, the Lakers’ pace has dropped during this LeBron-less run, a major problem if the efficiency falls off a cliff tonight. If James sits again to buy three more off days, pouncing on the Laker prop unders is the play. If he plays, be less aggressive, but still head in that direction.

Pursuing Payne: The Suns won’t have Chris Paul in the lineup tonight against the Lakers due to a lingering foot injury. In his place, Cameron Payne (74% available) has been quite productive as the lead point guard for Phoenix, averaging 22.3 points and seven dimes during the past week. The Lakers have allowed nearly 53 DraftKings points per game to point guards, the sixth-highest rate in the league, helping Payne’s projection for tonight.

Shake and Take: The Sixers are hurting. Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey have all suffered varying degrees of foot injuries recently. With all three stars sidelined for tonight’s anticipated matchup with Ben Simmons and the Nets, Shake Milton suddenly becomes a key fantasy factor. The combo guard is rostered in just six percent of ESPN leagues and yet has averaged 21 points while sporting a rich 25% usage rate the past two games. This usage rate was with Embiid, mind you, so the offensive upside is real with Milton. De’Anthony Melton (80% available), meanwhile, intends to take the ball from opponents, as he’s eighth in steals per game and third in steal percentage this season and should see a massive workload on both sides of the ball in the wake of Philly’s injury issues.

Getting Grizzlies: Memphis lists Ja Morant as doubtful to play against the Kings due to an ankle injury, while Desmond Bane is ruled out due to a toe injury. Morant’s likely absence vaults Tyus Jones (88% available in ESPN leagues) into an important distribution role and a great target for assist props. Filling in for Bane’s perimeter scoring is Dillon Brooks (43%), fresh off scoring 30 points against Brooklyn over the weekend. It’s also time to make sure Jaren Jackson Jr. (35%) is universally rostered, as he already has eight blocks in just two games and just poured in 25 points against the Thunder.

Denver’s Depth: Rostered in just a fifth of ESPN leagues, Bones Hyland is producing big numbers for the Nuggets. Denver is unlikely to have either Jamal Murray or Nikola Jokic in the lineup tonight against the Pistons, shifting Hyland into a vital role. The second-year guard has averaged 21 points across his last seven games but is now adding more assist volume with his star teammates sidelined. As wild as it seems, even DeAndre Jordan, a fantasy free agent in nearly 99% of leagues, has gained relevance with Jokic sidelined. The former All-Star posted a season-best 17 boards last time out and could deliver again against a young Detroit frontcourt.

— Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe


Game of the night

Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers
7:30 pm ET, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Line: Nets (-8)
Money line: Nets (-335), 76ers (+260)
Total: 217 points
BPI Projected Total: 226.2 points
BPI Win%: Nets (57.5%)

Probably: Furkan Korkmaz (knee), Tobias Harris (hip)
Questionable: Yuta Watanabe, Nic Claxton
Ruled Out: Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, James Harden
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Shake Milton (rostered in 6.0% of ESPN leagues) is one of the few ball handlers the 76ers have at their disposal with Tyrese Maxey and James Harden injured. In consecutive games, Milton has scored 27 or more fantasy points and played 30 or more minutes. The 76ers will rely on him for offensive production. — Moody

Fantasy streamer: Montrezl Harrell (rostered in 30.6% of ESPN leagues) is expected to see a ton of usage on Tuesday night against the Nets with Joel Embiid out with a mid-foot sprain. When Embiid missed the Knicks game on November 4th, Harrell scored 27 fantasy points. — Moody

Best bet: Ben Simmons over 10.5 points. Simmons is a maddening fantasy option because we know he can be dynamic in transition and pile on the rebounds and assists. He finally looked eager to contribute offensively on Sunday against Memphis, and he should be even more eager to prove a point to an angry Philadelphia fan base Tuesday. Simmons doesn’t have to face the injured Joel Embiid (or the team’s starting guards, for that matter), and that’s a big deal. Philly will have no rim protectors to dissuade Simmons from driving the lane. Look for the Nets to purposely involve Simmons early, taking the antagonized crowd out of the game, and get him double-digit points by halftime. — Eric Karabell

Best bet: Kevin Durant over 27.5 points. The 76ers have no one defensively who can hang with Durant. In his last six games against Philadelphia, he averaged 22.2 field goals and 30.0 points. There is a strong chance that trend continues on Tuesday night against the 76ers. — Moody


Breaking down the rest of the slate

Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies
8 pm ET, FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

Line: Grizzlies (-1)
Money line: Grizzlies (-120), Kings (+100)
Total: 234 points
BPI Projected Total: 236.8 points
BPI Win%: Grizzlies (56.5%)

Questionable: Yes Morant
Ruled Out: Desmond Bane
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: John Konchar (rostered in 7.3% of ESPN leagues) is on the streaming radar while Desmond Bane is out with a toe injury. Both of Konchar’s last two games saw him score 44 fantasy points. More playmaking opportunities should be given to him. — Moody

Best bet: Harrison Barnes over 5.5 rebounds. Barnes has made his way off fantasy rosters with his disappointing scoring this season, but things have been better lately. Barnes is coming off a 27-point game against Detroit and, for rebounding purposes, has eight or more boards in four of six games. He’ll get the upper hand on rebounds against Memphis. — Karabell

Best bet: Kings +1.0. Back the underdog Kings against a Grizzlies team without Ja Morant and Desmond Bane. Sacramento ranks second in points scored per 100 possessions in the league. The Kings also have the best effective field goal percentage in the league. Sacramento has covered the spread in their last seven games. Furthermore, the Kings are 9-0 against the spread in their last nine games played on one day of rest. — Moody

Detroit Pistons at Denver Nuggets
9 pm ET, Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado

line: Nuggets (-5.5)
Money line: Nuggets (-225), Pistons (+185)
Total: 228.0 points
BPI Projected Total: 228.7 points
BPI Win%: Nuggets (82.1%)

Probably: Bones Hyland (hip)
Questionable: Ish Smith (calf), Aaron Gordon (illness)
Doubtful: Jamal Murray (COVID-19 protocols), Nikola Jokic (Covid-19 protocols)
Ruled Out: Jeff Green (knee)
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Bones Hyland (rostered in 20% of ESPN leagues) will see significant minutes against the Pistons with Jamal Murray doubtful to play. He finished with 52 fantasy points against the Mavericks on Sunday. — Moody

Best bet: Michael Porter Jr. over 25.5 points + assists + rebounds. Porter has struggled in the last three games, averaging 9.7 PPG, 3.7 APG, and 3.7 RPG. Due to the absences of Nikola JokicJamal Murray, and Aaron Gordon, he is well-positioned to bounce back against the Pistons. Detroit ranks 29th in points allowed per 100 possessions. — Moody

Best bet: Pistons +6.5. The Nuggets will be without several key players, giving the Pistons a chance to keep this close. In terms of points allowed per 100 possessions, Denver ranks 26th. The Nuggets are 1-6 against the spread in their last seven home games when they play a team with a losing record. — Moody

Best bet: Jaden Ivey over 18.5 points. Someone has to score the points for the Pistons with Cade Cunningham out and Ivey scored 24 in the most recent game, and has averaged 21 PPG over the past five. He’s getting more than 16 field goal attempts per game in that span and getting to the free throw line. Look for Ivey to score 20 PPG on a more regular basis now. — Karabell

Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns
10 pm ET, Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona

Line: Suns (-7.5)
Money line: Suns (-320), Lakers (+250)
Total: 228 points
BPI Projected Total: 230.3 points
BPI Win%: Suns (75.4%)

Questionable: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Juan Toscano-Anderson
Ruled Out: Landry Shamet, Chris Paul
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Cameron Payne (rostered in 25.8% of ESPN leagues) is another Suns player that can be successful whether you are looking at prop bets or as a streamer. Like Booker, he’s also performed well while Paul has been out. Over the last six games, Payne has averaged 20.2 PPG, 6.3 APG, and 3.7 RPG. Over the past six games, he has scored 32 or more fantasy points in five of them, including 50 or more in three of them. — Moody

Best bet: Devin Booker over 40.5 points + assists + rebounds. Booker has been fantastic since Chris Paul has been out. Over the last six games, he averaged 28.3 PPG, 7.2 APG and 5.8 RPG in 36.9 MPG. Shooting guards have had some huge performances this season against the Lakers. Booker has averaged 31.0 PPG, 7.0 APG and 4.5 RPG in his last two games against Los Angeles. — Moody


Analytics edge

BPI highest projected totals

1. Denver Nuggets (119.4)
2. Brooklyn Nets (119.3)
3. Phoenix Suns (119)

BPI lowest projected totals

1. Sacramento Kings (109.3)
2. Los Angeles Lakers (112.1)
3. Philadelphia 76ers (112.1)

BPI top probability to win (straight up)

1. Denver Nuggets (82.1%)
2. Phoenix Suns (75.4%)
3. Brooklyn Nets (57.5%)

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