Fantasy basketball tips and NBA 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 Jan. 28th are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.

What you need to know for Saturday's games

Defense Optional: Even in this high-scoring era, tonight's matchup between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings stands out as an uniquely friendly offensive climate. The Kings lead the NBA in offensive rating over the past 10 games with an absurd 127 points per 100 possessions, helping support this game's slate-high total of 240 points. For some context, just a few nights ago this Sacramento squad dropped 133 in regulation against the Memphis Grizzlies, a team that ranks first in the league in defensive rating.

Precious is Poised: The Toronto Raptors' O.G. Anunoby has been a popular name in trade rumors of late, but also a steady inclusion on the injury report. In a loss to the Golden State Warriors last night, Anunoby left early due to a wrist ailment, vaulting versatile big man Precious Achiuwa (93%) into an important frontcourt role for the Raptors. Achiuwa responded to the larger role with 17 points and 11 pulls and now has registered a double-double in three of his last four games. Tonight's opponent, the Portland Trail Blazers, are 25th in defensive rating over the last 10 games and could be without an ailing Jusuf Nurkic.

Luka's Leftovers: Luka Doncic is second only to Giannis Antetokounmpo in usage percentage this season with a "Westbrookian" 38.2% clip. This makes Doncic's absence due to an ankle injury even more significant for fantasy purposes, as the Dallas Mavericks' rotation now claims multiple identifiable values. Dorian Finney-Smith (91%), for instance, established a new season-high with a 25.1% usage clip in his team's recent win over the Suns, sans Doncic for much of the contest. "DFS" is a strong, well, DFS play given he's just $4,400 for tonight's tilt with the Utah Jazz. Big man Dwight Powell also stands out given he's scored 37 across his last two and will need to produce for the Mavericks to compete in Salt Lake.

Injury Watch: There are several notable injuries influencing tonight's games. The Houston Rockets won't have either Jalen Green or Kevin Porter Jr. in the lineup against the Detroit Pistons, opening value for not just Alperen Sengun as a DFS building block, but for rookies Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason as valid streaming options. The New York Knicks won't have Mitchell Robinson in this afternoon's matchup with the Brooklyn Nets, aiding Jericho Sims' potential to top rebounding props. With Cade Cunningham and Cory Joseph both sidelined for Detroit, scoring microwave Alec Burks is in a nice spot against Houston's porous backcourt defense. Finally, the Phoenix Suns are still without Devin Booker, Cameron Payne, and Landry Shamet, with steady vet Chris Paul poised as an awesome DFS play at just $7,900 against a soft San Antonio defense.

-- Jim McCormick & Kyle Soppe

Game of the night

Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics
8:30 p.m ET, TD Garden, Boston, MA

Records (against the spread)
Lakers: 23-26 (22-25-2)
Celtics: 35-15 (25-24-1)

Line: Celtics (-7.5)
BPI projection: Celtics: 122.5-113.2
Money line: Lakers (+240), Celtics (-305)
BPI projected winner: Celtics (80.3%)
Total: 237 BPI projected total: 235.7

Injury report:
Lakers: Anthony Davis, (GTD - Foot); LeBron James, (GTD - Ankle); Lonnie Walker IV, (GTD - Knee); Austin Reaves, (OUT - Hamstring)
Celtics: Marcus Smart, (OUT - Ankle); Danilo Gallinari, (OUT - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Derrick White (rostered in 47.2% of ESPN leagues) continues to be on the streaming radar with Marcus Smart already ruled out due to a right ankle sprain. In three consecutive games, White has scored 30 or more fantasy points. White has a very favorable matchup against a Lakers team that ranks 21st in points allowed per 100 possessions. -- Eric Moody

Breaking down the rest of the slate

Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers
3:00 p.m ET, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

Records (against the spread)
Nuggets: 34-15 (25-23-1)
76ers: 31-16 (26-20-1)

Line: 76ers (-3.5)
BPI projection: 76ers: 121.3-113.1
Money line: Nuggets (-110), 76ers (-110)
BPI projected winner: 76ers (77.6%)
Total: 232.5 BPI projected total: 234.4

Injury report:
Nuggets: Bruce Brown, (GTD - Knee); Jamal Murray, (GTD - Hip); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, (GTD - Wrist); Michael Porter Jr., (GTD - Personal); Nikola Jokic, (GTD - Hamstring); Jack White, (OUT - Thigh)
76ers: Joel Embiid, (GTD - Foot)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: De'Anthony Melton (rostered in 34.3% of ESPN leagues) has performed well over his last six games since returning to the 76ers' starting lineup. Over that time period, he averaged 28.1 fantasy points per game. In terms of points scored per 100 possessions, the 76ers rank eighth and have an advantage over a Nuggets team that has been inconsistent defensively so far this season. -- Moody

Best bet: Nikola Jokic over 45.5 points + assists + rebounds, triple-double. Due to a hamstring injury, Jokic has missed three of the last four games, but he should be able to play against Joel Embiid on Saturday. This season, Jokic has averaged 25.1 points, 9.9 assists, and 11.0 rebounds. This is another close MVP race between Jokic and Embiid, and Jokic will want to come out on top in this highly publicized matchup. -- Moody

New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets
5:30 p.m ET, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

Records (against the spread)
Knicks: 27-23 (26-23-1)
Nets: 29-19 (24-24-0)

Line: Nets (-1.5)
BPI projection: Nets: 116.8-113.8
Money line: Knicks (+105), Nets (-125)
BPI projected winner: Nets (61%)
Total: 226 BPI projected total: 230.6

Injury report:
Knicks: Mitchell Robinson, (OUT - Thumb)
Nets: Ben Simmons, (GTD - Knee); Day'Ron Sharpe, (GTD - Back); Edmond Sumner, (GTD - Achilles); T.J. Warren, (GTD - Lower Leg); Kevin Durant, (OUT - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Immanuel Quickley (rostered in 13.0% of ESPN leagues) has been a solid streamer for fantasy managers, especially over the last eight games. He has scored more than 20 fantasy points six times. Quickley contributes points, rebounds, assists and steals. -- Moody

Fantasy streamer: Yuta Watanabe (rostered in 0.7% of ESPN leagues) should see additional minutes with T.J. Warren doubtful for Saturday's game due to a left shin contusion. This season, Watanabe has averaged 14.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per 40 minutes. For fantasy managers in deeper formats, he's an intriguing target. -- Moody

Best bet: Knicks ML. Since Durant has been out with a sprained MCL, the Nets have struggled. Brooklyn has a 2-8 record. This season, the Knicks have benefited from the addition of Jalen Brunson during the offseason. This season, New York has won 44% of its games as the underdog on the Money line. In this matchup, I really like the Knicks. -- Moody

Houston Rockets at Detroit Pistons
7:00 p.m ET, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI

Records (against the spread)
Rockets: 11-38 (17-29-3)
Pistons: 13-37 (22-27-1)

Line: Pistons (-5)
BPI projection: Pistons: 119.3-114.9
Money line: Rockets (+175), Pistons (-210)
BPI projected winner: Pistons (65.2%)
Total: 231 BPI projected total: 234.2

Injury report:
Rockets: Jalen Green, (OUT - Calf); Kevin Porter Jr., (OUT - Foot)
Pistons: Cory Joseph, (OUT - Back); Marvin Bagley III, (OUT - Hand); Cade Cunningham, (OUT - Lower Leg)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Kenyon Martin Jr. (rostered in 7.7% of ESPN leagues) will continue to start for the Rockets with Kevin Porter Jr. already ruled out for Saturday's game. Martin has scored 23 or more fantasy points in seven consecutive games, including three with 30 or more fantasy points. The Pistons rank 29th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Detroit also allows opponents an effective field goal percentage of 56.6%, one of the highest in the league. -- Moody

Fantasy streamer: Jalen Duren (rostered in 20.0% of ESPN leagues) is surprisingly available in a high percentage of leagues. Despite missing time due to an ankle injury, the rookie has scored 36 or more fantasy points in three consecutive games. Duren is a great pickup if you are in need of a center because the Rockets aren't a strong defensive team. -- Moody

Chicago Bulls at Orlando Magic
7:00 p.m ET, Amway Center, Orlando, FL

Records (against the spread)
Bulls: 22-26 (26-22-0)
Magic: 19-30 (28-19-2)

Line: Bulls (-2.5)
BPI projection: Bulls: 116.9-115.1
Money line: Bulls (-140), Magic (+118)
BPI projected winner: Bulls (56.5%)
Total: 231 BPI projected total: 232

Injury report:
Bulls: Goran Dragic, (GTD - Illness); Javonte Green, (OUT - Knee); Lonzo Ball, (OUT - Knee)
Magic: Jonathan Isaac, (GTD - Knee); Chuma Okeke, (OUT - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

LA Clippers at Atlanta Hawks
7:30 p.m ET, State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA

Records (against the spread)
Clippers: 27-24 (25-26-0)
Hawks: 25-24 (21-26-2)

Line: Clippers (0)
BPI projection: Hawks: 117.6-115.8
Money line: Clippers(-110), Hawks(-110)
BPI projected winner: Hawks (56.6%)
Total: 233.5 BPI projected total: 233.4

Injury report:
Clippers: Marcus Morris Sr., (GTD - Ribs); Robert Covington, (OUT - Personal); John Wall, (OUT - Abdomen)
Hawks: None
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Sacramento Kings at Minnesota Timberwolves
8:00 p.m ET, Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

Records (against the spread)
Kings: 27-20 (26-21-0)
Timberwolves: 26-25 (24-27-0)

Line: Kings (-3)
BPI projection: Kings: 122.7-121.1
Money line: Kings (-155), Timberwolves (+130)
BPI projected winner: Kings (55.6%)
Total: 240 BPI projected total: 243.8

Injury report:
Kings: None
Timberwolves: Jordan McLaughlin, (GTD - Calf); Taurean Prince, (GTD - Ankle); Karl-Anthony Towns, (OUT - Calf)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Kyle Anderson (rostered in 21.5% of ESPN leagues) has the ability to contribute across multiple statistical categories which makes him a great streamer. In two consecutive games, he has scored 35 or more fantasy points. The Kings rank 24th in points allowed per 100 possessions. -- Moody

Washington Wizards at New Orleans Pelicans
8:00 p.m ET, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

Records (against the spread)
Wizards: 22-26 (22-25-1)
Pelicans: 26-23 (24-25-0)

Line: Pelicans (-4.5)
BPI projection: Pelicans: 117-114.4
Money line: Wizards (+162), Pelicans (-195)
BPI projected winner: Pelicans (59.7%)
Total: 230.5 BPI projected total: 231.4

Injury report:
Wizards: Kristaps Porzingis, (GTD - Ankle)
Pelicans: Dyson Daniels, (OUT - Ankle); 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: Deni Avdija (rostered in 5.8% of ESPN leagues) is a viable streamer with Porzingis doubtful to play on Saturday due to a sprained left ankle. Avdija has scored 29 or more fantasy points in three of his last four games. -- Moody

Best bet: Kyle Kuzma over 37.5 over points + assists + rebounds. The Wizards should rely heavily on Kuzma without Porzingis. In the last seven games, he's averaged 27.4 points, 4.6 assists, and 8.4 rebounds. On Saturday, Kuzma is in a good position to meet or exceed these per-game averages. -- Moody

Phoenix Suns at San Antonio Spurs
8:00 p.m ET, AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

Records (against the spread)
Suns: 25-25 (26-24-0)
Spurs: 14-35 (23-26-0)

Line: Suns (-6)
BPI projection: Suns: 119.2-115.7
Money line: Suns (-250), Spurs (+205)
BPI projected winner: Suns (62.5%)
Total: 232 BPI projected total: 234.9

Injury report:
Suns: Landry Shamet, (OUT - Foot); Cameron Payne, (OUT - Foot); Devin Booker, (OUT - Groin); Jae Crowder, (OUT - Not Injury Related)
Spurs: Jeremy Sochan, (GTD - Quadriceps); Josh Richardson, (GTD - Knee); Romeo Langford, (GTD - Hip); Devin Vassell, (OUT - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Chris Paul over 26.5 points + assists. Since returning from his hip injury, Paul has played very well. He's surpassed 26.5 PA in two out of his last three games. As a team, the Spurs allow the seventh-most PG points per game. Additionally, San Antonio ranks 30th in points allowed per 100 possessions. The Spurs also allow opponents to shoot 58.4% from the field, the highest in the league. -- Moody

Fantasy streamer: Cameron Johnson (rostered in 26.7% of ESPN leagues) has a very favorable matchup against the Spurs defense on Saturday. Johnson has scored 40 or more fantasy points in consecutive games. He has filled the void left by Booker and will be a viable streamer until he returns. -- Moody

Best bet: Suns -5.5. San Antonio is one of the league's worst defensive teams. When the Suns score more than 122.1 points, they are 12-2 against the spread. On defense, the Spurs allow 122.1 points per game. The Suns are in a great position to cover. -- Moody

Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz
9:00 p.m ET, Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

Records (against the spread)
Mavericks: 26-24 (17-31-2)
Jazz: 25-26 (28-23-0)

Line: Jazz (-7.5)
BPI projection: Jazz: 120.4-113.2
Money line: Mavericks (+260), Jazz (-335)
BPI projected winner: Jazz (74.8%)
Total: 223.5 BPI projected total: 233.6

Injury report:
Mavericks: Luka Doncic, (OUT - Ankle); Christian Wood, (OUT - Thumb); Maxi Kleber, (OUT - Hamstring)
Jazz: Kelly Olynyk, (GTD - Ankle); Micah Potter, (OUT - Elbow)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Josh Green (rostered in 0.5% of ESPN leagues) is on the streaming radar with Doncic ruled out due to a sprained left ankle. Green has scored 20 or more fantasy points in two consecutive games. Due to his ability to contribute in multiple statistical areas, he's a great option in category formats as well. -- Moody

Fantasy streamer: Tim Hardaway Jr. (rostered in 12.9% of ESPN leagues) is a solid streamer in fantasy points formats. This season, he has averaged 21.8 fantasy points and 29.9 minutes per game. Hardaway faces a Jazz team that ranks 27th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Utah also allows opponents an effective field goal percentage of nearly 55%, which is important because Hardaway's fantasy value is determined by his field goal percentage. -- Moody

Fantasy streamer: Walker Kessler (rostered in 23.7% of ESPN leagues) deserves to be streamed whether Kelly Olynyk is active or not. Over the last eight games, he's averaged 11.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 2.0 blocks. -- Moody

Best bet: Spencer Dinwiddie over 24.5 points. The team will have to rely more on Dinwiddie as a scorer since Doncic has been ruled out. After Doncic left Thursday's game early due to an ankle sprain, Dinwiddie scored 36 points against the Suns. He is averaging 20.3 points per 40 minutes. -- Moody

Toronto Raptors at Portland Trail Blazers
10:00 p.m ET, Moda Center, Portland, OR

Records (against the spread)
Raptors: 22-28 (25-25-0)
Blazers: 23-25 (25-22-1)

Line: Blazers (-4.5)
BPI projection: Blazers: 122-117.4
Money line: Raptors (+170), Blazers (-205)
BPI projected winner: Blazers (66.5%)
Total: 232 BPI projected total: 239.4

Injury report:
Raptors: O.G. Anunoby, (GTD - Wrist); Dalano Banton, (OUT - Hip); Otto Porter Jr., (OUT - Foot)
Blazers: Josh Hart, (GTD - Hamstring); Jusuf Nurkic, (GTD - Calf); Justise Winslow, (OUT - Ankle)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Precious Achiuwa (rostered in 7.9% of ESPN leagues) is an excellent streamer with Anunoby unlikely to play following a sprained left wrist suffered against the Warriors on Friday. Achiuwa has scored 25 or more fantasy points in four of his last five games. The Trail Blazers rank 22nd in points allowed per 100 possessions. -- Moody

Fantasy streamer: Drew Eubanks (rostered in 1.3% of ESPN leagues) is set to play significant minutes with Nurkic questionable due to left calf soreness. This season, Eubanks averages 12.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per 40 minutes. Pick him up. -- Moody