HomeNBAFantasy basketball tips and betting picks for Monday

Fantasy basketball tips and betting picks for Monday


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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 Monday, March 6 are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.

What you need to know for Monday’s games

After an amazing weekend of ultra-competitive marquee matchups around the league, fantasy managers can enter Monday’s six-game schedule focused on a game in Detroit. Maybe Motown basketball isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but given the Detroit Pistons are without several starters for tonight’s matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers, it’s a roster that could interestingly prove pivotal to DFS and streaming decisions.

The Marvin Bagley III reclamation project is starting to develop for Detroit, especially with both Jalen Duren and Isaiah Stewart sidelined. James Wiseman isn’t quite as consistent yet, but Bagley, a free agent in nearly 80% of ESPN leagues, is an ascending option who has posted 20-point double-doubles in three of his past four and tonight faces a Portland team that ranks 28th in rebounding percentage over the past 10 games. This suggests double-double props are also in play for the former No. 2 overall pick. Eric Moody expounds on Bagley’s quality spot below.

Even names such as Hamidou Diallo (96.5% available) and Killian Hayes (85%) surface in this matchup. On the other side of the court we find defensive dynamo Matisse Thybulle (90%) averaging an absurd 3.6 combined blocks and steals over the past week in a starting role for Portland, while Cam Reddish (92%) is also flashing value with a serious uptick in playing time.

Navigating nights in the NBA this deep into the marathon requires a willingness to find value in even the unobvious spots. It’s not to suggest you watch these games with your Monday night, but don’t ignore them.

— Jim McCormick

Breaking down Monday’s slate

Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers
7 p.m. ET, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, Ohio

Records (Against the Spread)
Celtics: 45-20 (33-31-1)
Cavaliers: 40-26 (35-29-2)

Line: Cavaliers (-6)
BPI Projection: Cavaliers (123-119.6)
Money Line: Celtics (+210), Cavaliers (-260)
BPI Projected winner: Cavaliers (62.7%)
Total: 218.5 points BPI Projected Total: 242.6 points

Injury Report:
Celtics: Malcolm Brogdon, (GTD – Ankle); Robert Williams III, (OUT – Hamstring); Danilo Gallinari, (OUT – Knee)
Cavaliers: Donovan Mitchell, (GTD – Hand)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Caris LeVert (rostered in 40.5% of ESPN leagues) LeVert should play a bigger role on Monday night against the Celtics with Donovan Mitchell questionable. LeVert has averaged 13.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game when playing 25 or more minutes this season. — Eric Moody

Fantasy streamers: Grant Williams (available in 95.5% of leagues) and Mike Muscala (available in 99.7% of leagues) Williams seems likely to get good run and potentially start on Monday, the second half of a back-to-back in which Al Horford has already played 46 minutes. Horford has traditionally gotten the second half of back-to-backs off this season anyway, plus Robert Williams III is also out (hamstring). This should open up time for Williams (10.3 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.8 3PG in 21 starts this season) and also Muscala to have the opportunity to produce. — André Snellings

Best bet: Celtics +6.0. While the Celtics are on the second half of a back-to-back and may also be thin in the front court. However, six points is still too many for the Cavaliers to give against one of the best teams in the league. Our BPI game estimator has the Cavs favored by just over three points. — Snellings

Trend: Over tickets this season have cashed 56.8% of the time when the team on the road is on the second night of a back-to-back. Explain this however you’d like, but that’s a pretty decent sample size (183 games) and it’s bad news for a Cavs team that is just 5-10 ATS over their past 15 games when overs come through. Also working against them is the fact that the Celtics are 4-1-1 ATS over their past six on zero days rest and are 4-1 ATS as an underdog this season. — Kyle Soppe

Philadelphia 76ers at Indiana Pacers
7 p.m. ET, Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

Records (Against the Spread)
76ers: 41-22 (35-27-1)
Pacers: 29-36 (35-30-0)

Line: 76ers (-6.5)
BPI Projection: 76ers (131.5-127)
Money Line: 76ers (-260), Pacers (+210)
BPI Projected winner: 76ers (66%)
Total: 234 points BPI Projected Total: 258.5 points

Injury Report:
76ers: P.J. Tucker, (GTD – Back); Tobias Harris, (GTD – Calf)
Pacers: Aaron Nesmith, (GTD – Hip); Kendall Brown, (OUT – Lower Leg)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Jalen McDaniels (available in 95.4% of leagues) McDaniels could potentially start on Monday if Tobias Harris and P.J. Tucker end up sitting. McDaniels hasn’t started a game for the 76ers this season, but he started 21 for the Hornets and averaged a solid 12.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.3 SPG and 1.0 3PG in 29.2 MPG in those starts. — Snellings

Best bet: Joel Embiid over 32.5 points. Embiid has averaged 33.5 PPG in his past four outings, slightly exceeding the 33.0 PPG he has averaged this season. The Pacers allow the fifth-most points to opposing centers this season and Embiid hasn’t faced them since the fourth game of the season back in October. In that game he had his way with 26 points in 28 minutes of a blowout victory. — Snellings

Portland Trail Blazers at Detroit Pistons
7 p.m. ET, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan

Records (Against the Spread)
Blazers: 30-34 (31-32-1)
Pistons: 15-49 (29-34-1)

Line: Blazers (-6)
BPI Projection: Blazers (136.9-129.2)
Money Line: Blazers (-225), Pistons (+185)
BPI Projected winner: Blazers (75.1%)
Total: 229.5 points BPI Projected Total: 266.1 points

Injury Report:
Blazers: Anfernee Simons, (GTD – Ankle); Jusuf Nurkic, (GTD – Calf); Ryan Arcidiacono, (GTD – Back); Justise Winslow, (OUT – Ankle)
Pistons: James Wiseman, (GTD – Knee); Killian Hayes, (GTD – Hand); Rodney McGruder, (GTD – Ankle); Bojan Bogdanovic, (OUT – Achilles); Isaiah Stewart, (OUT – Hip); Jalen Duren, (OUT – Ankle); Cade Cunningham, (OUT – Lower Leg)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Marvin Bagley III (rostered in 16.9% of ESPN leagues) Bagley should continue to thrive against the Trail Blazers on Monday night, with James Wiseman questionable and Jalen Duren and Isaiah Stewart already ruled out. He has scored 33 or more fantasy points in three of his past four games. — Moody

Best bet: Blazers (-6). The Trail Blazers are within a half-game of the 10th seed and play-in game in the Western Conference. They are just under .500 for the season but are exactly .500 at 9-9 in their last 18 games. The Pistons are tied with the Rockets, a half-game “ahead” of the Spurs for the worst record in the NBA, and they have lost 16 of their past 19 games. Detroit is also dealing with lots of injuries, and our BPI game predictor has the Trail Blazers favored by more than seven points today. —Snellings

Trend: Betting against Damian Lillard is no fun … and you don’t have to do it tonight. If you need a green light to bet against Detroit, the Pistons are an ugly 7-16-2 ATS against top-10 offenses this season. Over tickets have been cashing when the Blazers are favored by at least four points (13-5 this season) and Portland happens to have covered nine of their past 13 games when the over comes through. — Soppe

Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat
7:30 p.m. ET, FTX Arena, Miami, Florida

Records (Against the Spread)
Hawks: 32-32 (28-34-2)
Heat: 34-31 (23-39-3)

Line: Heat (-3)
BPI Projection: Heat (136.9-122)
Money Line: Hawks (+130), Heat (-155)
BPI Projected winner: Heat (52.6%)
Total: 229 points BPI Projected Total: 244.7 points

Injury Report:
Hawks: None reported
Heat: Kevin Love, (GTD – Ribs); Kyle Lowry, (OUT – Knee); Nikola Jovic, (OUT – Back)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Jimmy Butler over 34.5 points + assists + rebounds. The Hawks have given up the most points per game to small forwards this season and Butler has surpassed 34.5 PAR in three of his past five games. Atlanta has struggled defensively all season, ranking 20th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Butler should be set for a big game. — Moody

Best bet: Bam Adebayo over 19.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 28.5 total points + rebounds. The Hawks rank in the bottom-10 in the NBA in both points and rebounds allowed to opposing centers. Meanwhile, Adebayo has torched them all season to the tune of 27.3 PPG and 10.7 RPG in three games, including a 30-point, 11-rebound double-double against them on Saturday. — Snellings

Trend: These two teams played over the weekend and the game went under the closing total by half-a-point. Yes, that game nearly got to the total despite Trae Young and Jimmy Butler combining for seven made shots across their 66 minutes on the court. Any sort of regression from those stars puts us in a position to cash this over, as does the fact that overs are 15-9 this season when an Atlanta game closes with a sub-230-point total. Neither team is in a good spot ATS (MIA: 9-20-3 ATS at home, ATL: 14-19 ATS on the road), but the Heat have been especially bad when a game is higher scoring than expected (7-19-2 ATS in overs).— Soppe

Toronto Raptors at Denver Nuggets
9 p.m. ET, Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado

Records (Against the Spread)
Raptors: 32-33 (32-33-0)
Nuggets: 45-19 (36-27-1)

Line: Nuggets (-7)
BPI Projection: Nuggets (123.6-119.4)
Money Line: Raptors (+178), Nuggets (-215)
BPI Projected winner: Nuggets (65.2%)
Total: 229.5 points BPI Projected Total: 243 points

Injury Report:
Raptors: Dalano Banton, (GTD – Thumb); Otto Porter Jr., (OUT – Foot)
Nuggets: Thomas Bryant, (GTD – Ankle); Vlatko Cancar, (GTD – Wrist); Zeke Nnaji, (OUT – Shoulder)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

New Orleans Pelicans at Sacramento Kings
10 p.m. ET, Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California

Records (Against the Spread)
Pelicans: 31-33 (29-34-1)
Kings: 37-26 (34-29-0)

Line: Kings (-5)
BPI Projection: Kings (132.3-126.1)
Money Line: Pelicans (+175), Kings (-210)
BPI Projected winner: Kings (71.2%)
Total: 237 points BPI Projected Total: 258.4 points

Injury Report:
Pelicans: Jonas Valanciunas, (GTD – Calf); Josh Richardson, (OUT – Personal); Zion Williamson, (OUT – Hamstring); Larry Nance Jr., (OUT – Ankle); Jose Alvarado, (OUT – Leg); E.J. Liddell, (OUT – Knee)
Kings: De’Aaron Fox, (GTD – Hamstring); Richaun Holmes, (GTD – Illness)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Trey Murphy III (rostered in 17.1% of ESPN leagues) is in line for another start with Josh Richardson already ruled out for Monday’s game due to personal reasons. The last two games, Murphy III has scored 26 or more fantasy points and played 32 or more minutes. The Kings rank 26th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Additionally, Sacramento allows opponents an effective field goal percentage of 56.9%, the second highest in the league. — Moody

Best bet: Domantas Sabonis over 40.5 points + assists + rebounds. Sabonis has surpassed 40 PAR in three consecutive games. In the last 10 games, he has averaged 20.7 points, 6.4 assists, and 12.8 rebounds. The Pelicans continue to struggle, and their injury situation makes it hard to trust them on the road. In this matchup, Sabonis should do very well. — Moody

Trend: It’s not a fool-proof plan, but generally speaking, the expectation is for the favored team to dictate the tempo of any given game. With the Kings installed as a favorite at home, sportsbooks are telling us that this game is going to be played at a breakneck pace. The Kings being favored and this high total are great signs for fantasy managers … and the fact that the total might be low is good news for over bettors. Overs are 17-4 this season when the Kings are giving more than four points. Buckle up, folks: this is your DFS target game and spot for SGP creativity. — Soppe

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