Fantasy basketball tips and NBA betting picks for Sunday

ESPN’s Basketball & Fantasy Basketball Betting Tips Cheat Sheet is your pre-game destination for basketball betting predictions and our best information and data to help you make smart fantasy and betting decisions. NBA game odds for Nov. 6 are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy tips are based on ESPN 10-team leagues.


What you need to know for Sunday’s games

At home and at home: The Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls have a home-and-away game over the next two days, giving bettors twice the motivation to handicap this game. Since the start of last season, Toronto has been one of the best road ATS teams (28-16 ATS), but Chicago has been phenomenal in front of their home crowd (28-18 ATS). Both teams tend to approach .500 in the opposite situation (Toronto at home and Chicago on the road), so trend-wise it looks like a strength-on-strength, weakness-on-weakness situation.

But what if you think these matches will be close? Toronto was slated for five more wins in the preseason, but is dealing with a few injuries. Since the start of last season, the Raptors are 34-20 ATS in games under five points (16-8 at home, 18-12 on the road) while the Bulls are 26-27 ATS in such places (13-12 at home, 13-15 on the road). Track the status of Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam, but if either succeeds, the odds are in favor of Canada’s best in this game.

In pursuit of precious: To stick with the Raptors, it’s time to field Precious Achiuwa ahead of today’s action. All-Star forward Pascal Siakam is listed as a doubt with a groin injury that saw him leave the team’s final game early. With Siakam’s heavily used game on the floor, Achiuwa can be expected to manage more minutes, touches, rebound chances and defensive opportunities in the paint. You can find Achiuwa in free agency in over 90% of ESPN leagues and at great prices on major DFS platforms.

Does the thrill: The Wizards will be without star guard Bradley Beal for today’s game against Memphis due to health and safety protocols. Beal has averaged a dozen more touches per game than any other player on the team, so his absence is significant in terms of attacking opportunities. Monte Morris (45% available in ESPN leagues) is well positioned to outperform scoring and passing props, while Will Barton (81%) is in a prime position as a streaming contender on a light Sunday slate. While Barton has a somewhat volatile game when it comes to hot and cold from the floor, his game and shot creation should increase significantly with Beal sidelined.

Smelt the King: LeBron James is piling up the count numbers for this Lakers team that’s stuck in the mud and could well continue this afternoon against his former employer…but not on the glass. To no one’s surprise, the Cavs are among the Association’s elite rebounding teams and that’s proven to be an obstacle for The King this season. Three of his four double-digit rebounding games have come against teams with average to below-average rebounding rates, the only exception being a 10-rebound game against the Pelicans … in a game that went to overtime and ended. saw New Orleans opt for punching (Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum scored 49 points in 78 minutes) over size (Jonas Valanciunas played just 22 minutes).

This game is unlikely to go to overtime and there’s no way the Cavs are getting small. The Lakers travel to play in the thin air of Utah tomorrow, so if this game is one-sided, a lower than normal minutes total for James is also possible. Boutique price, but betting less on its bounce props is viable.

–Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe

break the slate

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Los Angeles Lakers
3:30 p.m. ET, Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA

Line: Cavaliers (-3)
Money line: Cavaliers (-165), Lakers (+140)
Total: 223.5 points
BPI Total projected: 230.4 points
BPI gain %: Riders (56.6%)

Questionable: Anthony Davis (back), Donovan Mitchell (ankle), Darius Garland (knee)
Note: BPI figures take excluded players into account, but assume questionable players will play.

Fantasy Streamer: Cedi Osman (available in 97.6% of leagues) and Raul Neto (available in 99.8% of leagues) are two risky plays with an advantage on Sunday, pending the status of Darius Garland (knee) and Donovan Mitchell (ankle). Garland and Mitchell sat out Friday with injuries, and Osman (15 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 3-pointers, 25 minutes) and Neto (10 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 24 minutes) took advantage of their extended run to produce lines of statistics worthy of fantasy. That could replicate Sunday against the Cavs, still pending the availability of Garland and Mitchell. Stay tuned. — Andre Snellings

Best bet: LeBron James with over 7.5 assists. James is averaging 7.5 APG this season as the Lakers continue to pick up the pace. In terms of possessions per game, Los Angeles ranks third in the league. According to head coach Darvin Ham, James has been battling a virus for the past two games but “he’s got his energy back”. James has played in 18 games against the Cavaliers and is averaging 7.1 APG, but over the last four he has averaged 8.5 APG. He should bounce back well and that’s a bet I would favor. — Eric Moody

Chicago Bulls vs. Toronto Raptors
6 p.m. ET, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Line: Raptors (-1.5)
Money line: Raptors (-125), Bulls (+105)
Total: 219.5 points
BPI Total projected: 226.5 dots
BPI gain %: Raptors (71.6%)

Questionable: Zach LaVine (knee), Fred VanVleet (back)
Excluded: Pascal Siakam (thigh), Coby White (quad), Andre Drummond (shoulder)
Note: BPI figures are for excluded players, but assume questionable players will play.

Fantasy Streamer: Chris Boucher (available in 50.9% of leagues) has already stepped up production lately and could be even more popular on Sunday. Boucher has averaged 17.0 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.5 3PG, 1.0 SPG and 1.0 BPG in 27.5 MPG over his last two outings. And, with Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet out and Fred VanVleet listed as questionable but having played the last three games, the Raptors will rely more on their rotation guys than usual on Sunday. — Snelling

Washington Wizards at Memphis Grizzlies
6 p.m. ET, FedExForum, Memphis, TN

Line: Grizzlies (-10)
Money line: Grizzlies (-520), Wizards (+400)
Total: 225.5 dots
BPI Total projected: 236 dots
BPI gain %: Grizzlies (68.5%)

Excluded: Bradley Beal (health and safety protocols)
Note: BPI figures take excluded players into account, but assume questionable players will play.

Best bet: Grizzlies -10. The Wizards rank 22nd in points scored per 100 possessions and 29th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Besides not being a great offensive or defensive team, Washington has also delivered some epic performances from the point guards this season, which bodes well for Ja Morant. The Grizzlies rank second in points scored per 100 possessions. Memphis is also 2-1 ATS as the home favourite. The team finished 20-13 ATS as home favorites last season with a similar formation. — Moody

Best bet: Steven Adams on 9.5 rebounds. Adams has been a solid veteran leader for the Grizzlies since arriving in 2021. Despite this being his 10th season in the NBA, Adams is still posting big numbers. On Friday, he topped the Hornets with 19 rebounds in just 22 minutes. On Sunday, Adams has what it takes to put on a similar performance against Kristap Porzingis downstairs. He’s had 10 or more rebounds in five of the Grizzlies’ last six games. — Moody

Utah Jazz at LA Clippers
10 p.m. ET, Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA

Line: Mowers (-4.5)
Money line: Clippers (-190), Jazz (+158)
Total: 223.5 points
BPI Total projected: 229.2 points
BPI gain %: Mowers (56.6%)

Excluded: Kawhi Leonard (knee), Robert Covington (illness), Luke Kennard (chest)
Note: BPI figures take excluded players into account, but assume questionable players will play.

Streamer Fantasy: Reggie Jackson (available in 82.5% of leagues) is one of many potential streaming options for this game, including teammate Norman Powell and opponents Kelly Olynyk and Jarred Vanderbilt. I went with Jackson here because a) I detailed Olynyk and Vanderbilt in other spaces recently and hope they’re already on your radar if you’re looking for a big man to stream and b) because Jackson has quietly had two solid games of it in a row and has explosive potential. Jackson’s role is smaller this season with John Wall in the fold, but he’s proven 20+ PPG upside scoring in any game he gets hot. In his last two games, he averaged 13.0 PPG, 4.0 APG, 2.0 RPG, and 1.0 3PG in 35.0 MPG. — Snelling

Best bet: Jazz +4.5 points. The Jazz have been better than the Clippers in every way this season, with a better record and a much better scoring differential. The Clippers have won three straight against lesser competition, but they’re still without Kawhi Leonard and appear to be learning to play with the team they currently have. The Jazz, on the other hand, have been themselves and played at their (shocking) level all season. I think the Jazz should be the team that gives the points, and in-game predictor BPI agrees, projecting the Jazz as a 1.8-point favorite with a 56.6% chance of winning outright. — Snelling

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