Fantasy basketball tips and NBA betting picks for Wednesday

Jayson Tatum and the Celtics take on Luka Doncic and the Mavericks. Michael Reaves/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 to help you make smart fantasy and wagering decisions. NBA game odds for November 23 are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.

What you need to know for Wednesday's games

Philly Free Agents: The Sixers upset the Nets last night at home thanks to a huge game from De'Anthony Melton, who is still a free agent in 80% of ESPN leagues. Melton splashed six 3-pointers and cruised past his scoring, shooting, and steal props in the victory. With eight swipes over his last two games, Melton is one of the elite options for compiling steals. Fellow combo guard Shake Milton (94% available) could pour in points facing a Charlotte team that ranks 20th in defensive rating. Milton is projected to score more than 30 DraftKings points tonight and yet is priced at just $5,500 on that platform. Center Paul Reed (99% available) meanwhile, tilted the game in Philly's favor last night with his busy defense and relentless offensive rebounding

Powerful Powell: The Clippers have ruled out Paul George and Kawhi Leonard ahead of tonight's matchup against the Warriors. Norman Powell, a free agent in 80% of leagues, has scored 56 points in his last two games and presents strong value at just $5,300 on DraftKings. Forward Marcus Morris Sr. is also in a good spot to produce with what should be a healthy shot diet for a depleted Los Angeles offense.

Money Off Of Minnesota: Don't look now, but the Pacers have won five in a row and seven of eight. They are among the early surprises in this season and they find themselves in another good spot against the thus far underwhelming Timberwolves. This game is basically being identified as a coin flip and in games with a spread under five points this season, the 'Wolves are just 1-6 ATS (5-5 ATS in all other games). Indiana is the league's best second half team (average point differential: +5.4) while Minnesota ranks 18th (-1.0), making this very much a live bet target should the first half go in favor of the visitors.

Low on Luka?: At first glance, a sub-220 point total in a game where a star like Luka Doncic is catching more than a bucket feels like a spot to attack. Not so fast. In fact, do the opposite of that. While a low-ish total by today's standards with a perennial MVP candidate may feel like the right side, it's been among the most profitable things to bet against of late. Dallas is 3-14-1 ATS over their past 18 games with a total under 220 points ... and three of those four non-ATS losses have come at home. Five of Boston's past six wins have come by at least eight points and they are a decent bet to cover this number tonight in front of their home crowd.

Wednesday Waivers: With so many injuries throughout the league, it might help to consider some widely-available options ahead of Wednesday's slate. Miami won't have Jimmy Butler in the lineup against the Wizards tonight, shifting Caleb Martin (99% available) into an important two-way role for the Heat. Martin, after all, has topped 40 minutes in two of the past three games. Utah's Kelly Olynyk (69%) could produce against a young Detroit frontcourt. Oklahoma City's Jalen Williams (96%) has performances of six and seven assists in recent games and should approach 30 minutes of run against a tired Denver roster.

Collin and Killian: The Jazz will be without Mike Conley due to a knee injury ahead of tonight's matchup with the Pistons. A free agent in 30% of leagues, Collin Sexton could thrive as a scoring option facing a Detroit team ranked 29th in defensive rating. On the other side, Detroit's Killian Hayes (90% available) will start and play a significant creation role with Cade Cunningham sidelined. The former lottery pick has compiled 24 dimes across his last three games.

-- Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe

Games of the night

Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics
7:30 p.m ET on ESPN, TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Line: Celtics (-4.5)
Money line: Celtics (-195), Mavericks (+162)
Total: 218.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 225.3 points
BPI Win%: Celtics (64.8%)

Questionable: Jayson Tatum (ankle), Spencer Dinwiddie
Ruled Out: Maxi Kleber (back)
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Mavericks +4.5. I'd back the underdog Mavericks. Considering the Celtics are just 9-8 against the spread, I was surprised to see them favored by this much. Only once have the Mavericks been underdogs this season, and they covered against the Suns in that game. The Mavericks rank ninth in points scored per 100 possessions and fourth in points allowed per 100 possessions. The Celtics have struggled defensively so far this season. Boston may find it difficult to contain Luka Doncic in this game. The Mavericks are only 2-3 in their road games against the spread, but I believe this game will be closer than people think. -- André Snellings

LA Clippers at Golden State Warriors
10 p.m. ET, Chase Center, San Francisco, California

Line: Warriors (-9)
Money line: Warriors (-420), Clippers (+320)
Total: 223 points
BPI Projected Total: 224 points
BPI Win%: Warriors (76.2%)

Ruled Out: Paul George, Luke Kennard, Kawhi Leonard
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Reggie Jackson over 15.5 points, over 2.5 3-point field goals. Jackson has scored 20 or more points in his last three games. Additionally, he has connected on 10 of 16 triples during that period. Jackson should have a ton of success against a Warriors team that ranks 23rd in points allowed per 100 possessions. -- Eric Moody

Breaking down the rest of the slate

Philadelphia 76ers at Charlotte Hornets
7 p.m ET, Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

Line: Hornets (-4.5)
Money line: Hornets (-190), 76ers (+158)
Total: 214.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 225.6 points
BPI Win%: Hornets (57.1%)

Questionable: Matisse Thybulle
Ruled Out: Joel Embiid (foot), Tyrese Maxey (foot), James Harden (foot)
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Dennis Smith Jr. (available in 62.5% of leagues). While the open points out the several elite streamer options on the injury-depleted 76ers, the Hornets are also without their best player (LaMelo Ball out, ankle) and Smith has proven to be a strong replacement. He came off the bench in his return from injury last game, but in his 11 starts in place of Ball this season, he has averaged 10.0 PPG, 6.5 APG, 3.9 RPG, 1.9 SPG, 0.5 3PG and 0.5 BPG in 30.9 MPG. -- Snellings

Best bet: Terry Rozier over 19.5 points. Rozier struggled with his shot in his last outing against the Wizards, but he's played 10 other games this season. In those games, he's averaged 21.5 PPG, going over 19.5 in six of 10 games. On Wednesday, he'll be facing a 76ers squad coming off a huge, emotional game against former teammate Ben Simmons, featuring players that aren't used to starting who played mega minutes. Rozier should be able to get his shot off against what could be a tired defense. -- Snellings

Best bet: Over 214.5. Neither the 76ers nor the Hornets are strong defensive teams, so I expect a lot of scoring. The totals have gone over in three of Philadelphia and Charlotte's last five games. Joel Embiid, James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, and LaMelo Ball are absent from the 76ers and Hornets, respectively, but there should still be enough offense to surpass the total. -- Eric Moody

Portland Trail Blazers at Cleveland Cavaliers
7 p.m. ET, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, Ohio

Line: Cavaliers (-8)
Money line: Cavaliers (-345), Blazers (+270)
Total: 213.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 226.1 points
BPI Win%: Cavaliers (83.6%)

Probable: Dean Wade
Questionable: Kevin Love, Josh Hart
Ruled Out: Caris LeVert, Keon Johnson, Damian Lillard
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Shaedon Sharpe (rostered in 2.3% of ESPN leagues) should see more usage and minutes with Damian Lillard out for the next week or two with a strained right calf. The rookie averages 17.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per 40 minutes. -- Moody

Best bet: Trail Blazers +8.0. I'd bet on the underdog Trail Blazers even though they'll be without Damian Lillard in this matchup. The Cavaliers are 1-4 against the spread against teams from the Western Conference. This season, the Trail Blazers are 8-1 against the spread on the road. -- Moody

Minnesota Timberwolves at Indiana Pacers
7 p.m. ET, Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

Line: Timberwolves (-2)
Money line: Timberwolves (-125), Pacers (+105)
Total: 237 points
BPI Projected Total: 237.6 points
BPI Win%: Pacers (50.5%)

Questionable: Andrew Nembhard (knee), Isaiah Jackson (ankle)
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Bennedict Mathurin (available in 43.4% of leagues) can be picked up in many leagues despite being one of the primary scorers for the Pacers. In his last 10 games, he has averaged 19.3 PPG (44.4 FG%, 81.8 FT%), 3.6 RPG, 2.7 3PG and 1.7 APG in 28.2 MPG. -- Snellings

Best bet: Tyrese Haliburton over 19.5 points. Haliburton has averaged exactly 19.5 PPG in his last 11 outings, but has gone over that number in 7 of those 11 games. He's facing a Timberwolves defense that ranks in the bottom six in the NBA in both points and 3-pointers allowed to opposing point guards in what projects to be a high-scoring game. -- Snellings

Best bet: Pacers +2.0. I'm backing the Pacers at home against the Timberwolves, who have recently struggled on the defensive end of the court. Indiana ranks eighth in points scored per 100 possessions and is no slouch on defense either. In terms of points allowed per 100 possessions, Indiana ranks 16th. In their last 11 games, the Timberwolves are 3-8 against the spread, while the Pacers are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven at home. -- Moody

Sacramento Kings at Atlanta Hawks
7:30 p.m. ET, State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

Line: Hawks (-5.5)
Money line: Hawks (-225), Kings (+185)
Total: 240.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 235.4 points
BPI Win%: Hawks (64%)

Questionable: De'Andre Hunter (illness)
Ruled Out: Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee)
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Kings +5.5. The Kings are an offensive juggernaut ranking second in points scored per 100 possessions. Sacramento's defense isn't as good as their offense. The Hawks are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games. While the Kings are 6-1 in their road games against the spread. Against the spread, I'd back Sacramento to keep this game close. -- Moody

Washington Wizards at Miami Heat
7:30 p.m. ET, FTX Arena, Miami, Florida

Line: Heat (-2.5)
Money line: Heat (-140), Wizards (+118)
Total: 210.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 220.2 points
BPI Win%: Heat (51.5%)

Probable: Bam Adebayo
Questionable: Dewayne Dedmon (foot), Max Strus, Gabe Vincent (knee),
Ruled Out: Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors
7:30 p.m. ET, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Line: Nets (-2.5)
Money line: Raptors (-140), Nets (+118)
Total: 221.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 228.1 points
BPI Win%: Raptors (57.7%)

Questionable: Yuta Watanabe, Scottie Barnes (knee)
Ruled Out: Pascal Siakam, Otto Porter Jr.
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Raptors -2.5. The Nets are coming off of a tough loss to the 76ers on Tuesday night. This will be Brooklyn's sixth time playing on the road in its last seven games. Furthermore, this is the Net's fourth back to back set of the season. Hopefully, Scottie Barnes will be back in the fold soon for the Raptors, who have been dealing with some injuries. At home, Toronto is 5-2 against the spread. For the season, the Nets are 8-9-1 against the spread. -- Moody

Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks
8 p.m. ET, Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Line: Bucks (-6.5)
Money line: Bucks (-260), Bulls (+210)
Total: 222.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 230 points
BPI Win%: Bucks (73.6%)

Questionable: Goran Dragic
Ruled Out: Khris Middleton
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Denver Nuggets at Oklahoma City Thunder
8 p.m ET, Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Line: Nuggets (-3)
Money line: Nuggets (-170), Thunder (+143)
Total: 231.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 226.7 points
BPI Win%: Nuggets (61.1%)

Questionable: Bones Hyland
Ruled Out: Ish Smith, Jeff Green
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

New Orleans Pelicans at San Antonio Spurs
9 p.m ET, AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

Line: Pelicans (-7)
Money line: Pelicans (-285), Spurs (+228)
Total: 230 points
BPI Projected Total: 231.2 points
BPI Win%: Pelicans (73.6%)

Probable: Zach Collins (leg)
Doubtful: Josh Richardson
Questionable: Trey Murphy III (foot), Jakob Poeltl
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Detroit Pistons at Utah Jazz

9 p.m. ET, Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

Line: Jazz (11.5)
Money line: Jazz (-600), Pistons (+430)
Total: 232.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 237 points
BPI Win%: Jazz (86.7%)

Ruled Out: Saddiq Bey, Cade Cunningham, Isaiah Stewart, Mike Conley, Rudy Gay
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Jaden Ivey over 17.5 points. Ivey has averaged 15.8 FGA and 18.8 PPG over the last six games. Ivey will see a lot of usage with Cade Cunningham out. -- Moody

Analytics edge

1. Utah Jazz (124.7)
2.Atlanta Hawks (119.7)
3. New Orleans Pelicans (119.1)

BPI lowest projected totals

1. Philadelphia 76ers (107.7)
2. LA Clippers (109.9)
3. Washington Wizards (109.9)

BPI top probability to win (straight up)

1. Utah Jazz (86.7%)
2. Cleveland Cavaliers (83.6%)
3. Golden State Warriors (76.2%)