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Fantasy basketball tips and betting picks for Friday



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

What you need to know for Friday’s games

Sometimes, it can help to follow the public. During a time of the season when rotations are influenced by injuries, recent trades, and youth movements, it’s beneficial to evaluate which players are among the most-added in ESPN leagues. The crowd can prove helpful in this sense.

Rookie Jeremy Sochan of the San Antonio Spurs is the rare player eligible at both point guard and power forward and is currently the sixth-most added “point guard” over the past week. Listed as probable for tonight’s tilt against the Denver Nuggets, Sochan has averaged 17.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists over his past four games and yet is a free agent in well over 90% of leagues. Teammate Devonte’ Graham (92% available) has averaged 20 points while averaging 10.3 attempts from deep over his past three, making him an ideal play for those props.

Cam Reddish (87%) and Matisse Thybulle (93%) are among the most-added shooting guards of the past week thanks to rewarding starting roles for a shallow Portland Trail Blazers roster. Both are in play as streaming candidates in South Philly tonight. Brooklyn’s Cameron Johnson rested last night, as did much of the Nets’ core, while a return to action is likely for tonight’s matchup in Minnesota.

It’s challenging to keep up with how quickly news breaks in today’s NBA, while following transaction trends helps managers crowdsource such solutions.

– Jim McCormick

Game of the Night

Portland Trail Blazers at Philadelphia 76ers
7:00 p.m ET, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

Records (Against the Spread)
Blazers: 31-35 (32-33-1)
76ers: 43-22 (36-28-1)

Line: 76ers (-9)
BPI Projection: 76ers: 134.3-125.3
Money Line: Blazers (+320), 76ers (-420)
BPI Projected winner: 76ers (79.5%)
Total: 232 BPI Projected Total: 259.6

Injury Report:
Blazers: Anfernee Simons, (GTD – Ankle); Justise Winslow, (OUT – Ankle); Ryan Arcidiacono, (OUT – Back)
76ers: None reported
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Cam Reddish (rostered in 12.8% of ESPN leagues) is likely to start again with Anfernee Simons still iffy after missing the last four games with a sprained ankle. Reddish has scored in double figures in six straight games and is quietly averaging 15.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.4 3-pointers in five March games. -Steve Alexander

Best bet: Joel Embiid over 32.5 points. The Blazers give up a league-worst 26.02 points per game to opposing centers and Embiid is anything but an average center. Embiid had 32 points and nine boards in their previous meeting in Portland in January and has crushed the over in back-to-back games, and in four of his past six. I’m expecting a monster game from him at home tonight against a hobbled Jusuf Nurkic — who just returned from his calf injury and is limited — and Drew Eubanks off the bench. Let’s just hope the Blazers don’t get blown out. -Alexander

Best bet: Tyrese Maxey over 26.5 points+assists+rebounds. The last six games, Maxey has met or exceeded 26 PAR. He’s in a great spot against the Trail Blazers on Friday night. Portland ranks 27th in points allowed per 100 possessions. The Trail Blazers also allows opponents an effective field goal percentage of 55.8%, the seventh-best mark in the league. -Eric Moody

Trend: Overs are 13-5 this season when a 76ers game has a total greater than 229 points, a spot in which they find themselves tonight against Damian Lillard and the Blazers. If there are going to be more points than expected, backing Portland makes some sense given that they are 14-7 ATS in their past 21 games that have gone over the total. The Blazers battled back in the first meeting between these two teams, losing by 10 in a game in which Lillard had as many turnovers are buckets. This team is still chasing a play-in spot and could overachieve in this tough spot.-Kyle Soppe

Breaking down the rest of the slate

Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards
7:00 p.m ET, Capital One Arena, Washington, DC

Records (Against the Spread)
Hawks: 33-33 (29-35-2)
Wizards: 31-35 (31-33-2)

Line: Hawks (-1.5)
BPI Projection: Hawks: 134.3-128.3
Money Line: Hawks (-120), Wizards (+100)
BPI Projected winner: Hawks (50.1%)
Total: 237.5 BPI Projected Total: 256.6

Injury Report:
Hawks: None reported
Wizards: None reported
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Kristaps Porzingis over 24.5 points. Porzingis just got done running over the Hawks for a career-high 43 points on Wednesday and the teams will meet in Washington again tonight. Porzingis is clearly over his knee injury and is playing well of late, scoring at least 22 points in six straight games. The Hawks give up the fourth-most points in the league to opposing power forwards and had no answer for Porzingis on Wednesday. And I doubt they’ve found one in the past 48 hours. -Alexander

Best bet: Dejounte Murray over 24.5 points+rebounds. Murray’s stats swing back and forth like a pendulum. Over the last eight games, he has averaged 20.6 points and 4.6 rebounds. Murray had a rough game against the Wizards on Wednesday night, finishing with only 17 points and four rebounds while shooting a dismal 31.3% from the field. In a rematch with Washington on Friday, he’s well positioned to bounce back. The Wizards rank 21st in points allowed per 100 possessions. -Moody

Best bet: Kyle Kuzma over 28.5 points+rebounds. Kuzma finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds against the Hawks on Wednesday. Considering the Hawks have not been able to contain power forwards all season, there is a good chance he replicates that performance on Friday night. Atlanta has given up the fourth most points per game and rebounds per game to the position. -Moody

Trend: The Hawks aren’t favored on the road very often, but In 11 games in that spot this season, Atlanta is 3-8 ATS and over tickets have cashed 10 times. If you’re skeptical about betting on the Wizards, I get it, but it is worth noting that the over has come through in each of their past six games overall and is 11-4-1 in their past 16 home games.- Soppe

Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat
8:00 p.m ET, FTX Arena, Miami, FLA

Records (Against the Spread)
Cavaliers: 42-26 (36-30-2)
Heat: 35-32 (23-41-3)

Line: Cavaliers (-1.5)
BPI Projection: Cavaliers: 128.3-117.2
Money Line: Cavaliers (-125), Heat (+105)
BPI Projected winner: Cavaliers (61.8%)
Total: 215 BPI Projected Total: 237.5

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

Best bet: Jimmy Butler over 21.5 points. Butler had 28 points on Wednesday against the Cavs and will get another shot at them tonight. He’s easily hit the over in three of his last four games and got to the line 15 times on Wednesday. Cleveland won that game by four points and I’m hoping for another close one tonight. The Cavs got torched by Jaylen Brown in their previous game (32 points) and Jayson Tatum got them for 41 points on March 1. Butler should carry the scoring load for the Heat again tonight. -Alexander

Best bet: Donovan Mitchell over 25.5 points. No one on the Heat should be able to contain Mitchell in this matchup. There should be plenty of scoring opportunities for him with Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen battling Bam Adebayo in the paint. Mitchell has surpassed 25.5 in three of his last four games. -Moody

Trend: When you scan the board, the total in the Cavaliers/Heat game is going to stick out as exceptionally low and that’s because it is. But what you should do with that information may surprise you. Under tickets have cashed 55.3% of the time this season when the over/under fails to surpass 215 points and in those games, underdogs cash 64.7% of tickets. If you’re looking for more support on the total, unders are 13-5 in Miami’s past 18 home games.- Soppe

Brooklyn Nets at Minnesota Timberwolves
8:00 p.m ET, Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

Records (Against the Spread)
Nets: 37-29 (36-30-0)
Timberwolves: 34-33 (32-35-0)

Line: Timberwolves (-5)
BPI Projection: Timberwolves: 126.2-121.9
Money Line: Nets (+158), Timberwolves (-190)
BPI Projected winner: Timberwolves (64.8%)
Total: 227 BPI Projected Total: 248.1

Injury Report:
Nets: Ben Simmons, (GTD – Knee); Cameron Johnson, (GTD – Knee); Nic Claxton, (GTD – Achilles); Royce O’Neale, (GTD – Knee); Spencer Dinwiddie, (GTD – Rest)
Timberwolves: Jaylen Nowell, (OUT – Knee); Karl-Anthony Towns, (OUT – Calf)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Denver Nuggets at San Antonio Spurs
8:00 p.m ET, AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

Records (Against the Spread)
Nuggets: 46-20 (36-29-1)
Spurs: 16-49 (26-39-0)

Line: Nuggets (-13)
BPI Projection: Nuggets: 134.2-122.4
Money Line: Nuggets (-900), Spurs (+600)
BPI Projected winner: Nuggets (85.7%)
Total: 236 BPI Projected Total: 256.6

Injury Report:
Nuggets: Vlatko Cancar, (GTD – Wrist); Zeke Nnaji, (OUT – Shoulder)
Spurs: Doug McDermott, (GTD – Thumb); Jeremy Sochan, (GTD – Knee); Romeo Langford, (GTD – Thigh); Khem Birch, (OUT – Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Jeremy Sochan (rostered in 9.2% of ESPN leagues) sat out his last game with a sore knee but is scheduled to play tonight. He’s scored at least 13 points in four straight games and is averaging 18 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals in his two March games. Sochan didn’t play well in two earlier games against the Nuggets this season but those were in November when he had yet to carve out the nice role he has for the Spurs today. -Alexander

Fantasy streamer: Zach Collins (rostered in 15.5% of ESPN leagues) remains a viable streamer following Poeltl’s trade to the Raptors. In the last eight games, he has averaged 12.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.9 blocks. Don’t overlook Collins if you need a center. -Moody

Best bet: Michael Porter Jr. over 16.5 points. MPJ faces a Spurs’ defense that gives up 22.34 points to opposing small forwards and he’s scored 17 or more points in four of his last five games. He scored only 12 against the Bulls on Wednesday when he hit 5 of 13 shots but is still averaging 19.3 points in March and will look to get back on track tonight. He got the Spurs for 24 and 15 points in their two November meetings but has been on a roll over the last few weeks. He’s scored at least 20 points in five of his last eight games and it would be surprising if he can’t get at least 17 points tonight. However, a potential blowout is a concern. -Alexander

Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Lakers
10:30 p.m ET, Arena, Los Angeles, CA

Records (Against the Spread)
Raptors: 32-35 (33-34-0)
Lakers: 32-34 (31-33-2)

Line: Raptors (-1.5)
BPI Projection: Raptors: 134.2-119.6
Money Line: Raptors (-125), Lakers (+105)
BPI Projected winner: Raptors (67.8%)
Total: 224.5 BPI Projected Total: 244.1

Injury Report:
Raptors: Will Barton, (GTD – Illness); Otto Porter Jr., (OUT – Foot)
Lakers: Anthony Davis, (GTD – Foot); D’Angelo Russell, (GTD – Ankle); LeBron James, (OUT – Foot); Mo Bamba, (OUT – Ankle)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Anthony Davis over 28.5 points. AD has been on a tear with LeBron James sidelined, scoring at least 28 points in five straight games and hitting the 30-point plateau in three straight, and in four of his last five. In his three March games Davis is averaging 35.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.3 3-pointers while shooting at a 58 percent clip. The Raptors generally play solid defense against opposing big men but Davis is too hot for them to handle right now. He’s probably going to have to score 30 for the Lakers to win and hand the Raptors their third straight loss on the road. And the Lakers are looking for their third straight win without LeBron. -Alexander

Best bet: Jakob Poeltl over 21.5 points+rebounds. Over the last six games Poeltl has averaged 15 points and 8.3 rebounds. This matchup benefits Poeltl because the Lakers aren’t a great rebounding team and give up a ton of points in the paint. He’s well positioned to exceed 21.5 PR. -Moody

Trend: The Lakers are just 8-14 ATS this season when the projected point total closes under 230 points and lower scoring games happen to be where the Raptors thrive: unders have come through in eight of their past 12 covers. Building on the underwhelming scoring theme, Los Angeles’ ATS record is three games worse this season when under tickets cash than when overs do.- Soppe

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