Fantasy basketball tips and NBA betting picks for Tuesday

No Rest, No Problem: The Chicago Bulls have covered not one, not two, not three, but six straight when playing the second night of a back-to-back, a strong trend to take into a coin flip game against a Pacers team that has failed to cover five straight (failing to cover by nearly 11 PPG over this run).

Styles Make Fights: The New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers square off tonight in what could be, by today’s standards at least, be a slug fest, as both ranked in the top half of the league in defense and the bottom half in pace. That’s great news for the visitors: Cleveland is 18-11 ATS when the total closes at or below 220 points while New York is just 5-6 (12-7 ATS when the total clears 225 points).

Follow The Bread Crumbs: The Phoenix Suns have won 17 games this season as a favorite and the projected total has been too high in 11 of them. On the flip side, the New Orleans Hornets have seen seven of their past 11 outright losses go under the total, not to mention four of their first six games played on zero rest this season.

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Hoosier Value: Indiana Pacers star guard Tyrese Haliburton is working his way back from a blend of elbow and knee issues, but has been ruled out for tonight’s matchup against the visiting Chicago Bulls. Even as T.J. McConnell is the most-added point guard from free agency in ESPN fantasy leagues over the past week, he’s still a free agent in 80% of leagues despite just delivering a rousing triple-double over the weekend. A rare blend of steals, assists, and counting stats combine to make McConnell the top backcourt streamer and a DFS value for tonight’s seven-game slate.

Norm is Warm: The Los Angeles Clippers are getting some great minutes from Norman Powell (73% available in ESPN leagues) in recent weeks. Since returning from injury back in December, Powell has scored in double-digits in all but two of his last 17 appearances while averaging 18.4 points and 2.4 3-pointers during this sample. Tonight presents a friendly matchup with a Los Angeles Lakers team prone to struggle with perimeter close-outs.

Stream Team: With injuries and rest days mounting deep into January, we find a number of widely-available players prepared to positively contribute to fantasy rosters. The Washington Wizards, for instance, just traded Rui Hachimura and won’t have an ailing Kristaps Porzingis in the lineup against the Dallas Mavericks this evening, vaulting Deni Avdija (96% available) and Daniel Gafford (95%) into valuable frontcourt roles. Looking to the New Orleans Pelicans, with Brandon Ingram on his way back soon, we likely have one or two more games riding with Trey Murphy III (80%) as a valuable 3-and-D resource. For those in shallower leagues or seeking a DFS gem, Mason Plumlee (41%) could dominate against a Phoenix Suns frontcourt missing Deandre Ayton on Tuesday.

— Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe

Game of the night

LA Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers
10 p.m. ET, Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California

Line: Clippers (-5)
Money line: Clippers (-195), Lakers (+162)
Total: 230 points
BPI Projected Total: 229.5 points
BPI Win%: Clippers (67.0%)

Questionable: LeBron James
Ruled Out: Luke Kennard, John Wall, Lonnie Walker IV, Rui Hachimura, Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: LeBron James over 46.5 combined points, assists and rebounds. LeBron has taken his game to another level in January, averaging 33.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 7.8 assists, good for a total of 51.2. If he keeps things going tonight against the Clippers, he should easily hit over 46.5 PAR. James has hit for 52, 38, 49, 65, 53, 49, 52, 42 and 60 combined points, assists and rebounds in his last nine games, topping the needed total in seven of those. With Anthony Davis, Rui Hachimura, Lonnie Walker and Austin Reaves out, James will rely upon Dennis Schroder, Thomas Bryant and Russell Westbrook to help him offensively. Recent history suggests he’ll get there. — Steve Alexander

Fantasy streamer: Dennis Schroder (rostered in 28% of ESPN leagues) Schroder has averaged 21.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 3-pointers over his past two games. He started alongside Patrick Beverley on Sunday and went off for 24 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Schroder should be primed for another big game against the Clippers tonight. The only concern is that Beverley might try to go off against his former team, but riding the hot hand of Schroder still makes sense. — Alexander

Best bet: Kawhi Leonard over 26.5 points. Leonard has scored 30 or more points in four of the past six games and been close to the mark in the other games. He certainly looks healthy and is averaging more than 20 field goal attempts per game in that span. While Leonard sits from time to time for load management, he will be on the court on Tuesday and should play well. — Eric Karabell

Fantasy streamer: Thomas Bryant (rostered in 26.4% of ESPN leagues) has been a great streamer while Anthony Davis is out with a foot injury and this trend should continue. In the last 10 games, he has averaged 16.0 points and 9.0 rebounds. Pick up Bryant if you need a center. — Eric Moody

Best bet Ivica Zubac over 10.5 rebounds. On Tuesday night’s slate, I’m drawn to this prop bet with plus odds. This season, Zubac averages 10.4 rebounds per game. The Lakers aren’t a great rebounding team. Los Angeles has given up the third most rebounds per game to centers. — Moody

Breaking down the rest of the slate

Chicago Bulls at Indiana Pacers
7 p.m. ET, Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

Line: Bulls (-2)
Money line: Bulls (-130), Pacers (+110)
Total: 234 points
BPI Projected Total: 231.4 points
BPI Win%: Bulls (53.2%)

Questionable: Goran Dragic, Andrew Nembhard
Ruled Out: Tyrese Haliburton
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: T.J. McConnell (rostered in 20.5% of ESPN leagues) is coming off a monster 18-10-12 triple-double against the Suns after a couple sub-par games against the Nuggets and Thunder last week. It’s mind boggling he’s not rostered in more leagues given that McConnell is averaging 15 points, 5.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 1.7 steals over his last seven games with Tyrese Haliburton sidelined. The Pacers are fading fast after losing seven straight games but as long as Haliburton is out, McConnell should be rostered every place imaginable. — Alexander

Best bet: Nikola Vucevic over 29.5 combined points and rebounds. Vucevic had 14 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists against the Hawks on Monday, has had a double-double in 11 straight games and has failed to hit 30 combined points and rebounds just once in his last 10 games when he had a total of 25 (15 points, 10 rebounds) against the Wizards on Jan. 11. DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine get all the glory for their offensive firepower, but Vuc is a workhorse and has been on fire for the entire month. — Alexander

Fantasy streamer: Patrick Williams (rostered in 6.6% of ESPN leagues) Williams continues his recent stretch of strong play. In three of his last four games, he has scored 34 or more fantasy points. Williams faces a Pacers defense that ranks 23rd in points allowed per 100 possessions. If you need a streamer, pick him up. — Moody

Best bet: Bulls -2.0. The Bulls will be on the second night of a back-to-back, but Chicago is facing a Pacers team that ranks near the bottom of the league in points allowed per 100 possessions. The Bulls are also 5-2-1 against the spread without any rest. Tyrese Haliburton is out due to various injuries, and the Pacers are 0-6 without him. In this case, I’m backing the Bulls. — Moody

Boston Celtics at Miami Heat
7:30 p.m. ET, FTX Arena, Miami, Florida

Line: Heat (-3)
Money line: Heat (-155), Celtics (+130)
Total: 217.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 222.2 points
BPI Win%: Celtics (53.1%)

Questionable: Robert Williams III, Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon
Ruled Out: Duncan Robinson
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Victor Oladipo (rostered in 28.8% of ESPN leagues) Oladipo is thriving with his defined role in the Heat’s bench rotation. In the last 12 games, he has averaged 15.2 points, four rebounds, five assists, and 1.7 steals. If you need a streamer, don’t overlook Oladipo. — Moody

Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks
7:30 p.m. ET, Madison Square Garden, New York

Line: Cavaliers (-3.5)
Money line: Cavaliers (-165), Knicks (+140)
Total: 221.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 226.4 points
BPI Win%: Cavaliers (55.9%)

Probable: Donovan Mitchell
Questionable: Immanuel Quickley
Ruled Out: Mitchell Robinson
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Jericho Sims (rostered in 2.5% of ESPN leagues) had 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a block on 5-of-5 shooting Sunday against the Raptors and is averaging 11 points, 7.5 rebounds, a steal and has hit 11-of-11 shots in two games since Mitchell Robinson broke his thumb. Sims is not a must-have fantasy player just yet but he is the guy who will get the most opportunity with Robinson out for the foreseeable future. The matchup against Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley is not the most ideal situation but it will also be a good test for Sims. If you need a big man tonight he’s worth a look. — Alexander

Best bet: Evan Mobley over 23.5 points + rebounds. With Mitchell Robinson out due to surgery on his right thumb, Mobley should deliver a monster performance against the Knicks. He’s surpassed 23.5 PR in six consecutive games. — Moody

Best bet: Cavaliers -3.5. Despite their 9-14 road record, it’s hard to fade them when the spread is only 3.5 points and Donovan Mitchell should return on Tuesday night. The Cavaliers have also been one of the top defensive teams in the league. Cleveland ranks third in points allowed per 100 possessions. Against the spread, the Cavaliers have gone 3-1 in their last four games, while the Knicks have gone 1-4 in their last five games. This matchup should be dominated by Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley on the glass. — Moody

Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Pelicans
8 p.m. ET, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

Line: Nuggets (-1)
Money line: Nuggets (-115), Pelicans (-105)
Total: 230.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 233.8 points
BPI Win%: Nuggets (53.0%)

Questionable: Bones Hyland, Michael Porter Jr.
Ruled Out: Nikola Jokic
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Bruce Brown (rostered in 29.7% of ESPN leagues) Brown will replace Michael Porter Jr. in the starting lineup. Porter Jr. is questionable for Tuesday night’s game due to personal reasons. In six consecutive games, Brown has scored 22 or more fantasy points, including three games with 30 or more points. He continues to be an underrated fantasy player. — Moody

Best bet: Jonas Valanciunas over 27.5 points + rebounds. Valanciunas has averaged 18.2 points and 11.3 rebounds over the past 12 games and faces a Nuggets team that has struggled on defense this season. Denver ranks 20th in points allowed per 100 possessions and also allows opponents to make a high percentage of their field goals. — Moody

Washington Wizards at Dallas Mavericks
8:30 p.m. ET, American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

Line: Mavericks (-7.5)
Money line: Mavericks (-305), Wizards (+240)
Total: 224.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 231.5 points
BPI Win%: Mavericks (71.6%)

Questionable: Kendrick Nunn
Ruled Out: Kristaps Porzingis
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Tim Hardaway Jr. (rostered in 13.2% of ESPN leagues) While Hardaway’s fantasy value is heavily dependent on his field goal percentage, with Christian Wood out with a thumb injury, the Mavericks need someone to step up as a secondary scorer. Hardaway Jr. is a perfect candidate to do so. In Sunday’s game against the Clippers, he scored 41 fantasy points. — Moody

Fantasy streamer: Deni Avdija (rostered in 4.3% of ESPN leagues) Avdija is bound to get some extra work tonight with Kristaps Porzingis out and Rui Hachimura off to Los Angeles. That will force Kyle Kuzma to play even more big-man minutes and could lead Avdija to one of his better games of the season at small forward. Of course, he laid a complete goose egg against the Magic on Saturday when he missed all five of his shots and didn’t even score. He had 14 points and seven rebounds in his previous game and Saturday’s dud just helped assure that he’d be available for streaming/DFS purposes tonight. I’ll be surprised if Avdija doesn’t play well and contribute heavily tonight. — Alexander

Best bet: Kyle Kuzma over 33.5 combined points and rebounds. Kristaps Porzingis is set to miss time with an ankle injury and Rui Hachimura is now with the Lakers, clearing the way for Kuzma to get everything he can handle going forward. He’s coming off three straight double-doubles where he totaled 35, 40 and 17 points and boards, and had 40 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the game prior. In his previous meeting with the Mavericks this season, Kuz racked up 36 points and 11 rebounds and without any help tonight. He should get there easily if his shot is falling. — Alexander

Charlotte Hornets at Phoenix Suns
9 p.m. ET, Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona

Line: Suns (-6.5)
Money line: Suns (-260), Hornets (+210)
Total: 227 points
BPI Projected Total: 233.8 points
BPI Win%: Suns (75.1%)

Questionable: LaMelo Ball
Ruled Out: Cody Martin, Kelly Oubre Jr.
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Bismack Biyombo (rostered in 0.5% of ESPN leagues) Biyombo will start for the third straight game in place of Deandre Ayton tonight. He went off on the Pacers for 12 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks in 31 minutes on Saturday but then lasted just 16 minutes before fouling out with four points, three rebounds and one block against the Grizzlies on Sunday night. We’ve also got the revenge factor at work here as he’ll face his former teammates and I’ll be shocked if Biz doesn’t come out of this one with a double-double and a handful of blocks. I’m also probably rolling him in DFS. — Alexander

Fantasy streamer: Dennis Smith Jr. (rostered in 17.1% of ESPN leagues) Smith’s minutes figure to rise with LaMelo Ball out with a sprained ankle. Smith scored 36 fantasy points off the bench in the team’s latest game, but he should start now. Smith made 11 starts earlier this season, earning 30 MPG and contributing 10 PPG, 6.5 APG and 1.9 SPG — Eric Karabell

Best bet: Mikal Bridges over 28.5 points + assists + rebounds. Bridges has stepped up since Devin Booker has been out. He has averaged 23.8 points, 6.0 assists, and 3.8 rebounds over the past five games. — Moody

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