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Fantasy basketball tips and betting picks for Saturday

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 Saturday, March 11 are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.


What you need to know for Saturday’s games

Sometimes NBA slates are defined by who isn’t playing. This rings especially true deep into the season, as we find star creators like Luka Doncic, Ja Morant, and Jalen Brunson due to sit for their respective teams on Saturday.

Such scenarios often lead to intriguing values, such as New York’s Immanuel Quickley (70% available in ESPN leagues) becoming a must-start option, as Eric Moody details below.

For Dallas, a mercurial Christian Wood becomes easier to bank on given the Mavericks will need his scoring and rebounding production to surface in a tough matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies. For Memphis, meanwhile, Tyus Jones remains an awesome addition to fantasy rosters given his critical creation role for a team suddenly light on playmaking. Memphis big man Xavier Tillman (90% available) is in a strong spot to deliver on rebounding props and even at rewarding odds for double-double outcomes. The list goes on.

It’s never fun to have your best players sidelined as the fantasy playoffs loom, but it is also undeniably rewarding to figure out such conundrums.

— Jim McCormick


Game of the night

Milwaukee Bucks at Golden State Warriors
8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, Chase Center, San Francisco, California

Records (Against the Spread)
Bucks: 48-18 (36-25-5)
Warriors: 34-33 (31-35-1)

Line: Warriors (-1)
BPI Projection: Bucks: 129.6-127.3
Money Line: Bucks (-105), Warriors (-115)
BPI Projected winner: Bucks (58%)
Total: 241.5 BPI Projected Total: 256.9

Injury Report:
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, (GTD – Hand); Wesley Matthews, (OUT – Calf)
Warriors: Andre Iguodala, (GTD – Hip); Klay Thompson, (GTD – Knee); Andrew Wiggins, (OUT – Personal); Jonathan Kuminga, (OUT – Ankle); Gary Payton II, (OUT – Abdomen); Ryan Rollins, (OUT – Foot)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Trend: After another worrisome winless road stint, the Warriors are back in the Chase Center tonight. Golden State has gone 22-11-1 ATS at home and tonight hosts the Bucks, the hottest team in the NBA over the past month. Countering the Warriors’ home cooking is the Bucks having won and covered nine straight road games. Even with the tight spread and Golden State’s strong home position, it’s hard to deny the Bucks’ momentum in this one. — McCormick


Breaking down the rest Saturday’s slate

Milwaukee Bucks at Golden State Warriors
8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, Chase Center, San Francisco, California

Records (Against the Spread)
Bucks: 48-18 (36-25-5)
Warriors: 34-33 (31-35-1)

Line: Warriors (-1)
BPI Projection: Bucks: 129.6-127.3
Money Line: Bucks (-105), Warriors (-115)
BPI Projected winner: Bucks (58%)
Total: 241.5 BPI Projected Total: 256.9

Injury Report:
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, (GTD – Hand); Wesley Matthews, (OUT – Calf)
Warriors: Andre Iguodala, (GTD – Hip); Klay Thompson, (GTD – Knee); Andrew Wiggins, (OUT – Personal); Jonathan Kuminga, (OUT – Ankle); Gary Payton II, (OUT – Abdomen); Ryan Rollins, (OUT – Foot)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Trend: After another worrisome winless road stint, the Warriors are back in the Chase Center tonight. Golden State has gone 22-11-1 ATS at home and tonight hosts the Bucks, the hottest team in the NBA over the past month. Countering the Warriors’ home cooking is the Bucks having won and covered nine straight road games. Even with the tight spread and Golden State’s strong home position, it’s hard to deny the Bucks’ momentum in this one. — McCormick


Breaking down the rest Saturday’s slate

New York Knicks at LA Clippers
4 p.m. ET, Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California

Records (Against the Spread)
Knicks: 39-29 (38-29-1)
Clippers: 35-33 (33-35-0)

Line: Clippers (-5)
BPI Projection: Clippers: 125.4-120.3
Money Line: Knicks (+158), Clippers (-190)
BPI Projected winner: Clippers (68.6%)
Total: 227.5 points BPI Projected Total: 245.7 points

Injury Report:
Knicks: DaQuan Jeffries, (GTD – Calf); Isaiah Hartenstein, (GTD – Ankle); Jalen Brunson, (OUT – Foot)
Clippers: Brandon Boston Jr., (OUT – Lower Body); Norman Powell, (OUT – Shoulder)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Immanuel Quickley (rostered in 30.3% of ESPN leagues) is firmly on the streaming radar with Jalen Brunson ruled out due to left foot soreness. In Thursday’s game against the Kings, he scored only five fantasy points, but he should bounce back against the Clippers. This season, Quickley averages 18.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per 40 minutes. — Eric Moody

Fantasy streamer: Eric Gordon (rostered in 4.0% of ESPN leagues) should continue to see significant minutes with Norman Powell still out due to a left shoulder sublaxation. In three consecutive games, he has played at least 27 minutes and scored at least 20 fantasy points. Gordon is a solid streaming option for fantasy managers in deeper formats. — Eric Moody

Best bet: Knicks +4.5. I like the Knicks as underdogs even without Jalen Brunson. In their last 11 games, New York is 8-2-1 against the spread. The Clippers are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games against teams with a winning record. — Eric Moody

Trend: The absence of Jalen Brunson looms large in this one, although Immanuel Quickley – the current favorite for Sixth Man of the Year honors — is poised to take up the slack. Given the Knicks’ unique backcourt depth, it’s an interesting position as road dogs despite stronger overall team metrics than Los Angeles. — McCormick


Utah Jazz at Charlotte Hornets
7 p.m. ET, Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

Records (Against the Spread)
Jazz: 32-35 (36-31-0)
Hornets: 22-46 (30-36-2)

Line: Jazz (-1.5)
BPI Projection: Jazz (126.5-123.8)
Money Line: Jazz (-125), Hornets (+105)
BPI Projected winner: Jazz (59.6%)
Total: 229.5 points BPI Projected Total: 250.3 points

Injury Report:
Jazz: Jordan Clarkson, (GTD – Finger); Collin Sexton, (OUT – Hamstring)
Hornets: Mark Williams, (GTD – Thumb); Cody Martin, (OUT – Knee); LaMelo Ball, (OUT – Ankle)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Walker Kessler (rostered in 52.8% of ESPN leagues) is still surprisingly available in a high percentage of leagues. Over the last 12 games, the rookie has averaged 11.5 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.3 blocks. This season, the Hornets have given up the second most points per game and the most rebounds per game to centers. — Eric Moody

Trend: Riding the under has been quite rewarding when it comes to the Hornets; as the under has cashed in nine straight of their games as their offense has plummeted in the wake of LaMelo Ball’s injury. In fact, the total has gone under in such matchups by nearly 19 points in the five contests since Ball’s season-ending ankle injury. — McCormick


Indiana Pacers at Detroit Pistons
7 p.m. ET, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan

Records (Against the Spread)
Pacers: 30-37 (36-31-0)
Pistons: 15-52 (30-36-1)

Line: Pacers (-5.5)
BPI Projection: Pacers (130.2-121.5)
Money Line: Pacers (-220), Pistons (+180)
BPI Projected winner: Pacers (78.7%)
Total: 228.5 points BPI Projected Total: 251.7 points

Injury Report:
Pacers: Myles Turner, (GTD – Back); T.J. McConnell, (GTD – Back); Tyrese Haliburton, (GTD – Knee); Bennedict Mathurin, (OUT – Ankle); Kendall Brown, (OUT – Lower Leg)
Pistons: Marvin Bagley III, (GTD – Ankle); Alec Burks, (OUT – Foot); Bojan Bogdanovic, (OUT – Achilles); Jaden Ivey, (OUT – General Soreness); Isaiah Stewart, (OUT – Shoulder); Cade Cunningham, (OUT – Lower Leg); Hamidou Diallo, (OUT – Ankle)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Cory Joseph (rostered in 1.0% of ESPN leagues) is a great streamer on a Pistons team dealing with an abundance of injuries including Jaden Ivey who is out due to the health and safety protocols. Joseph has scored 30 or more fantasy points in three consecutive games. — Eric Moody


Miami Heat at Orlando Magic
7 p.m. ET, Amway Center, Orlando, Florida

Records (Against the Spread)
Heat: 36-32 (24-41-3)
Magic: 27-40 (35-30-2)

Line: Heat (-2.5)
BPI Projection: Magic (130.2-119.6)
Money Line: Heat (-140), Magic (+118)
BPI Projected winner: Magic (53.4%)
Total: 221 points BPI Projected Total: 240.1 points

Injury Report:
Heat: Duncan Robinson, (GTD – Illness); Kyle Lowry, (GTD – Knee)
Magic: Jonathan Isaac, (OUT – Thigh)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Paolo Banchero over 25.5 points + rebounds. Over the last six games, Banchero has averaged 23.5 points and 6.3 rebounds. After a rough patch a week or so ago, he’s trending up again. This positive momentum should continue against the Heat. — Eric Moody


Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks
7:30 p.m. ET, State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

Records (Against the Spread)
Celtics: 46-21 (35-31-1)
Hawks: 34-33 (30-35-2)

Line: Celtics (-5)
BPI Projection: Celtics (129-126.3)
Money Line: Celtics (-205), Hawks (+170)
BPI Projected winner: Celtics (59.6%)
Total: 238 BPI Projected Total: 255.3

Injury Report:
Celtics: Robert Williams III, (OUT – Hamstring); Payton Pritchard, (OUT – Heel); Danilo Gallinari, (OUT – Knee)
Hawks: None reported
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: De’Andre Hunter (rostered in 19.0% of ESPN leagues) remains a solid streamer for fantasy managers in points formats. In three of his last four games, he has scored 23 or more fantasy points. Hunter provides fantasy managers with points and triples, but not much else. — Eric Moody

Best bet: Jayson Tatum over 44.5 points + assists + rebounds. Tatum has averaged 29.3 points, 6.3 assists and 10.4 rebounds over the last eight games. In his last five games against the Hawks, he has averaged 28.8 points, 5.4 assists and 8.0 rebounds. Atlanta ranks 21st in points allowed per 100 possessions. — Eric Moody

Best bet: Al Horford over 7.5 rebounds. This is one bet at plus odds I’m drawn to like a moth to the flame. The Hawks haven’t been a great rebounding team this season. Over the last four games, Horford has averaged 9.0 rebounds. He had 11 rebounds the last time the Celtics faced the Hawks — Eric Moody

Trend: The Hawks face the daunting task of playing the second leg of a back-to-back after playing a road game against the Wizards on Friday evening. The Celtics, meanwhile, have covered the spread in four of their past six road games and appear poised to pounce given the rest advantage. — McCormick


Chicago Bulls at Houston Rockets
8 p.m. ET, Toyota Center, Houston, Texas

Records (Against the Spread)
Bulls: 30-36 (33-33-0)
Rockets: 15-51 (25-38-3)

Line: Bulls (-7.5)
BPI Projection: Bulls: 129-118.3
Money Line: Bulls (-335), Rockets (+260)
BPI Projected winner: Bulls (81.2%)
Total: 224.5 points BPI Projected Total: 246.4 points

Injury Report:
Bulls: Javonte Green, (OUT – Knee); Lonzo Ball, (OUT – Knee); Goran Dragic, (GTD – Knee)
Rockets: Kevin Porter Jr., (GTD – Thigh)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Kenyon Martin Jr. (rostered in 16.3% of ESPN leagues) continues to thrive in the starting lineup and is a very good option in points and category formats. He contributes points, rebounds, assists and steals. Martin Jr. has scored 27 or more fantasy points in three of his last four games. — Eric Moody

Fantasy streamer: Tari Eason (rostered in 11.3% of ESPN leagues) continues to trend up at the right time for fantasy managers in need of a streamer. Over the last seven games he’s scored 21 or more fantasy points including four with 30 or more points. Eason shouldn’t be ignored by fantasy managers, especially those in deeper formats. — Eric Moody

Best bet: Zach LaVine over 35.5 points + assists + rebounds. LaVine has surpassed 35 PAR in four consecutive games. He should have success against a Rockets team that ranks 29th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Houston also allows opponents an effective field goal percentage of 56.6%, the fourth highest in the league. — Eric Moody


Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies
8 p.m. ET, FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

Records (Against the Spread)
Mavericks: 34-33 (23-41-3)
Grizzlies: 39-26 (31-31-3)

Line: Grizzlies (-4.5)
BPI Projection: Grizzlies (128.1-121.3)
Money Line: Mavericks (+152), Grizzlies (-180)
BPI Projected winner: Grizzlies (69.1%)
Total: 225 points BPI Projected Total: 248 points

Injury Report:
Mavericks: JaVale McGee, (GTD – Ankle); Kyrie Irving, (GTD – Foot); Reggie Bullock, (GTD – Quadriceps); Luka Doncic, (OUT – Thigh); McKinley Wright IV, (OUT – Illness)
Grizzlies: Brandon Clarke, (OUT – Achilles); Vince Williams Jr., (OUT – Shoulder); Ja Morant, (OUT – Personal); Steven Adams, (OUT – Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Tim Hardaway Jr. (rostered in 17.5% of ESPN leagues) should be leaned on heavily by the Mavericks with Luka Doncic already ruled out due to a left thigh strain. Irving missed practice Friday for personal reasons and may miss the game on Saturday. Hardaway Jr. has scored 30 or more fantasy points in three straight games, including two with 40 or more. — Eric Moody

Fantasy streamer: Tyus Jones (rostered in 25.6% of ESPN leagues) continues to benefit from Ja Morant’s absence. He’s scored 55 or more fantasy points in two of his last three games. Jones is a great option for fantasy managers looking for a point guard. — Eric Moody

Best bet: Jaren Jackson Jr. over 30.5 points + assists + rebounds. Jackson Jr. will be one of the players the Grizzlies turn to to fill Ja Morant’s shoes. He’s surpassed 30.5 PAR in each of the last three games. Jackson Jr. faces a Mavericks defense that’s given up the most points per game to power forwards this season. — Eric Moody

Trend: Memphis has started off hot at home this season; the Grizzlies have gone 22-8 ATS in the first half at home and have covered five of their past six games in Memphis. With Luka Doncic due to sit this one out, matchup trends appear to favor the home team.— McCormick


Oklahoma City Thunder at New Orleans Pelicans
8:30 p.m. ET, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

Records (Against the Spread)
Thunder: 31-35 (40-25-1)
Pelicans: 32-34 (30-35-1)

Line: Pelicans (-2)
BPI Projection: Pelicans (126.7-124.9)
Money Line: Thunder (+115), Pelicans (-135)
BPI Projected winner: Pelicans (54%)
Total: 233 points BPI Projected Total: 250.8 points

Injury Report:
Thunder: Aleksej Pokusevski, (OUT – Lower Leg); Chet Holmgren, (OUT – Foot); Kenrich Williams, (OUT – Wrist)
Pelicans: Brandon Ingram, (GTD – Foot); Larry Nance Jr., (OUT – Ankle); Jose Alvarado, (OUT – Leg); Zion Williamson, (OUT – Hamstring); E.J. Liddell, (OUT – Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Jalen Williams (rostered in 52.1% of ESPN leagues) is in the midst of an excellent rookie season. He’ll be back in the lineup on Saturday night for the Thunder after dealing with a right wrist sprain. Williams has averaged 19.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.5 steals over the last 12 games. — Eric Moody

Fantasy streamer: Trey Murphy III (rostered in 21.4% of ESPN leagues) continues to benefit from Zion Williamson’s absence due to a hamstring injury. He’s scored 42 or more fantasy points in two of his last four games. Murphy has played well since he was reinserted into the starting lineup. — Eric Moody


Sacramento Kings at Phoenix Suns
9 p.m. ET, Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona

Records (Against the Spread)
Kings: 39-26 (36-29-0)
Suns: 37-29 (36-28-2)

Line: Suns (-4)
BPI Projection: Suns (133.5-131.5)
Money Line: Kings (+143), Suns (-170)
BPI Projected winner: Suns (56.8%)
Total: 240.5 points BPI Projected Total: 265 points

Injury Report:
Kings: None reported
Suns: Duane Washington Jr., (GTD – Back); Landry Shamet, (OUT – Foot); Kevin Durant, (OUT – Ankle)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Trend: It’s tempting to consider the over in any Kings contest given the team sits first in offensive rating on the season. A strong counter would be that the under has hit in 12 of 16 games that the Kings have been road underdogs. Given the robust total for this one, that trend will be tested tonight. — McCormick