Fantasy basketball tips and NBA betting picks for Monday


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

What you need to know for Monday’s games

While playoff-bound NBA teams pursue lasting legacies, some other teams focus on lottery luck. The Portland Trail Blazers tried to contend in a parity-driven Western Conference, but now plan to sit superstar Damian Lillard and several other key starters for the final two weeks as the team pivots to building for the future.

The future for the Trail Blazers includes rising rookie Shaedon Sharpe, who just delivered a career-high 27 points on Sunday as a key starter and has scored at least 24 in three straight games. Sharpe is a free agent in more than 90% of ESPN leagues and is likely to play a substantial role against the New Orleans Pelicans this evening. The Pelicans’ Trey Murphy III (62%) Even teammate Nassir Little (99% available) erupted for 28 in last night’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Even as you pursue fantasy glory deep into a head-to-head battle or in a closely contested roto league, don’t forget about the lottery-bound rosters and rotations that are focusing on exciting young talents.

— Jim McCormick

Breaking down Monday’s slate

Milwaukee Bucks at Detroit Pistons
7 p.m. ET, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan

Records (Against the Spread)
Bucks: 53-21 (40-28-6)
Pistons: 16-58 (31-42-1)

Line: Bucks (-17.5)
BPI Projection: Bucks (136.2-120.6)
Money Line: Bucks (-2000), Pistons (+1050)
BPI Projected winner: Bucks (91.9%)
Total: 233 points BPI Projected Total: 256.8 points

Injury Report:
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, (GTD – Knee); Jae Crowder, (GTD – Calf); Meyers Leonard, (OUT – Calf)
Pistons: Cory Joseph, (GTD – Illness); Rodney McGruder, (GTD – Foot); Alec Burks, (OUT – Foot); Bojan Bogdanovic, (OUT – Achilles); 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: Marvin Bagley III (rostered in 14.6%) has performed well for a tanking Pistons team. In his last three games, he averaged 19.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steal, and 1.0 block. Bagley III should continue to be actively involved against the Bucks. — Moody

Fantasy streamer: Killian Hayes (available in 81.0% of leagues) fits the profile of a young player on a lottery team that’s getting the chance to put up numbers down the stretch. In his last seven games, all starts, Hayes has averaged 13.9 PPG, 8.9 APG, 3.1 RPG, 2.0 SPG, 0.6 3PG and 0.4 BPG in 33.6 MPG. — Snellings

Best bet: Khris Middleton over 27.5 points + assists + rebounds. Over the last eight games, Middleton has averaged 19.1 points, 7.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds. The Pistons rank 28th in points allowed per 100 possessions. This season, Detroit has also given up some excellent performances to shooting guards. On Monday night, Middleton is in a very good position. — Moody

Trend: Laying double-digits is the theme of the day, no matter how uncomfortable it feels. The Pistons are just 10-14-1 ATS as an underdog of at least 10 points with 16 of those 25 games going under the closing total. Well, the Bucks are 7-2-2 ATS in their past 11 unders, so the low scoring environment isn’t a huge concern. Detroit has dropped five straight ATS and all five have come in under the total, giving us multiple trends pointing in the same direction. — Kyle Soppe

Dallas Mavericks at Indiana Pacers
7 p.m. ET, Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

Records (Against the Spread)
Mavericks: 36-39 (28-44-3)
Pacers: 33-42 (39-36-0)

Line: Pacers (-1)
BPI Projection: Pacers (136.2-127.8)
Money Line: Mavericks (-105), Pacers (-115)
BPI Projected winner: Pacers (59.4%)
Total: 234 points BPI Projected Total: 258.2 points

Injury Report:
Mavericks: Luka Doncic, (OUT – Suspension)
Pacers: Myles Turner, (GTD – Back); Tyrese Haliburton, (GTD – Ankle); Chris Duarte, (OUT – Ankle); Kendall Brown, (OUT – Lower Leg)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Jordan Nwora (rostered in 1.5% of ESPN leagues) has the potential for a huge game against the Mavericks. Chris Duarte has already been ruled out due to left ankle soreness. Nwora finished with 52 fantasy points in 34 minutes against the Hawks on Saturday. This season, Nwora has averaged 21.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.0 steals per game when he has played at least 30 minutes. — Eric Moody

Fantasy streamer: Jaden Hardy (available in 98.1% of leagues) has at least 20 points scored in five of the last six games that either Luka Doncic and/or Kyrie Irving missed. During that same six-game span, Josh Green (available in 98.2% of leagues) averaged 16.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.7 3PG and 0.5 SPG in 33.5 MPG. Doncic is expected to be suspended for tonight’s game, giving Hardy and Green another chance to produce solid numbers with extra opportunity. -Snellings

Trend: Barring change in the league office, Luka Doncic will be suspended for this game after being assessed his 16th technical foul yesterday and that explains why this spread is the way it is. Don’t worry. Keep an eye on this spread, but should Dallas end up as underdog, they are a strong 9-2 ATS over their past 11 in such a spot. Even if we don’t get to ‘dog status, unders are 12-6 when the Mavs are in a coin flip game (a spread of three fewer points) and the Pacers are 1-7 ATS in their past eight games that have slid under the total. — Soppe

Houston Rockets at New York Knicks
7:30 p.m. ET, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NY

Records (Against the Spread)
Rockets: 18-57 (29-43-3)
Knicks: 42-33 (41-33-1)

Line: Knicks (-13.5)
BPI Projection: Knicks (136.6-120.4)
Money Line: Rockets (+700), Knicks (-1100)
BPI Projected winner: Knicks (92.9%)
Total: 230 points BPI Projected Total: 257 points

Injury Report:
Rockets: Jae’Sean Tate, (GTD – Knee)
Knicks: Jalen Brunson, (GTD – Hand); Trevor Keels, (OUT – Foot)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Jabari Smith Jr. (rostered in 46.1% of ESPN leagues) has performed well recently for a struggling Rockets team. Over the past four games, he has scored 21 or more fantasy points, including two games with 35 or more points. After a rough start to his rookie season, Smith has played much better in the second half. The big man is a solid scorer and rebounder. — Moody

Best bet: Julius Randle over 34.5 points + rebounds. Over the last eight games, he’s averaged 26.8 points and 7.8 rebounds. The Rockets are one of the worst defensive teams in the league, so Randle should have success. Houston allows opponents an effective field goal percentage of 56.7%, the fourth highest in the league. Randle scored 35 points and grabbed 12 rebounds the last time he faced the Rockets. — Moody

Trend: Laying a bunch of points is never comfortable, but it’s not a bad idea here: Houston is 7-16-1 ATS this season when getting at least 10 points. Yikes. Overs are 11-4 when the Knicks are giving at least five points and the Rockets are 6-13 ATS in their past 19 games that have gone over the total. — Soppe

Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz
9 p.m. ET, Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

Records (Against the Spread)
Suns: 39-35 (37-35-2)
Jazz: 35-39 (41-33-0)

Line: Suns (-6.5)
BPI Projection: Suns (136.6-127.3)
Money Line: Suns (-260), Jazz (+210)
BPI Projected winner: Suns (61.3%)
Total: 234 points BPI Projected Total: 257.7 points

Injury Report:
Suns: Duane Washington Jr., (OUT – Hip); Deandre Ayton, (GTD – Hip); Kevin Durant, (OUT – Ankle)
Jazz: Lauri Markkanen, (GTD – Hand); Collin Sexton, (OUT – Hamstring); Jordan Clarkson, (OUT – Finger); Rudy Gay, (OUT – Back)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Talen Horton-Tucker (rostered in 12.8% of ESPN leagues) will continue to start at point guard with Collin Sexton already ruled out due to a strained left hamstring. This season, he averages 19.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 7.4 assists per 40 minutes. You shouldn’t overlook Horton-Tucker if you need a point guard. — Moody

Fantasy streamer: Kelly Olynyk (available in 64.9% of leagues) is having another strong finish to a season after getting heavier minutes down the stretch. In his last five games, all starts, Olynyk has averaged 15.4 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 5.8 APG, 1.2 3PG and 1.2 SPG in 29.0 MPG for the Jazz. — Snellings

Best bet: Devin Booker over 35.5 points + rebounds. The Suns continue to rely heavily on Booker as they await Durant’s return. Over the last six games, he’s averaged 31.5 points and 4.8 rebounds. The Jazz aren’t a strong defensive team. Utah also gives up the sixth most points and second most rebounds per game to shooting guards. In his last six games against the Jazz, Booker has averaged 35.8 points and 8.2 rebounds. — Moody

Trend: Did this trend suffer its first loss last week? It did. But still, we are talking a Jazz team that is 10-1 ATS with nine outright wins when installed as a home underdog this season. Not too bad. In their past six such games, over tickets have cashed and overs happen to be 5-2 in the Suns’ past seven as a road favorite. To put a cherry on top, Phoenix is better as a home favorite (16-11-1 ATS) than a road favorite (8-8 ATS). — Soppe

Philadelphia 76ers at Denver Nuggets
9:30 p.m. ET, Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado

Records (Against the Spread)
76ers: 49-25 (41-32-1)
Nuggets: 50-24 (40-33-1)

Line: Nuggets (-5.5)
BPI Projection: Nuggets (130.4-128.1)
Money Line: 76ers (+178), Nuggets (-215)
BPI Projected winner: Nuggets (57.7%)
Total: 228.5 points BPI Projected Total: 258.3 points

Injury Report:
76ers: Danuel House Jr., (GTD – Shoulder); James Harden, (GTD – Achilles); Joel Embiid, (GTD – Calf)
Nuggets: Michael Porter Jr., (GTD – Heel); Jack White, (OUT – General Soreness)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers
10 p.m. ET, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

Records (Against the Spread)
Pelicans: 37-37 (35-38-1)
Blazers: 32-42 (35-38-1)

Line: Pelicans (-11)
BPI Projection: Pelicans (131-128.2)
Money Line: Pelicans (-550), Blazers (+400)
BPI Projected winner: Pelicans (59.9%)
Total: 226.5 points BPI Projected Total: 259.2 points

Injury Report:
Pelicans: Jose Alvarado, (OUT – Leg); Zion Williamson, (OUT – Hamstring); E.J. Liddell, (OUT – Knee)
Blazers: Anfernee Simons, (GTD – Foot); Damian Lillard, (GTD – Calf); Jerami Grant, (GTD – Quadriceps); Jusuf Nurkic, (GTD – Knee); Trendon Watford, (GTD – Ankle); Justise Winslow, (OUT – Ankle)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Fantasy streamer: Trey Murphy III (rostered in 33.9% of ESPN leagues) has been phenomenal over the last two weeks. Over the last eight games, he’s averaged 21.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.4 steals. Look no further than Murphy III if you need points and triples. — Moody

Fantasy streamer: Nassir Little (rostered in 0.3% of ESPN leagues) is suddenly on the streaming radar with Trendon Watford and Jerami Grant dealing with their respectful injuries. This season, Little has averaged 14.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists per 40 minutes. He’s a solid option for fantasy managers in deeper formats. — Moody

Best bet: Jonas Valanciunas over 27.5 points + rebounds. It’s been a tough season for the Trail Blazers on defense. Valanciunas faces a Portland team that gives up the most points per game to centers. Over the last five games, he’s averaged 19.8 points and 15.2 rebounds. On Monday night, Valanciunas could put together another outstanding performance against the Trail Blazers. — Moody

Fantasy streamer: Shaedon Sharpe (available in 87.7% of leagues) is the man on the Trail Blazers right now, and may be for the rest of the season. Each of Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons, Jerami Grant and Jusuf Nurkic are listed as game-time decisions for Monday, but all four have missed multiple games in a row and the unofficial buzz is that the Trail Blazers are considering shutting some/all of them down. This has opened things up for lottery/upside rookie Sharpe to shine, and he’s done so with three straight huge games. In his last three outings, all starts, Sharpe has averaged 25.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.7 3PG, 2.7 APG and 1.3 SPG in 37.7 MPG. –Snellings

Minnesota Timberwolves at Sacramento Kings
10 p.m. ET, Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California

Records (Against the Spread)
Timberwolves: 38-37 (36-39-0)
Kings: 45-29 (41-33-0)

Line: Kings (-4)
BPI Projection: Kings (138.7-135.4)
Money Line: Timberwolves (+152), Kings (-180)
BPI Projected winner: Kings (61.5%)
Total: 239 points BPI Projected Total: 274.1 points

Injury Report:
Timberwolves: None reported
Kings: De’Aaron Fox, (GTD – Hamstring)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Chicago Bulls at LA Clippers
10:30 p.m. ET, Arena, Los Angeles, California

Records (Against the Spread)
Bulls: 36-38 (39-35-0)
Clippers: 39-36 (37-38-0)

Line: Clippers (-4.5)
BPI Projection: Clippers (138.7-121.9)
Money Line: Bulls (+143), Clippers (-170)
BPI Projected winner: Clippers (60.5%)
Total: 220.5 points BPI Projected Total: 246.7 points

Injury Report:
Bulls: Lonzo Ball, (OUT – Knee); Javonte Green, (GTD – Knee); Goran Dragic, (GTD – Knee)
Clippers: Kawhi Leonard, (GTD – Face); Brandon Boston Jr., (OUT – Lower Body); Norman Powell, (OUT – Shoulder); Paul George, (OUT – Leg)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

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