Fantasy basketball tips and NBA betting picks for Thursday: Warriors resting stars again?

Jordan Poole could benefit greatly, if the Warriors rest many of their stars tonight. Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

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

What you need to know for Thursday's games

Will the Golden State Warriors come out and play? On the second leg of a back-to-back, reports suggest the Warriors will rest several key starters in Colorado tonight. Vegas suspects this is accurate, with the Denver Nuggets positioned as 12-point favorites.

It would be undeniably fun to see Stephen Curry and a full-strength roster take on Nikola Jokic and his top-seeded crew, but fantasy managers are still in a good spot given the wave of value tonight's scenario creates for the likes of Jordan Poole, Ty Jerome, Donte DiVincenzo, Jonathan Kuminga and even Kevon Looney.

With the Warriors resting starters, it's much easier to build DFS lineups around slate-shifting superstars like Luka Doncic or LeBron James in their respective games. Doncic, after all, is found at his lowest price on DraftKings since late December, while James plays in Indianapolis in a contest with the night's highest total. You might even afford both by stacking Warriors.

Poole is just $6,500 on DraftKings, yet he can be reasonably projected to score 45 fantasy points in a game that should see his usage surge. Jerome, who is a free agent in nearly every ESPN league, played 41 minutes the last time Steve Kerr sat his starters and posted a season-high 22 points. The list goes on, but you'll want to roster some of these Warriors fill-ins. -- Jim McCormick

Breaking down Thursday's slate

Los Angeles Lakers at Indiana Pacers
7:00 p.m ET, Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

Records (Against the Spread)
Lakers: 24-28 (24-26-2)
Pacers: 24-28 (27-25-0)

Line: Lakers (-1.5)
BPI Projection: Pacers: 121.2-118.7
Money Line: Lakers (-120), Pacers (+100)
BPI Projected winner: Pacers (58.7%)
Total: 240.5 BPI Projected Total: 239.9

Injury Report:
Lakers: Anthony Davis, (GTD - Foot); LeBron James, (GTD - Ankle); Patrick Beverley, (GTD - Knee); Austin Reaves, (OUT - Hamstring)
Pacers: Daniel Theis, (GTD - Knee); Tyrese Haliburton, (GTD - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: T.J. McConnell (rostered in 24.7% of ESPN leagues) is still a solid streamer, even if Tyrese Haliburton returns against the Lakers. It is possible that Haliburton will be on a minutes restriction due to a sprained left elbow and a sprained left knee that he's returning from. The Lakers rank 21st in points allowed per 100 possessions. In the past five games, McConnell has averaged 40.6 fantasy points. -- Eric Moody

Best Bet: Myles Turner over 25.5 points+rebounds. Throughout the season, the Lakers have struggled against centers. Over the past eight games, Turner has averaged 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds. He's enjoying a career season and should perform well tonight. -- Moody

Best Bet: LeBron James over 46.5 points+assists+rebounds. Although James has been dealing with ankle and foot issues all season, he played 43 minutes against the Knicks on Tuesday, suggesting he shouldn't be limited against the Pacers. Indiana ranks 24th in points allowed per 100 possessions. James averages 30.2 points, 7.1 assists and 8.5 rebounds per game this season. -- Moody

Memphis Grizzlies at Cleveland Cavaliers
7:30 p.m ET, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH

Records (Against the Spread)
Grizzlies: 32-19 (24-24-3)
Cavaliers: 31-22 (26-25-2)

Line: Cavaliers (-6)
BPI Projection: Cavaliers: 121.2-114
Money Line: Grizzlies (+205), Cavaliers (-250)
BPI Projected winner: Cavaliers (69.4%)
Total: 223.5 BPI Projected Total: 233.6

Injury Report:
Grizzlies: John Konchar, (GTD - Concussion); Steven Adams, (OUT - Knee)
Cavaliers: Dylan Windler, (OUT - Hamstring)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Xavier Tillman (rostered in 2.2% of ESPN leagues) continues to be on the streaming radar with Steven Adams out because of a knee injury. Over the past three games, things have finally started to come together. In two of those past three games, Tillman has scored 30 or more fantasy points. He has also played 25 or more minutes in two of them. -- Moody

Trend: In a matchup of the league's two best defenses, feel free to fire away on the under. The Cavaliers saw six of seven games in January go under the total when playing a top-10 defense, a box the Grizzlies certainly check. Speaking of the Grizz, each of their past seven games have come in under the total and they could have some offensive fatigue after playing last night. -- Kyle Soppe

Miami Heat at New York Knicks
7:30 p.m ET, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Records (Against the Spread)
Heat: 29-23 (20-29-3)
Knicks: 27-25 (26-25-1)

Line: Heat (-2)
BPI Projection: Knicks: 119.6-112
Money Line: Heat (-130), Knicks (+110)
BPI Projected winner: Knicks (53.7%)
Total: 216 BPI Projected Total: 225

Injury Report:
Heat: Gabe Vincent, (GTD - Ankle); Victor Oladipo, (GTD - Ankle); Duncan Robinson, (OUT - Finger); Orlando Robinson, (OUT - Thumb); Nikola Jovic, (OUT - Back); Omer Yurtseven, (OUT - Ankle)
Knicks: Mitchell Robinson, (OUT - Thumb)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Immanuel Quickley (rostered in 17.7% of ESPN leagues) continues to be a valuable member of the Knicks' rotation and a solid streamer for fantasy managers in deeper formats. Quickley has scored 30 or more fantasy points in three consecutive games. -- Moody

Fantasy streamer: Isaiah Hartenstein (rostered in 4.4% of ESPN leagues) should be considered as an option with Mitchell Robinson recovering from a broken thumb. On Tuesday against the Lakers, Hartenstein played 40 minutes and scored 35 fantasy points. Despite starting the game, Jericho Sims played only 13 minutes. -- Moody

Fantasy streamer: Caleb Martin (rostered in 4.0% of ESPN leagues) is an intriguing streamer in points and category formats. He has scored 30 or more fantasy points in two of his past three games. Martin has also surpassed 27 minutes in all three games. He should be considered by fantasy managers in deeper formats. -- Moody

Charlotte Hornets at Chicago Bulls
8:00 p.m ET, United Center, Chicago, IL

Records (Against the Spread)
Hornets: 15-37 (23-27-2)
Bulls: 23-27 (27-23-0)

Line: Bulls (-6)
BPI Projection: Bulls: 120.6-114.7
Money Line: Hornets (+205), Bulls (-250)
BPI Projected winner: Bulls (70%)
Total: 236.5 BPI Projected Total: 235.3

Injury Report:
Hornets: Cody Martin, (OUT - Knee); Kelly Oubre Jr., (OUT - Hand)
Bulls: Javonte Green, (OUT - Knee); Lonzo Ball, (OUT - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best Bet: Mason Plumlee over 24.5 points+rebounds. Plumlee is having a great season, averaging 17.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per game in his past eight games. As one of the few consistent players on the Hornets roster, he takes the ball hard to the basket and makes his free throws. With the Bulls being a lackluster rebounding team, Plumlee has a great opportunity to succeed on Thursday night. -- Moody

Best Bet: Patrick Williams over 19.5 points+assists+rebounds. Williams has been playing well recently and feels more comfortable this season. In the past three games, he has averaged 14.0 points, 1.3 assists and 5.7 rebounds. The Hornets rank 25th in points allowed per 100 possessions and provide opponents one of the highest effective field goal percentages in the league. -- Moody

Trend: The Bulls are 14-7 ATS over their past 21 games and while that includes a failure to cover against these Hornets, don't fret. In that game, the Bulls shot a season-low 16% from 3-point range, saw Hornets centers play basically a perfect game (Mason Plumlee and Mark Williams made all 15 of their shots and combined for 18 rebounds in 48 minutes) and had each of their starters commit multiple turnovers. As bad as all of that was, they led entering the fourth quarter. -- Soppe

New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks
8:30 p.m ET, American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

Records (Against the Spread)
Pelicans: 26-26 (24-28-0)
Mavericks: 27-25 (17-33-2)

Line: Mavericks (-5.5)
BPI Projection: Mavericks: 120.6-113.5
Money Line: Pelicans (+162), Mavericks (-195)
BPI Projected winner: Mavericks (64.3%)
Total: 223.5 BPI Projected Total: 230.8

Injury Report:
Pelicans: Dyson Daniels, (OUT - Ankle); Zion Williamson, (OUT - Hamstring); E.J. Liddell, (OUT - Knee)
Mavericks: Christian Wood, (OUT - Thumb); Maxi Kleber, (OUT - Hamstring)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best Bet: Luka Doncic over 52.5 points+assists+rebounds. Doncic faces a Pelicans defense that ranks eighth in points allowed per 100 possessions, but he's very capable of exploiting it. In his past eight games against the Pelicans, he has averaged 34.1 points, 8.9 assists and 8.9 rebounds. -- Moody

Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets
9:00 p.m ET, Ball Arena, Denver, CO

Records (Against the Spread)
Warriors: 26-25 (24-26-1)
Nuggets: 35-16 (26-24-1)

Line: Nuggets (-12)
BPI Projection: Nuggets: 122.2-118.8
Money Line: Warriors (+460), Nuggets (-650)
BPI Projected winner: Nuggets (62.1%)
Total: 231.5 BPI Projected Total: 241

Injury Report:
Warriors: Andre Iguodala, (GTD - Hip)
Nuggets: Aaron Gordon, (GTD - Ankle); Jack White, (OUT - Thigh)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy Streamer: Donte DiVincenzo (rostered in 8.1% of ESPN leagues) should be provided ample minutes against the Nuggets with the Warriors resting many of their starters. He has scored at least 23 fantasy points in his past three games. DiVincenzo should not be overlooked if you need a streamer. -- Moody

Fantasy streamer: Kevon Looney (rostered in 17.4% of ESPN leagues) is another player who benefits from the Warriors resting some of their starters. This season, he has averaged 8.3 points and 15.3 rebounds per game when playing 30 or more minutes. -- Moody

Trend: The Nuggets are 6-3 ATS in their past nine games that have gone over the point total, a nice reversal of fortune after they failed to cover 10 of their first 15 such games this season. That is especially noteworthy when you consider the Warriors have seen overs go 19-6-1 this season when they play on the road. - Soppe

LA Clippers at Milwaukee Bucks
10:00 p.m ET, Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI

Records (Against the Spread)
Clippers: 29-25 (27-27-0)
Bucks: 34-17 (27-21-3)

Line: Bucks (-4.5)
BPI Projection: Clippers: 122.2-117.7
Money Line: Clippers (+158), Bucks (-190)
BPI Projected winner: Clippers (51.1%)
Total: 230.5 BPI Projected Total: 235.7

Injury Report:
Clippers: Marcus Morris Sr., (GTD - Ribs); John Wall, (OUT - Abdomen)
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, (GTD - Knee); MarJon Beauchamp, (GTD - Knee); Bobby Portis, (OUT - Knee); Serge Ibaka, (OUT - Personal)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Norman Powell's (rostered in 27.5% of ESPN leagues) role in the Clippers rotation appears to be secure. In the past 12 games, he has averaged 19.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists. In deeper category formats, Powell can provide fantasy managers with plenty of points and triples. -- Moody