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, April 5 are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.

What you need to know for Wednesday’s games

From Tim Hightower to Ron Dayne, we are accustomed to waiver warriors driving success deep into the fantasy football season. In the NBA, we’re learning that backcourt talents like Andrew Nembhard, T.J. McConnell and Jordan Goodwin are finishing the season strong while being widely available free agents in ESPN fantasy leagues.

Targeting Nembhard for scoring props could make some sense, as well, given he’s thrived for the Indiana Pacers in place of an injured Tyrese Haliburton, averaging 15.8 points, 8.5 assists, and 3.0 rebounds over. Nembhard’s scoring prop on DraftKings for tonight’s matchup with the New York Knicks is an achievable 13.5.

The league is rife with similarly emergent players, whether its Saddiq Bey finally finding his groove in Atlanta or Kendrick Nunn getting run with the Wizards. Even if your fantasy season has concluded, leveraging our expert analysis in DFS competition and for prop plays remains a rewarding practice in these final days the season.

Jim McCormick

Game of the Night

Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics
4:30 p.m ET, TD Garden, Boston, MA

Records (Against the Spread)
Raptors: 40-39 (40-37-2)
Celtics: 54-25 (42-36-1)

Line: Celtics (-4) Total: 224.5
BPI Projection: Celtics by 14
Money Line: Raptors (152), Celtics (-180)

Injury Report:
Raptors: Gary Trent Jr., (GTD – Back); Otto Porter Jr., (OUT – Foot)
Celtics: Jaylen Brown, (GTD – Back); Payton Pritchard, (GTD – Heel); Robert Williams III, (GTD – Rest); Danilo Gallinari, (OUT – Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Trend: Both of these teams played last night and, if trends hold, that means we could have a slugfest tonight. After Toronto’s first back-to-back of the season, unders are 7-3 when they play on zero rest (6-1 when playing on the road over that stretch) and Boston has covered four of their past five home games that have come in under the total. The Raptors, on the other hand, are just 6-9-1 ATS in road games that go under the number. A Milwaukee win tonight would box the C’s out of the top seed in the East and the Raptors will continue to battle for the 8-seed regardless of their result tonight, so when these teams meet again on Friday, the lean could be very different. — Kyle Soppe

Breaking down the rest of the slate

Records (Against the Spread)
Nets: 43-36 (41-38-0)
Pistons: 16-63 (35-43-1)

Line: Nets (-11.5) Total: 219
BPI Projection: Nets by 10.9
Money Line: Nets (-600), Pistons (430)

Injury Report:
Nets: Ben Simmons, (OUT – Back)
Pistons: Alec Burks, (GTD – Foot); Bojan Bogdanovic, (GTD – Achilles); Marvin Bagley III, (GTD – Concussion); Rodney McGruder, (GTD – Foot); Isaiah Stewart, (OUT – Shoulder); Cade Cunningham, (OUT – Lower Leg); Hamidou Diallo, (OUT – Ankle)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Killian Hayes (available in 83.4% of leagues) has averaged 13.3 PPG, 7.8 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1.3 SPG and 0.5 3PG in his last 12 starts, finishing the season strong. — Snellings

Records (Against the Spread)
Knicks: 46-33 (44-34-1)
Pacers: 34-45 (42-37-0)

Line: Knicks (-4.5) Total: 229
BPI Projection: Knicks by 10
Money Line: Knicks (-190), Pacers (158)

Injury Report:
Knicks: RJ Barrett, (GTD – Illness); DaQuan Jeffries, (OUT – Calf); Duane Washington Jr., (OUT – Hip); Julius Randle, (OUT – Ankle)
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: T.J. McConnell (available in 87.7% of leagues) is always a play when Tyrese Haliburton sits. In his last four games, he has averaged 16.0 PPG, 6.5 APG, 4.5 RPG and 0.8 SPG in 24.0 MPG off the bench. — Snellings

Records (Against the Spread)
Wizards: 34-45 (36-40-3)
Hawks: 40-39 (35-42-2)

Line: Hawks (-11) Total: 233
BPI Projection: Hawks by 6.3
Money Line: Wizards (430), Hawks (-600)

Injury Report:
Wizards: Bradley Beal, (GTD – Knee); Delon Wright, (GTD – Illness); Kristaps Porzingis, (GTD – Illness); Kyle Kuzma, (GTD – Ankle); Monte Morris, (GTD – Ankle); Deni Avdija, (OUT – Elbow)
Hawks: De’Andre Hunter, (GTD – Knee); Trae Young, (GTD – Illness)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Bogdan Bogdanovic (available in 58.7% of leagues) is the primary recipient of both Trae Young (GTD) and DeAndre Hunter (GTD) missing time. On Tuesday, he dropped 26 points, 5 assists, 5 3-pointers and 4 boards in 33 minutes as a starter, and if either/both sit again he could be in for another big night on Wednesday. — Snellings

Records (Against the Spread)
Bulls: 38-41 (41-38-0)
Bucks: 57-22 (41-32-6)

Line: Bucks (-7) Total: 230
BPI Projection: Bucks by 2.7
Money Line: Bulls (228), Bucks (-285)

Injury Report:
Bulls: Lonzo Ball, (OUT – Knee)
Bucks: Jevon Carter, (GTD – Knee); Khris Middleton, (GTD – Knee); Pat Connaughton, (GTD – Ankle); Grayson Allen, (OUT – Ankle)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Trend: Betting against the Bucks has to be one of the five least comfortable things to do, but there are some markers that should put that idea at least on your radar. The Bulls are 6-1 ATS over their past seven road games and the Bucks are a sub-.500 ATS team (11-13-1) when laying more than seven points. Motivation is tough to evaluate in this spot (Milwaukee can clinch the one seed with a win, Chicago is chasing homecourt in the play-in game), as much movement is unlikely.– Soppe

Records (Against the Spread)
Grizzlies: 50-29 (36-40-3)
Pelicans: 40-39 (38-40-1)

Line: Pelicans (-5.5) Total: 229.5
BPI Projection: Grizzlies by 1.7
Money Line: Grizzlies (175), Pelicans (-210)

Injury Report:
Grizzlies: Brandon Clarke, (OUT – Achilles); Dillon Brooks, (GTD – Hip); Jake LaRavia, (GTD – Calf); Ziaire Williams, (GTD – Foot); Steven Adams, (OUT – Knee)
Pelicans: Jose Alvarado, (OUT – Leg); Zion Williamson, (OUT – Hamstring); E.J. Liddell, (OUT – Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Records (Against the Spread)
Kings: 48-31 (44-35-0)
Mavericks: 37-42 (30-46-3)

Line: Mavericks (-6) Total: 241.5
BPI Projection: Mavericks by 0.3
Money Line: Kings (205), Mavericks (-250)

Injury Report:
Kings: Matthew Dellavedova, (OUT – Finger)
Mavericks: Kyrie Irving, (GTD – Foot); Luka Doncic, (GTD – Thigh)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Trend: The Kings clinched the Pacific Division last night and while the job may not be done in terms of the ultimate goal, their regular season has been nothing short of a success. That said, this isn’t the spot for them. Overs are 11-1 when the Mavericks cover at home this season and overs have cashed in six of the Kings’ past eight back-to-backs. This should be a fun game like the total suggests and that lines up nicely for a desperate Dallas team. — Soppe

Best Bet: Keegan Murray over 13.5 points. Murray has been finishing the season with his best stretch of play of his rookie year. He has averaged 16.6 PPG over his last 10 games, going over 13.5 points in seven of the 10 games. — Snellings

Records (Against the Spread)
Lakers: 41-38 (38-39-2)
Clippers: 41-38 (39-40-0)

Line: Clippers (-3) Total: 231.5
BPI Projection: Clippers by 8.2
Money Line: Lakers (140), Clippers (-165)

Injury Report:
Lakers: D’Angelo Russell, (GTD – Foot); Mo Bamba, (GTD – Ankle)
Clippers: Eric Gordon, (GTD – Hip); Marcus Morris Sr., (GTD – General Soreness); Paul George, (OUT – Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Trend: This is a massive game in terms of the standings with the two teams trying to avoid the play-in game and the Lakers might be dealing with some significant absences. In any event, overs are 8-3 when the Lakers are playing on the second night of a back-to-back and the Clips are 8-4 ATS this season when over tickets cash at home. Keep an eye on this injury report. — Soppe

Best Bet: Lakers +3 points. The Lakers and Clippers are playing a co-home game, and both are fighting for playoffs position. With Paul George out and both LeBron and AD playing for the Lakers, I believe the Lakers to be the more talented team. According to ESPN’s BPI game estimator, this game projects to less than two points spread, so either team with 4.5 points is solid value. — Snellings

BPI top probability to win (straight up)

1. Brooklyn Nets (83.9%)
2. Atlanta Hawks (71.6%)
3. Boston Celtics (69.6%)

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