Fantasy basketball tips and NBA betting picks for Friday

Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers. David Jensen/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 Friday, March 31 are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.

What you need to know for Friday's games

All but six teams are active this evening, offering one of the larger player pools of the season. Sifting through point totals during such a big night can help identify the strongest fantasy climates. Nine of Friday's 13 games enter with a total of at least 225 points, confirming there are plenty of positive offensive outcomes expected.

There are also a series of massive favorites present on Friday's schedule, making close matchups such as the Atlanta Hawks visiting the Brooklyn Nets appear attractive for building lineups. A total hovering around 240 points with Atlanta positioned as only slight road favorites offers the coveted blend of productive offense and heavy minutes for projectable contributors.

Several other games qualify in regards to having encouraging point totals and competitive spreads; the Lakers visit the Timberwolves and the Thunder in Indiana. Even Detroit facing the Rockets has some helium for fantasy purposes. Such a slate raises the bar for finding savvy streaming and DFS options, which our experts below help you accomplish.

-- Jim McCormick

Game of the Night

New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers
7:30 p.m ET, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH

Records (Against the Spread)
Knicks: 44-33 (43-33-1)
Cavaliers: 48-29 (41-34-2)

Line: Cavaliers (-3.5)
BPI Projection: Cavaliers: 130.3-121.9
Money Line: Knicks (143), Cavaliers (-170)
BPI Projected winner: Cavaliers (65.1%)
Total: 221.5 BPI Projected Total: 247.8

Injury Report:
Knicks: Derrick Rose, (GTD - Illness); DaQuan Jeffries, (OUT - Calf); Duane Washington Jr., (OUT - Hip); Julius Randle, (OUT - Ankle)
Cavaliers: Dean Wade, (GTD - Illness); Jarrett Allen, (GTD - Groin); Raul Neto, (GTD - Hamstring); Danny Green, (OUT - General Soreness); Isaac Okoro, (OUT - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Quentin Grimes (rostered in 5.7% of ESPN leagues) has scored at least 22 points in three of his past four games and also has at least five rebounds and four assists in each of his past three. He's averaging 20.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 dimes over those three games and he's worth starting in all fantasy formats tonight. Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin are also worth using tonight for the short-handed Knicks, who will be without Julius Randle (ankle) until further notice. -Alexander

Fantasy streamer: Obi Toppin (rostered in 2.4% of ESPN leagues) will help the Knicks fill the void left by Julius Randle who is out with a sprained left ankle. This season, he averages 17.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per 40 minutes. Replace Randle with Toppin if you have him on your roster. - Eric Moody

Fantasy streamer: Immanuel Quickley (rostered in 37.3% of ESPN leagues) has led the Knicks in scoring in three straight games, tallying 42 or more fantasy points in each of those games. He's having his best season yet and only getting better. With Randle out, Quickley should continue to shine against the Cavaliers. -Moody

Best bet: Donovan Mitchell over 37.5 points+assists+rebounds. It's an important game for both teams because they could face each other in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Mitchell nas been amazing all season and has provided bettors with excellent performances against the Knicks. In three games against New York this season, he's averaged 28.3 points, 8.3 assists, and 5.0 rebounds. -Moody

Breaking down the rest of the slate

Chicago Bulls at Charlotte Hornets
7:00 p.m ET, Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC

Records (Against the Spread)
Bulls: 36-40 (39-37-0)
Hornets: 26-51 (35-40-2)

Line: Bulls (-9)
BPI Projection: Bulls: 129-119.2
Money Line: Bulls (-430), Hornets (328)
BPI Projected winner: Bulls (81.8%)
Total: 224 BPI Projected Total: 248.2

Injury Report:
Bulls: Lonzo Ball, (OUT - Knee); Alex Caruso, (GTD - Foot); Andre Drummond, (GTD - Personal); Javonte Green, (GTD - Knee)
Hornets: Dennis Smith Jr., (GTD - Toe); Gordon Hayward, (GTD - Thumb); Kelly Oubre Jr., (GTD - Shoulder); Terry Rozier, (OUT - Foot); 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: Theo Maledon (rostered in 0.1% of ESPN leagues) finds himself on the streaming radar with all of the injuries the Hornets are dealing with. He scored 47 fantasy points on Tuesday against the Thunder. This season, Maledon averages 13.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists per 40 minutes. -Moody

Fantasy streamer: Svi Mykhailiuk (rostered in 0.4% of ESPN leagues) started and went off for 18 points, five rebounds, eight assists, two steals, three blocks and two 3-pointers on Tuesday against the Kings. Kelly Oubre is iffy after missing three straight games with a shoulder injury and Terry Rozier is out. If Oubre sits again, Mykhailiuk should play a big role for a lottery-bound team with nothing to play for. As Moody suggested, Theo Maledon is another strong streaming option, while guys like Nick Richards, Bryce McGowens, Kai Jones and James Thor are also worth a look in most formats. -Alexander

Best bet: Zach LaVine over 34.5 points+assists+rebounds. Over the last 15 games, he's averaged 28.0 points, 4.7 assists and 3.5 rebounds. LaVine faces a Hornets defense that has struggled against shooting guards for most of the season. Charlotte also ranks 20th in points allowed per 100 possessions. LaVine should bounce back from his mediocre performance against the Lakers on Wednesday. -Moody

Best bet: Nikola Vucevic over 30.5 points+rebounds. The Hornets have allowed the third most points per game and most rebounds per game to centers. Over the last 15 games, Vucevic has averaged 17.5 points and 10.0 rebounds. There is a strong chance he surpasses those per game averages in this matchup. -Moody

Oklahoma City Thunder at Indiana Pacers
7:00 p.m ET, Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

Records (Against the Spread)
Thunder: 38-39 (45-31-1)
Pacers: 33-44 (40-37-0)

Line: Thunder (-2.5)
BPI Projection: Pacers: 129-127.8
Money Line: Thunder (-140), Pacers (118)
BPI Projected winner: Pacers (53%)
Total: 236.5 BPI Projected Total: 256.4

Injury Report:
Thunder: Lindy Waters III, (OUT - Foot); Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, (OUT - Ankle); Chet Holmgren, (OUT - Foot); Kenrich Williams, (OUT - Wrist)
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

The Pacers will likely be without both Tyrese Haliburton and Miles Turner (potentially for the remainder of the season), so they are going to close as a home underdog. Giddy up! They are 16-10-1 ATS when filling such a role this season and considering that the Thunder are 1-5 ATS as a road favorite this season, you have yourself a unique angle. If you like betting totals, unders are 5-1 in those six Oklahoma City games. - Kyle Soppe

Best bet: Andrew Nembhard over 14.5 points. Tyrese Haliburton is out again on Friday and Nembhard has been cruising. He had 15 points and 15 assists against the Bucks on Wednesday and has scored in double digits in nine of his past 11 games. He's hit the over in scoring in seven of his last 11 games and Myles Turner is also possibly out for the Pacers. In addition to Nembhard, Aaron Nesmith, Isaiah Jackson and Jalen Smith should also see plenty of opportunities tonight against the Thunder. -Alexander

Fantasy streamer: Luguentz Dort (rostered in 25.5% of ESPN leagues) continues to play well for the Thunder. He's scored 27 or more fantasy points in three of his past four games and is one of the reasons Oklahoma City is in the running for a play-in spot. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is out due to a left ankle sprain, so Dort's going to be busy. The Pacers rank 27th in points allowed per 100 possessions. -Moody

Fantasy streamer: Bennedict Mathurin (rostered in 44.5% of ESPN leagues) could win your fantasy league. He's played 38 or more minutes and scored 34 or more fantasy points over the past two games and is a solid pick up who can contribute in a variety of statistical areas. It's been reported that Tyrese Haliburton may not play again this season, which means Mathurin will get lots of playing time. -Moody

Best bet: Jalen Williams over 33.5 points+assists+rebounds. Williams has surpassed 33.5 PAR in three consecutive games and he should be able to deliver a masterful performance with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander already ruled out. -Moody

Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers
7:00 p.m ET, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

Records (Against the Spread)
Raptors: 38-38 (38-36-2)
76ers: 50-26 (43-32-1)

Line: 76ers (-5)
BPI Projection: 76ers: 128.6-121.3
Money Line: Raptors (175), 76ers (-210)
BPI Projected winner: 76ers (70.6%)
Total: 224.5 BPI Projected Total: 248.2

Injury Report:
Raptors: Dalano Banton, (GTD - Thumb); Gary Trent Jr., (GTD - Elbow); Joe Wieskamp, (GTD - Hamstring); Will Barton, (GTD - Ankle); Otto Porter Jr., (OUT - Foot)
76ers: None reported
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

The Raptors have won three straight and had two days off to prepare for this game. You have to like the sounds of that, especially when you consider that they are 8-3-1 when catching more than three points this season. The 76ers have been pandering to under bettors of late (11-7-1 in their past 19) and Canada's finest happens to be 9-3-2 ATS in their past 14 games that have come in under the total. - Soppe

Orlando Magic at Washington Wizards
7:00 p.m ET, Capital One Arena, Washington, DC

Records (Against the Spread)
Magic: 32-44 (43-31-2)
Wizards: 34-42 (34-39-3)

Line: Magic (0)
BPI Projection: Magic: 128.9-128
Money Line: Magic (-110), Wizards (-110)
BPI Projected winner: Magic (53.5%)
Total: 225 BPI Projected Total: 256.9

Injury Report:
Magic: Jonathan Isaac, (OUT - Thigh)
Wizards: Daniel Gafford, (GTD - Foot); Bradley Beal, (OUT - Knee); Kyle Kuzma, (OUT - Ankle)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Both of these teams are trending in a positive direction: the Wizards have covered five of their past six as a favorite and the Magic are 9-3 ATS in their past 12 on the road. So how do you pick a side? During Orlando's run of seven straight covers, under tickets have cashed five times. Well, Washington is just 1-6-1 ATS in their past eight games that have gone under the total. - Soppe

Best bet: Monte Morris over 11.5 points. Morris had 19 points and nine assists on Tuesday against Boston and should have another big opportunity tonight against the Magic. Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma are both out tonight and the Wizards are going to need someone other than Kristaps Porzingis to score. Morris has been in double digits scoring-wise in six of his last eight games and the Wizards are going to look to him to score at least 15 points tonight. Deni Avdija and Corey Kispert are also in line for big minutes tonight. -Alexander

Fantasy streamer: Deni Avdija (rostered in 18.0% of ESPN leagues) should continue to shine as a starter with all of the injuries the Wizards are dealing with right now. He scored 33 or more fantasy points in five consecutive games, including two with 45 or more. Avdija is set up for success on Friday night against the Magic. - Moody

Utah Jazz at Boston Celtics
7:30 p.m ET, TD Garden, Boston, MA

Records (Against the Spread)
Jazz: 36-40 (42-34-0)
Celtics: 53-24 (41-35-1)

Line: Celtics (-13.5)
BPI Projection: Celtics: 136.2-118.9
Money Line: Jazz (650), Celtics (-1000)
BPI Projected winner: Celtics (94.6%)
Total: 231.5 BPI Projected Total: 255.1

Injury Report:
Jazz: Kelly Olynyk, (GTD - Illness); Collin Sexton, (OUT - Hamstring); Jordan Clarkson, (OUT - Finger); Lauri Markkanen, (OUT - Hand); Rudy Gay, (OUT - Back)
Celtics: Payton Pritchard, (GTD - Heel); Danilo Gallinari, (OUT - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Talen Horton-Tucker (rostered in 11.6% of ESPN leagues) is coming off a monster 41-point game against the Spurs when he hit six 3-pointers with four rebounds and five assists on Wednesday. Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton are out tonight and Kelly Olynyk is iffy after sitting out Wednesday with an illness. THT has scored in double figures in all but three of his March games and is averaging 17.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.5 3-pointers this month and should be ready to go off again against the Celtics tonight. Kris Dunn, who scored 17 points with five dimes on Wednesday, is another player worth streaming for the Jazz, while Ochai Agbaji is also due to bounce back from an off night on Wednesday with so many of his teammates hurting. -Alexander

Atlanta Hawks at Brooklyn Nets
7:30 p.m ET, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

Records (Against the Spread)
Hawks: 38-38 (34-40-2)
Nets: 41-35 (40-36-0)

Line: Hawks (-1.5)
BPI Projection: Nets: 136.2-127.9
Money Line: Hawks (-125), Nets (105)
BPI Projected winner: Nets (58.9%)
Total: 240.5 BPI Projected Total: 258.2

Injury Report:
Hawks: De'Andre Hunter, (GTD - Knee); Jalen Johnson, (GTD - Hamstring)
Nets: Day'Ron Sharpe, (GTD - Ankle); Ben Simmons, (OUT - Back)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Sometimes you are betting on a team and others you are betting against the other. This this is the latter. The Hawks have been the definition of mediocrity but they have been reasonably reliable in cashing under tickets with these high totals (17-11 when the game is expected to exceed 235 total points). Not only have the Nets failed to cover four straight games that have gone under the total, they are 1-8 ATS in their nine games with the highest projected point total this season. I'm not sure I like the Hawks to cover, but I do like the Nets to not cover and that works just the same! - Soppe

Best bet: Mikal Bridges over 27.5 points. The Hawks give up the sixth-most points to opposing small forwards and Bridges has scored at least 27 points in four straight games. He's averaging 27.9 points in March and he should have another feast tonight at home against the Hawks. Bridges scored 24 points against the Hawks back on Feb. 26 and is playing on another level nowadays. -Alexander

Fantasy streamer: Cameron Johnson (rostered in 32.3% of ESPN leagues) is coming off of a 61 fantasy point game against the Rockets on Wednesday. He and the Nets face a Hawks team that ranks 21st in points allowed per 100 possessions. Over the last 14 games, Johnson has averaged 16.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 steals. -Moody

Detroit Pistons at Houston Rockets
8:00 p.m ET, Toyota Center, Houston, TX

Records (Against the Spread)
Pistons: 16-60 (33-42-1)
Rockets: 18-59 (30-44-3)

Line: Rockets (-5.5)
BPI Projection: Rockets: 135.4-127.2
Money Line: Pistons (185), Rockets (-225)
BPI Projected winner: Rockets (76.6%)
Total: 229 BPI Projected Total: 262.6

Injury Report:
Pistons: Killian Hayes, (GTD - Leg); 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)
Rockets: Kenyon Martin Jr., (GTD - Hip); Jae'Sean Tate, (OUT - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Games like this are made viable by betting angles, so let's dig in a bit. The Rockets are 5-10 ATS this season when involved in a game with a spread of less than five points, making them a potential fade as a home favorite. Need more? Unders are 19-7 in Detroit's past 26 games and Houston is just 3-7 ATS in their past 10 games that have gone under the number. - Soppe

Fantasy streamer: Killian Hayes (rostered in 18.7% of ESPN leagues) is not listed on the injury report after suffering a leg injury in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's game. Against a Rockets team that gives up the most points and assists to point guards, he has an excellent matchup. Over the past nine games, Hayes has averaged 13.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 1.8 steals. -Moody

LA Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies
8:00 p.m ET, FedExForum, Memphis, TN

Records (Against the Spread)
Clippers: 41-36 (39-38-0)
Grizzlies: 48-28 (35-38-3)

Line: Grizzlies (-6.5)
BPI Projection: Grizzlies: 136.1-129.3
Money Line: Clippers (210), Grizzlies (-260)
BPI Projected winner: Grizzlies (72.7%)
Total: 235 BPI Projected Total: 265.4

Injury Report:
Clippers: Kawhi Leonard, (GTD - Personal); Brandon Boston Jr., (OUT - Lower Body); Marcus Morris Sr., (OUT - General Soreness); Paul George, (OUT - Knee)
Grizzlies: Brandon Clarke, (OUT - Achilles); 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: Bones Hyland (rostered in 15.7% of ESPN leagues) was one of my favorite preseason sleepers, and it's nice to see him finally deliver despite not being with the Nuggets. Hyland has scored 41 or more fantasy points in three of his past four games. Against the Grizzlies, Kawhi Leonard is questionable because of personal reasons, and Paul George is already out because of a knee injury, so Hyland should be busy. -Moody

Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves
8:00 p.m ET, Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

Records (Against the Spread)
Lakers: 38-38 (36-38-2)
Timberwolves: 39-38 (37-40-0)

Line: Lakers (0)
BPI Projection: Lakers: 136.1-127.8
Money Line: Lakers (-105), Timberwolves (-115)
BPI Projected winner: Lakers (51.4%)
Total: 232.5 BPI Projected Total: 256

Injury Report:
Lakers: Anthony Davis, (GTD - Foot); LeBron James, (GTD - Foot); Mo Bamba, (OUT - Ankle)
Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards, (GTD - Illness); Austin Rivers, (GTD - Illness); Jaylen Nowell, (GTD - Knee); Karl-Anthony Towns, (GTD - Calf); Kyle Anderson, (GTD - Illness); Taurean Prince, (GTD - Illness); Naz Reid, (OUT - Wrist)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Regardless of who ends up favored when this game closes, we can agree it's going to be a tight spread and when that is the case, the Lakers make for an interesting SGP option. Like them to cover? The Wolves are 3-10 ATS in their past 13 as a favorite, so you have some support in picking the Lakers. If you do like Los Angeles, then it's worth noting that overs are 10-3 in the 13 coin toss games (a spread of three or fewer points) this season. - Soppe

San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors
10:00 p.m ET, Chase Center, San Francisco, CA

Records (Against the Spread)
Spurs: 19-57 (30-46-0)
Warriors: 40-37 (36-40-1)

Line: Warriors (-17.5)
BPI Projection: Warriors: 141.2-124.2
Money Line: Spurs (1050), Warriors (-2000)
BPI Projected winner: Warriors (93.3%)
Total: 242 BPI Projected Total: 265.4

Injury Report:
Spurs: Devin Vassell, (GTD - Knee); Doug McDermott, (GTD - Elbow); Keldon Johnson, (GTD - Foot); Romeo Langford, (GTD - Thigh); Jeremy Sochan, (OUT - Knee); Khem Birch, (OUT - Knee); Zach Collins, (OUT - Foot); Charles Bassey, (OUT - Kneecap)
Warriors: Andrew Wiggins, (OUT - Personal); Ty Jerome, (OUT - Not Injury Related); Andre Iguodala, (OUT - Wrist); Ryan Rollins, (OUT - Foot)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Sandro Mamukelashvili (rostered in 1.7% of ESPN leagues) will be provided additional usage with Devin Vassell and Romeo Langford questionable due to injury management for Friday's game. Zach Collins and Jeremy Sochan have also been ruled out. Mamukelashvili has played 25 or more minutes and scored 21 or more fantasy points in five consecutive games. The Spurs have nothing to play for, Mamukelashvili should continue to see an uptick in playing time as the season comes to a close. -Moody

Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers
10:00 p.m ET, Moda Center, Portland, OR

Records (Against the Spread)
Kings: 46-30 (42-34-0)
Blazers: 32-44 (35-40-1)

Line: Kings (-14.5)
BPI Projection: Kings: 144-128.7
Money Line: Kings (-1400), Blazers (800)
BPI Projected winner: Kings (91.2%)
Total: 231 BPI Projected Total: 272.7

Injury Report:
Kings: Matthew Dellavedova, (OUT - Finger)
Blazers: Cam Reddish, (GTD - Back); Ryan Arcidiacono, (GTD - Back); Trendon Watford, (GTD - Ankle); Anfernee Simons, (OUT - Foot); Jerami Grant, (OUT - Quadriceps); Jusuf Nurkic, (OUT - Knee); Keon Johnson, (OUT - Finger); Damian Lillard, (OUT - Calf); Justise Winslow, (OUT - Ankle)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Malik Monk (rostered in 12.4% of ESPN leagues) ranks second in total bench points. The Kings are heavy favorites against a Trail Blazers team that ranks 26th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Monk should be provided a ton of minutes. Over the 22 games Monk has played 25 or more minutes this season, he's averaged 19.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. -Moody

Fantasy streamer: Shaedon Sharpe (rostered in 18.1% of ESPN leagues) has an opportunity to shine since Damian Lillard is out for the rest of the season and Anfernee Simons is unlikely to return. Sharpe has scored 32 or more fantasy points in four of his last five games, including two with 48 or more. The Kings are 24th in points allowed per 100 possessions and have won so many games by outsourcing opponents. Fantasy managers can expect a big game from Sharpe. -Moody

Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns
10:30 p.m ET, Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ

Records (Against the Spread)
Nuggets: 51-25 (40-35-1)
Suns: 41-35 (39-35-2)

Line: Suns (-9.5)
BPI Projection: Suns: 144-127.2
Money Line: Nuggets (320), Suns (-420)
BPI Projected winner: Suns (68.5%)
Total: 226 BPI Projected Total: 259.7

Injury Report:
Nuggets: Jack White, (GTD - General Soreness); Jamal Murray, (GTD - Rest); Nikola Jokic, (GTD - Calf)
Suns: None reported
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play