Fantasy basketball tips and NBA betting picks for Wednesday

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 Wednesday, March 29 are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.

What you need to know for Wednesday's games

On a night that includes Kevin Durant's anticipated home debut and a matchup of the top two scorers in the league, fantasy managers are likely more intrigued by the rosters of the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons.

For Detroit, rookie Jalen Duren is back to getting big minutes. In his past two games with at least 27 minutes of run, he's averaged 16.5 points and 11.5 boards and is expected to play a large role again tonight. Killian Hayes is another Pistons player of interest given he's 10th in the NBA in assists per game (8.0) over the past 10 games and is projected to cruise past 30 minutes in tonight's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Not only does Zach Collins have nice hair, but the guy is also enjoying a career-best stretch thanks to the Spurs affording him plenty of minutes and unfettered freedom on offense. Collins has exceeded value in five of his past six games in regard to DFS production and is a free agent in roughly 82% of ESPN leagues for tonight's matchup versus Kelly Olynyk and the Utah Jazz. Olynyk, meanwhile, has 17 dimes across his past two games and is a savvy play and target for passing props against a team ranked 30th in defensive rating.

While superstar-driven angles such as Durant's return or a scoring-fest in South Philly are undoubtedly riveting, the league-wide culmination of injuries, load management, and the pursuit of lottery odds compels us to focus on widely available waiver wire stars that can carry teams to fantasy titles.

-- Jim McCormick

Breaking down Tuesday's slate

Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers
7 p.m. ET, Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

Records (Against the Spread)
Bucks: 54-21 (40-29-6)
Pacers: 33-43 (39-37-0)

Line: Bucks (-12.5)
BPI Projection: Bucks (132.2-126.5)
Money Line: Bucks (-700), Pacers (+500)
BPI Projected winner: Bucks (69.6%)
Total: 238.5 points BPI Projected Total: 258.7 points

Injury Report:
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, (GTD - Knee); Joe Ingles, (GTD - Knee); Khris Middleton, (GTD - Knee); Jae Crowder, (OUT - Calf); Meyers Leonard, (OUT - Calf)
Pacers: Myles Turner, (GTD - Back); Chris Duarte, (OUT - Ankle); Tyrese Haliburton, (OUT - Ankle); Kendall Brown, (OUT - Lower Leg)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Andrew Nembhard (rostered in 6% of ESPN leagues) will likely start at point guard again for the Pacers tonight as Tyrese Haliburton has already been ruled out against the Bucks. It appears the Pacers are throwing in the towel on their season, although the last time these teams met the Pacers shocked the Bucks without Haliburton. That's not likely to happen again this time but Nembhard should have a solid game. He had 17 points, five rebounds, five dimes, a steal and a 3-pointer in Monday's loss to Dallas. -- Alexander

Fantasy streamer: TJ McConnell (available in 88.7% of leagues) is always a viable streamer when Tyrese Haliburton is out. In the four games before Haliburton's return, he averaged 11.8 PPG, 9.0 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1.8 SPG and 0.8 BPG in 25.5 MPG. In the last game, again with Haliburton out, McConnell dropped 15 points, 7 assists, 2 steals and a 3-pointer in 28 minutes off the bench. -- Snellings

Houston Rockets at Brooklyn Nets
7:30 p.m. ET, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Records (Against the Spread)
Rockets: 18-58 (29-44-3)
Nets: 40-35 (40-35-0)

Line: Nets (-10.5)
BPI Projection: Nets (134.5-122.2)
Money Line: Rockets (+430), Nets (-600)
BPI Projected winner: Nets (86.6%)
Total: 229 points BPI Projected Total: 256.7 points

Injury Report:
Rockets: Jae'Sean Tate, (OUT - Knee)
Nets: Edmond Sumner, (GTD - Hip); Ben Simmons, (OUT - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Kenyon Martin Jr. under 14.5 points. KJ gets the pleasure of facing Mikal Bridges tonight and he's shut down nearly every small forward he's faced since landing in Brooklyn this season. Add in the fact that Martin hasn't hit that over number in five of his last seven games and it would be a pretty big upset if he were to do so tonight. -- Alexander

Best bet: Mikal Bridges over 26.5 points. Not only is Bridges a monster defensively but he's also been carrying the offensive load for the Nets since the trade deadline. He's scored at least 27 points in three straight games and not only are the Rockets one of the worst teams in the league defensively, but they're also especially bad against opposing small forwards, giving up 23.01 points per game. They also give up more than 43 fantasy points to the position which is second worst in the league. -- Alexander

Trend: Laying double digits is difficult to do with anyone, let alone a Nets team that has one win over the past two weeks, but the case could be made. Under tickets have come through in six of Brooklyn's past nine at home and that spells trouble for Houston. The Rockets are 3-7 ATS since Valentine's Day when they play in a game that comes in under the total and, for the season, they are just 3-7-1 ATS as a double digit dog in a game that goes under the number. I'm in no hurry to play this game, but be cautious in taking the bait and giving the points. -- Soppe

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

Records (Against the Spread)
Heat: 40-36 (27-46-3)
Knicks: 43-33 (42-33-1)

Line: Knicks (-5)
BPI Projection: Knicks (134.5-119.6)
Money Line: Heat (+170), Knicks (-205)
BPI Projected winner: Knicks (74.7%)
Total: 223 points BPI Projected Total: 246.1 points

Injury Report:
Heat: Jimmy Butler, (GTD - Neck); Nikola Jovic, (OUT - Back)
Knicks: Derrick Rose, (GTD - Illness); Jalen Brunson, (GTD - Hand); DaQuan Jeffries, (OUT - Calf)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Immanuel Quickley (available in 65.4% of leagues) would be a must-start if Jalen Brunson (GTD, hand) were to miss his third straight game and sixth in his last nine. In the last seven games that Quickley has started, he has averaged 26.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 5.4 APG. It isn't clear yet whether Brunson is going to start, but Quickley's expected value is fantasy hoops superstar if Brunson does sit again. -- Snellings

Best bet: Julius Randle over 26.5 points. The last time he faced the Heat Randle struggled, hitting just 7-of-16 shots for 15 points, six rebounds and nine assists in an ugly 127-120 loss on March 22. But in their previous meeting on March 3 he torched them for 43 points, nine rebounds and eight 3-pointers and he's due for a big game after being relatively quiet since a 57-point explosion on March 20. The Knicks will be looking for revenge against the banged up Heat and the chances of Kevin Love slowing Randle down in two straight games are not good. -- Alexander

Dallas Mavericks at Philadelphia 76ers
7:30 p.m. ET, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Records (Against the Spread)
Mavericks: 37-39 (29-44-3)
76ers: 49-26 (42-32-1)

Line: 76ers (-4)
BPI Projection: 76ers (131.5-128.3)
Money Line: Mavericks (+152), 76ers (-180)
BPI Projected winner: 76ers (61.9%)
Total: 231.5 points BPI Projected Total: 259.8 points

Injury Report:
Mavericks: Frank Ntilikina, (GTD - Knee); Maxi Kleber, (GTD - Hamstring)
76ers: James Harden, (GTD - Achilles); Joel Embiid, (GTD - Calf)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Luka Doncic over 30.5 points. This is a must-win game for the Mavs and the last time they faced the Sixers they not only got a win, but also got 42 points from Luka and 40 points from Kyrie Irving in what has turned out to be one of the Mavs' few highlights of the season. James Harden and Joel Embiid are both iffy for the Sixers but the Mavs simply aren't good enough to blow anyone out, even if Philly is missing stars. Luka should be going all out tonight in hopes of keeping their playoff hopes alive. As of now, Dallas is the No. 11 seed with an identical record to the No. 10 Thunder. -- Alexander

Trend: Kyrie Irving spent plenty of time in the Atlantic Conference and this lines up as a spot where he could lead the Mavericks to a nice result. The 76ers are dealing with injuries to both of their stars and close out the season with nothing but Eastern Conference playoff teams after tonight ... could they be cautious? The current line reflects some optimism surrounding Joel Embiid and/or James Harden, which might result in a buying point. If they play, the following trends are interesting. If they don't, you've likely got closing line value. When it comes to following the breadcrumbs, the 6ers are 1-4 ATS in their past five at home while the Mavs are 5-1 ATS in their past six on the road (not to mention 7-1 ATS in their past eight as a road underdog). --

Los Angeles Lakers at Chicago Bulls
8 p.m. ET, United Center, Chicago, Illinois

Records (Against the Spread)
Lakers: 37-38 (35-38-2)
Bulls: 36-39 (39-36-0)

Line: Lakers (-2.5)
BPI Projection: Bulls (131.5-123.4)
Money Line: Lakers (-140), Bulls (+118)
BPI Projected winner: Bulls (67.2%)
Total: 226.5 points BPI Projected Total: 251.7 points

Injury Report:
Lakers: Anthony Davis, (GTD - Foot); D'Angelo Russell, (GTD - Hip); LeBron James, (GTD - Foot); Mo Bamba, (OUT - Ankle)
Bulls: Lonzo Ball, (OUT - Knee); Alex Caruso, (GTD - Foot); Javonte Green, (GTD - Knee); Goran Dragic, (GTD - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Malik Beasley (available in 62.8% of leagues) gets almost the entirety of his fantasy hoops value from his 3-point shooting. Not surprisingly, Beasley tends to get better looks when playing off LeBron James than when James is out, and he has to do more to create his shot. Beasley only averaged 10.4 PPG on 35.8 FG% and 31.3 3P% (2.2 3PG) in the games between February 26 and March 24 with LeBron sidelined, but in the three games before he averaged 18.3 PPG on 48.8 FG% and 50.0 3P% (5.0 3PG), and in LeBron's return on Sunday he bounced back to 18 points (6-for 14 FG, all 3-pointers). Beasley is a volatile option but has upside. -- Snellings

Trend: Both of these teams are fighting for their postseason lives, making motivation less of a moving target here than in most spots. Under tickets have cashed in 11 of Chicago's past 15 home games and Los Angeles is just 5-10-1 ATS this season when road games go under the total. Combine that with the fact that the Lakers are just 11-16 ATS in games with a sub-230-point over/under and this profiles as a spot to back the home underdog.

LA Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies
8 p.m. ET, FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

Records (Against the Spread)
Clippers: 40-36 (38-38-0)
Grizzlies: 48-27 (35-37-3)

Line: Grizzlies (-4)
BPI Projection: Grizzlies (132.5-128.7)
Money Line: Clippers (+152), Grizzlies (-180)
BPI Projected winner: Grizzlies (63.4%)
Total: 233 points BPI Projected Total: 261.2 points

Injury Report:
Clippers: Norman Powell, (GTD - Shoulder); Brandon Boston Jr., (OUT - Lower Body); Marcus Morris Sr., (OUT - General Soreness); Paul George, (OUT - Knee)
Grizzlies: Brandon Clarke, (OUT - Achilles); Ja Morant, (GTD - Thigh); Vince Williams Jr., (GTD - Shoulder); Ziaire Williams, (OUT - Foot); Steven Adams, (OUT - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Luke Kennard (rostered in 6.7% of ESPN leagues) has been on fire for eight straight games, mainly from 3-point land. He has 18 triples in his last three games and has hit 35 of them over his last eight. He's scored in double figures in his last eight games and has had a steal in three straight. He had 16 points, five rebounds, five dimes, a steal and four 3-pointers on Tuesday against the Magic and I'm expecting a similar performance again tonight. -- Alexander

Best bet: Kawhi Leonard over 27.5 points. Leonard went off for 34 points and 10 boards against the Grizzlies the last time they met, despite the fact that Paul George scored 42 in that one. George won't be there to help tonight due to his leg injury so Leonard is going to have to carry the load by himself. Leonard has been relatively quiet in his last two games but the Clippers need a win to stay out of play-in range and Leonard should be ready for a big night knowing that he torched them in the last meeting. -- Alexander

Trend: Did you know that you had a perfect March Madness bracket the last time the Grizzlies lost a game? Feels like a long time ago, doesn't it? They've rattled off seven straight wins, but this spot is a tough sell. The Clippers are 9-4 ATS in their past 13 road games and the Grizzlies are a sub-.500 ATS team at home since New Years. So there's that trend and then there's the matter of overs being 23-14 this season when the Clips are on the road and the fact that in each of their past five games against a team on the second night of a back-to-back, over tickets have cashed. Memphis has been a sub-.500 ATS team since the middle of January when overs hit and with this game meaning more in the standings for the Clippers ... be careful in thinking the good times keep coming for the Grizz.

Detroit Pistons at Oklahoma City Thunder
8 p.m. ET, Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Records (Against the Spread)
Pistons: 16-59 (32-42-1)
Thunder: 37-39 (45-30-1)

Line: Thunder (-11.5)
BPI Projection: Thunder: 135.6-123
Money Line: Pistons (+460), Thunder (-650)
BPI Projected winner: Thunder (87%)
Total: 232 BPI Projected Total: 258.6

Injury Report:
Pistons: Alec Burks, (OUT - Foot); Bojan Bogdanovic, (OUT - Achilles); Rodney McGruder, (OUT - Foot); Isaiah Stewart, (OUT - Shoulder); Cade Cunningham, (OUT - Lower Leg); Hamidou Diallo, (OUT - Ankle)
Thunder: Lindy Waters III, (GTD - Foot); Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, (GTD - Ankle); Chet Holmgren, (OUT - Foot); Kenrich Williams, (OUT - Wrist)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Jalen Duren (rostered in 10.6% of ESPN leagues) is back from his neck injury and while James Wiseman has really slowed the big man's roll, Duren came through with 18 points and 10 rebounds in Monday's loss to the Bucks. He played eight more minutes than Wiseman off the bench in that one and it's possible the Pistons are ready to go back to Duren down the stretch. -- Alexander

Best bet: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander over 31.5 points (if he plays). SGA (ankle) sat out on Tuesday and Jalen Williams, Josh Giddey and Isaiah Joe all scored at least 31 points for OKC, who finally crept into a play-in scenario as the No. 10 seed in the West. SGA torched the Pistons for 33 points in their November meeting earlier in the season and he's scored at least 30 points in seven of his last nine games, scoring 27 and 29 points in the other two. The Pistons are the fourth-worst team in the league against opposing shooting guards (24.93 points per game) and if SGA's ankle allows him to play, he should slice and dice them again tonight. If SGA sits tonight, feel free to fire up Joe, who scored a career-high 33 on Tuesday after going for 20 points in his previous game. -- Alexander

Utah Jazz at San Antonio Spurs
8 p.m. ET, AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

Records (Against the Spread)
Jazz: 35-40 (41-34-0)
Spurs: 19-56 (30-45-0)

Line: Jazz (-6)
BPI Projection: Jazz (135.6-128.1)
Money Line: Jazz (-225), Spurs (+185)
BPI Projected winner: Jazz (66.3%)
Total: 235 points BPI Projected Total: 260.9 points

Injury Report:
Jazz: Lauri Markkanen, (GTD - Hand); Simone Fontecchio, (GTD - Toe); Collin Sexton, (OUT - Hamstring); Jordan Clarkson, (OUT - Finger); Rudy Gay, (OUT - Back)
Spurs: Devin Vassell, (OUT - Knee); Jeremy Sochan, (OUT - Knee); Keldon Johnson, (OUT - Foot); Khem Birch, (OUT - Knee); Charles Bassey, (OUT - Kneecap)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Malaki Branham over 14.5 points. Branham has scored 15 points in each of his last two games, the Jazz are the sixth-worst team against opposing shooting guards and the Spurs will be without Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan and Devin Vassell tonight. Someone is going to have to score for this team and odd are it will be Branham and Zach Collins carrying the load. Obviously, Branham also makes for a solid streaming choice, rostered in just 1.7% of ESPN leagues. -- Alexander

Best bet: Zach Collins over 16.5 points. Collins had 21 points and seven boards against the Celtics on Sunday and has hit the scoring over in five of his last six games. As I mentioned above, the Spurs are going to be without several of its offensive stars and they'll need Collins to score tonight. -- Alexander

Best bet: Walker Kessler over 13.5 points. Kessler is averaging 24.5 points over his last two games and the Spurs are the second-worst team in the league at stopping opposing centers. Kessler had two solid games against the Spurs at the end of February and while he didn't score more than 10 points in either of them, he's playing at a different level right now. And if Lauri Markkanen sits with his hand injury tonight, Kessler's chances for a big scoring night will improve dramatically. -- Alexander

Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers
10 p.m. ET, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

Records (Against the Spread)
Kings: 45-30 (41-34-0)
Blazers: 32-43 (35-39-1)

Line: Kings (-14)
BPI Projection: Kings (144.5-130)
Money Line: Kings (-1100), Blazers (+700)
BPI Projected winner: Kings (90%)
Total: 235.5 points BPI Projected Total: 274.5 points

Injury Report:
Kings: None reported
Blazers: Cam Reddish, (GTD - Back); Trendon Watford, (GTD - Ankle); Anfernee Simons, (OUT - Foot); Jerami Grant, (OUT - Quadriceps); Jusuf Nurkic, (OUT - Knee); Justise Winslow, (OUT - Ankle); Damian Lillard, (OUT - Calf)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Shaedon Sharpe (rostered in 16.4% of ESPN leagues) had scored at least 24 points in three straight games before scoring 12 points with eight rebounds against the Pelicans on Monday. Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant are likely done for the year and Sharpe has a real chance to be a silly-season hero over the last two weeks of the season. The Kings aren't good against opposing shooting guards, giving up 24.38 points to them, good for eighth-worst in the league. Sharpe was cruising before Monday's decent game and I expect him to get back on track tonight. -- Alexander

Best bet: Domantas Sabonis over 19.5 points. Jusuf Nurkic is out for the Blazers and even with him they're the worst team in the entire league against opposing centers, giving up 25.41 points to them on a nightly basis. Sabonis has scored at least 24 points in two of his last three games and given how bad the Blazers are right now without Nurkic, Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant, he should go off tonight. -Alexander

Minnesota Timberwolves at Phoenix Suns
10 p.m. ET, Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona

Records (Against the Spread)
Timberwolves: 39-37 (37-39-0)
Suns: 40-35 (38-35-2)

Line: Suns (-5)
BPI Projection: Suns (132.8-127.6)
Money Line: Timberwolves (+170), Suns (-205)
BPI Projected winner: Suns (66.3%)
Total: 236 points BPI Projected Total: 260 points

Injury Report:
Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards, (GTD - Calf); Jaylen Nowell, (GTD - Knee); Karl-Anthony Towns, (GTD - Calf); Taurean Prince, (GTD - Illness)
Suns: Duane Washington Jr., (OUT - Hip); Kevin Durant, (GTD - Ankle)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play