Fantasy basketball tips and NBA betting picks for Tuesday

ESPN’s fantasy basketball and basketball betting tips cheat sheet is your pregame destination for basketball betting predictions and our best intel and data to help you make smart fantasy and wagering decisions. NBA game odds for October 25 are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.

What you need to know for Tuesday’s games

Rookie Vibes: Jaden Ivey has 53 points on 50% shooting with 33 rebounds-plus-assists through three career games, a near identical stat line to what 2022 Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes produced in his first three contests (54 points on 52% shooting with 35 rebounds-plus-assists). Barnes went on to average 26.3 PRA, a number that books have yet to approach when it comes to pricing Ivey this season. Even better? The Raptors were a bottom-six pace team last season while the Pistons are catering more to Ivey and owned a top-six pace through three games.

Fade The Points: The Pelicans have scored north of 120 points in each of their first three games this season and have been led in scoring by a different player in each of those games. So lock in the over, right? Wrong. They rank outside the top-15 in pace, hinting that their scoring is coming on high level efficiency that figures to be difficult to sustain against a Mavs defense that was top-10 last season and is again thus far this season.

Bringing The Wood: The Mavericks have wasted exactly zero time getting Christian Wood worked into a high usage role and there’s little reason to think it changes any time soon. In 49 minutes this season, he’s taken 27 shots, 24 free throws, scored 50 points and pulled down 20 boards. He’s coming off the bench and that is suppressing his DFS price tag and some of his player props … take advantage, those things won’t last long.

Shallow Slate: After a busy first week of NBA action, Tuesday offers a light four-game slate. These smaller slates can actually be helpful for those looking to gain an edge in weekly fantasy formats, as you can attempt to maximize games played via streaming while your opponent might just send out a lighter lineup. For instance, the Clippers have ruled out Paul George against the Thunder tonight due to a non-Covid illness. With George off the court, Norman Powell’s (75% available) offensive share is due to jump. Marcus Morris is also expected to miss the game due to personal reasons, shifting Robert Covington (87%) into a key frontcourt role. For the Thunder, Josh Giddey and Shai-Gilgeous Alexander won’t suit up due to respective injuries, setting up Tre Mann (95%) and Luguentz Dort (69%) as bankable plug-and-play candidates.

— Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe

Game of the night

Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns
10 p.m. ET, Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona

Line: Warriors (-1.5)
Money line: Suns (-120), Warriors (+100)
Total: 225.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 231.3 points
BPI Win%: Suns (57.8%)

Ruled out: Andre Iguodala (hip), Donte DiVincenzo (hamstring)
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Devin Booker under 4.5 assists. Booker notched nine assists in the season opener versus Dallas, but since then he has assumed more of a shooting role and deferred the passing duties to Chris Paul, who surpassed 11,000 career assists. Booker averaged 4.8 APG last season, but in his three games against the Warriors he fell short of 4 assists in each one of them, totaling six assists. Perhaps the Warriors know how to defend him. — Eric Karabell

Best bet: Stephen Curry over 38.5 points+assists+rebounds. Curry has started the season with 33.3 PPG, 4.3 APG and 5.3 RPG and he’s surpassed 30 points in three straight games for only the second time in his career. As a side note, Curry has grabbed at least five rebounds in every game this season as well. This season, the Suns are allowing the second most points per game (35.0) to point guards. Curry will have a field day against Phoenix. — Eric Moody

Breaking down the rest of the slate

Detroit Pistons at Washington Wizards
7 p.m. ET, Capital One Arena, Washington, Washington D.C.

Line: Wizards (-5.5)
Money line: Wizards (-225), Pistons (+185)
Total: 221 points
BPI Projected Total: 220.3 points
BPI Win%: Wizards (76.2%)

Ruled out: Alec Burks (foot)
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Isaiah Stewart (available in 80.6% of leagues). has been a walking double-double through three games. He’s averaging 11.0 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 2.0 APG and 1.0 SPG in 28.7 MPG, and is coming off an 11-point/16-board effort on the second half of a back-to-back on Saturday. -Snellings

Best bet: Bojan Bogdanovic over 18.5 points. Bogdanovic leads the Pistons at 19.3 PPG, and while he scored “only” 18 points in the most recent game, that’s because he uncharacteristically missed 11 of 16 field goal attempts. Bogdanovic won’t miss that many shots too often. He’s shooting 48.8% from the field this season and is among the leaders in 3-point shooting. Washington certainly isn’t a notably strong defensive club. — Karabell

Best bet: Kyle Kuzma over 25.5 total points + rebounds. Kuzma finally had a down effort in his third game of the season, struggling against the excellent and oversized Cavaliers front line, but don’t let that blind you to the fact that he’s playing excellent ball to start the season. In his first two games, he went for 22 points and 13 rebounds, followed by 26 points and 6 rebounds. On Tuesday, he’ll be facing a Pistons squad that doesn’t seem overly interested in playing defense and should be able to bounce back to the types of numbers he produced in the first couple games. — Snellings

Best bet: Saddiq Bey over 23.5 points+rebounds. Bey has averaged 18.0 points and 8.0 rebounds so far this season. His 33.3 MPG indicates he’ll be a vital part of the offense on a nightly basis. It’s been nice to see Bey’s aggressiveness at the rim through three games; his free-throw attempts have nearly doubled per game and Bey is also shooting 44.4% from the field. — Moody

Dallas Mavericks at New Orleans Pelicans

7:30 p.m. ET, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

Line: Mavericks (-4.5)
Money line: Mavericks (-190), Pelicans (+158)
Total: 219 points
BPI Projected Total: 223.7 points
BPI Win%: Mavericks (58.5%)

Questionable: Herbert Jones (knee), Zion Williamson (hip)
Ruled out: Brandon Ingram (concussion)
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Trey Murphy III hasn’t started a game yet, but that may change soon with Zion Williamson (surprise!) and Brandon Ingram nursing injuries. Murphy scored 16 points and added nine rebounds in two of the first three games, while draining 9-of-15 3-pointers. He’s earned more playing time and figures to see ample minutes at home against the Mavericks. — Karabell

Best bet: Mavericks 1H -3. While the Mavs have split their first two games, that belies how dominant they’ve been out the gates in both contests. The Mavs led the Suns by 22 points in the first half of the opener, before succumbing to a big second half comeback. The Mavs also jumped on the Grizzlies out the gate, and maintained it for a 41-point blowout. It’s unclear how many of the Pelicans’ starters may sit on Tuesday, and I look for the Mavs to get off to another fast start. — André Snellings

Best bet: Christian Wood over 26.5 points+assists+rebounds. Wood is flourishing in the Sixth Man role for the Mavericks. In two games, he has averaged 25.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG and 2.5 APG. Despite only averaging 24.5 MPG, Wood is the second unit’s focal point offensively and his 35.3% usage rate ranks as one of the highest in the league to begin the season. — Moody

LA Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder
8 p.m. ET, Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Line: Clippers (-9.5)
Money line: Clippers (-480), Thunder (+360)
Total: 214 points
BPI Projected Total: 221.1 points
BPI Win%: Clippers (70.6%)

Ruled out: Paul George (illness), Marcus Morris Sr. (personal), Josh Giddey, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (hip)
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Norman Powell (rostered in 24.5% of ESPN leagues) will benefit from Paul George not playing Tuesday night against the Thunder. It is likely that Kawhi Leonard will still be on a minutes restriction for this game, as he continues to be brought back to full speed gradually. Powell is only averaging 7.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.3 APG and 1.0 SPG in 25.0, but has the opportunity — and certainly the talent — to exceed those averages against a Thunder team that ranks 23rd in points allowed per 100 possessions. — Moody

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