Fantasy basketball tips and betting picks for Thursday: LeBron James and Co. look to start strong

The Sportzshala Fantasy Basketball Betting Tips and Basketball Betting Cheat Sheet is where you can get pre-game basketball betting predictions and our best intelligence and data, including Sportzshala’s own Basketball Power Index (BPI), which will help you make smart betting and fantasy decisions. NBA odds for TODAY’S DATE are provided by Caesars Sportsbook and fantasy tips are based on Sportzshala 10-team leagues.

What you need to know about Thursday’s games

The All-Star Game was notoriously heartless, but the real NBA fight resumes tonight with a solid nine-game roster. In some formats, the fantasy playoffs should start as early as next week, so we’re really in the middle of a campaign.

The basketball break is not a real mid-season event as each team has 21 to 25 games left. Fantasy Sportzshala NBA schedule grid serves as a useful resource for weekly formats as it is critical to maximize the number of games played as the stakes rise.

Among teams in the Eastern Conference, only the Philadelphia 76ers, who claim the strongest remaining chart power, have a full 25 games left. To the west we find the Memphis Grizzlies, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Sacramento Kings with 25 left. The games played are not the deciding factor, especially as compressed schedules often lead to load management decisions, but identifying teams with balanced and tight schedules proves important in a hobby that values ​​statistical volume.

A few names stand out tonight as streaming and DFS values ​​that might even claim sustainable value. Talen Horton-Tucker (93% available in Sportzshala leagues) has taken on much more of the Utah Jazz’s playmaking job since the departure of Mike Conley; he has racked up at least seven dimes in four consecutive games and is due to play over 30 minutes against the Thunder on Thursday. San Antonio Spurs’ Zach Collins (87%) should play many minutes against Dallas’ weak frontcourt, while teammate Malachy Branham (93%) is set to succeed given the team’s wave of injuries in the backcourt .

— Jim McCormick

game of the night

Golden State Warriors to Los Angeles Lakers

10:00 pm ET, Arena, Los Angeles, CA

Records (against spread)

Warriors: 29-29 (26-31-1)
Lakers: 27–32 (26–31–2)

Line: Lakers (-6)
Performance Index Forecast: Lakers: 122.5–116
Money line: Warriors (+185), Lakers (-225)
Predicted BPI Winner: Lakers (65.3%)
General: 238.5 Predicted BPI: 236.3

Injury Report:

Warriors: Andre Iguodala (OUT – Hip); Andrew Wiggins (OUT – Personal); Stephen Curry (EXIT – Lower Leg); Gary Payton II (OUT – Stomach); Ryan Rollins (OUT – Foot)
Lakers: Anthony Davis (GTD – ft.) LeBron James, (GTD – Foot)
Note: BPI figures include players who are excluded but assume that GTD players will play.

Trend: The Lakers come out of the break and see a lot of teams like the Warriors and the Grizzlies… gold! Los Angeles has a 59.1% coverage rate in games with a projected total of over 235, which is a huge step up from their 38.2% otherwise. -Kyle Soppe

Best bet: LeBron James over 41.5 points + assists + rebounds. The Lakers changed their roster around James and Anthony Davis with proven talent and were successful. The Lakers are serious about preparing this team for the playoffs, and James will set the tone against the Warriors on Thursday. In his last four games against the Warriors, James averaged 36.8 points, 6.0 assists and 12.8 rebounds. -Eric Moody

Destruction of the rest of the shale

Denver Nuggets – Cleveland Cavaliers.
7:00 pm ET, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, Ohio.

Records (against spread)

Nuggets: 41-18 (32-26-1)
Cavaliers: 38-23 (32-27-2)

Line: Cavaliers (-2.5)
Performance Index Forecast: Cavaliers: 118.3–113.6
Money line: Nuggets (+122), Cavaliers (-145)
Predicted BPI Winner: Cavaliers (67.2%)
General: 222.5 Predicted BPI: 231.9

Injury Report:

Nuggets: Jamal Murray (GTD – Knee); Aaron Gordon, (OUT – Ribs); Zeke Nnaji, (EXIT – Shoulder)
Cavaliers: Ricky Rubio (EXIT – Knee)
Note: BPI figures include players who are excluded but assume that GTD players will play.

Best bet: Jarrett Allen over 10.5 rebounds. Allen had at least 10.5 boards in four straight games before collecting just seven of them against the 66ers’ Joel Embiid, who went into the All-Star break last Wednesday. He has scored at least 10.5 boards in seven of his last nine games. — Steve Alexander

Boston Celtics – Indiana Pacers.
7:00 pm ET, Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

Records (against spread)

Celtics: 42-17 (32-26-1)
Pacers: 26-34 (31-29-0)

Line: Celtics (-8)
Performance Index Forecast: Celtics: 121.2–113.8
Money line: Celtics (-355), Pacers (+278)
Predicted BPI Winner: Celtics (75.3%)
General: 232 Predicted BPI: 235

Injury Report:

Celtics: Danilo Gallinari (DK – Knee)
Pacers: Kendall Brown (GTD – Lower Leg)
Note: BPI figures include players who are excluded but assume that GTD players will play.

Best bet: Jason Tatum over 37.5 points + rebounds. Tatum’s momentum should continue against the Pacers on Thursday night after winning the MVP at the All-Star Game. Indiana is ranked 25th in points scored per 100 possessions. This season, Tatum averaged 30.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. It is very likely that he will meet or exceed those averages against the Pacers. -Capricious

Trend: It’s tempting to take on a home team with so many points, and it turns out that’s the way it should be! Home teams with at least seven points this season are 38-25-2 ATS (60.3%), but we don’t stop there. Overs have a winning record when the home team closes in these spots, and the Pacers’ coverage ratio is almost nine percentage points higher when the total is over than when it’s not –Soups

Best bet: Buddy Heald over 3.5 threes. Hield hasn’t made it in the three-point competition, but he is a former champion of the tournament and has scored at least four triples in seven of his last eight games. He should be comfortable at home and you should think he has been training more than usual from behind the arc preparing for the contest (Damian Lillard won). Boston generally does a good job of keeping opposing three-point shots under control, but Hield has hit at least nine of them in seven straight games and hit double-figure attempts in five straight games. -Alexander

Detroit Pistons at Orlando Magic
7:00 pm ET, Amway Center, Orlando, Florida

Records (against spread)

Pistons: 15-44 (26-32-1)
Magic: 24-35 (33-24-2)

Line: Magic (-7)
Performance Index Forecast: Magic: 121.4-113
Money line: Pistons (+222), Magic (-278)
Predicted BPI Winner: Magic (77.4%)
General: 228 Predicted BPI: 234.4

Injury Report:

Pistons: Marvin Bagley III, (GTD – Hand); Nerlens Noel, (OUT – Personal); Cade Cunningham (REDACTED – Lower leg)
Magic: not reported
Note: BPI figures include players who are excluded but assume that GTD players will play.

Trend: The Orlando Magic entered the All-Star Break as the T-24s in offensive efficiency, but when the bookies predicted they would score in groups, they pulled through. The over this season is 13-4 in games where the Magic are predicted to score over 110, which we can expect tonight against the league’s second-worst defense.– Soups

Best bet: Bojan Bogdanovic over 22.5 points. Bogdanovich has scored 28, 33 and 32 points in each of his last three games and has scored at least 21 points in seven of his last eight games. Orlando is 23.84 points behind small forwards, the second-worst record in the league, while Bogdanovich comes out on top. Someone will have to score for the Pistons, and chances are Bogdanovich and Jayden Ivey will lead. -Alexander

Best bet: Killian Hayes over 1.5 steals. Hayes has had two or more interceptions in three of his last five games. The Magic are not a strong offensive team this season, ranking 26th in points scored per 100 possessions. In addition, 15.3% of their property has been sold. -Capricious

Memphis Grizzlies at the Philadelphia 76ers
7:30 pm ET, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

Records (against spread)

Grizzlies: 35-22 (26-28-3)
76ers: 38-19 (32-24-1)

Line: 76ers (-3.5)
Performance Index Forecast: 76ers: 121.4–117.1
Money line: Grizzlies (+140), 76ers (-165)
Predicted BPI Winner: 76ers (65.3%)
General: 230 Predicted BPI: 238.5

Injury Report:

Grizzlies: Luke Kennard, (OUT – Disease); Stephen Adams (EXIT – Knee)
76ers: not reported
Note: BPI figures include players who are excluded but assume that GTD players will play.

Trend: The Grizzlies may be the second seed in the West, but tonight they will mark the 11th time they have scored and it was super profitable to beat them in places like this as they have 3-7 ATS. The score just wasn’t there in those places, as Memphis held below 110 points in seven of 10 (estimated team points total tonight: 112). – Soups

Best bet: James Harden over 11.5 assists. Harden has provided 11 or more assists in four of his last six games. He should continue to do well against a Grizzlies that have struggled on the road and are still without Steven Adams. Memphis will have a hard time holding Joel Embiid in this matchup, which will benefit Harden as a facilitator. -Capricious

Best choice: Jackson Jr. about 2.5 sq. JJJ will be left alone to protect the paint from Joel Embiid and company again tonight, with Stephen Adams out with a knee injury. Jackson somehow didn’t block the Celtics on Feb. 12, but he did block at least three shots in six of his last seven games, averaging 3.8 of them in February. He blocked four shots against the 66ers in their previous meeting on Dec. 2 and will look to continue play tonight. -Alexander

New Orleans Pelicans – Toronto Raptors.
7:30 pm ET, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Records (against spread)

Pelicans: 30-29 (28-30-1)
Raptors: 28-31 (29-30-0)

Line: Predators (-6)
Performance Index Forecast: Predators: 121.4–112.9
Money line: Pelicans (+185), Predators (-225)
Predicted BPI Winner: Predators (68.3%)
General: 226 Predicted BPI: 230.9

Injury Report:

Pelicans: Dyson Daniels (GTD – ankle joint); Larry Nance, Jr. (GTD – groin); Zion Williamson (REDACTED – Hamstring); E. J. Liddell (EXIT – Knee)


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