Fantasy basketball tips and NBA betting picks for Sunday

Unconditional Love: Our dogs give us unconditional love, and home underdogs have given us unconditional love when catching more than five points this season (58.9% cover rate, +13.5 units money line). Neither the Pistons (12-34 this season) nor the Spurs (13-30, 1-7 since New Year’s Eve) is a “comfortable bet,” but be careful in blindly fading them in any capacity.

Project Points, Back ‘dogs: Any metric you use will spit out an overwhelming projection when it comes to total points in this Kings-Spurs game: — top-10 pace, bottom-10 defense, etc. You get the idea. In games this season with a projected total of at least 240 points, underdogs are 13-6-2. Embrace some potential chaos with the high point total in this spot!

Following the breadcrumbs: Look at enough numbers and you’re often talked into both sides of any bet. Any bet besides this early Knicks-Pistons game, that is. Try these trends on for size: 12 of the past 18 Pistons games have gone over, three of their past four games against bottom-8 pace teams have gone over, overs are 9-3-1 in the past 14 Knicks games, and overs are 9-1 this season when the Knicks are favored by more than four points. Sheesh. Want to isolate a wager or stack up a SGP? Sportscenter’s Phil Murphy notes that third quarter overs are an insane 16-3-1 in Detroit home games. Pick a thread to pull … they all end up at the same spot!

Game of the night

Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers
9:30 p.m. ET, Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles

Line: 76ers (-3)
Money line: 76ers (-165), Lakers (+140)
Total: 234 points
BPI Projected Total: 233.4 points
BPI Win%: 76ers (70.6%)

Questionable: Patrick Beverley
Ruled Out: Anthony Davis, Lonnie Walker IV, Austin Reaves
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Breaking down the rest of the slate

New York Knicks at Detroit Pistons
1 p.m. ET, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan

Line: Pistons (-7.5)
Money line: Knicks (-320), Pistons (+250)
Total: 226 points
BPI Projected Total: 229.7 points
BPI Win%: Knicks (76.7%)

Questionable: Isaiah Stewart
Ruled Out: Cory Joseph, Jalen Duren
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Killian Hayes (available in 67.4% of leagues) is a staple in this space because he remains available in more than two-thirds of leagues. He should really be universally rostered at this point. In his six games since the year flipped to 2023, Hayes has averaged 15.5 PPG, 7.8 APG, 2.5 RPG, 2.3 SPG and 2.0 3PG. — Andre Snellings

Best bet: Jalen Brunson over 25.5 points. Brunson has been wielding the blowtorch for the entire year of 2023. For the last few games I’ve expected him to come back down to earth, and he just keeps going bigger. Brunson is averaging 33.3 PPG in the six games since the calendar turned and has been over 25.5 points in five straight. He’s facing a Pistons team that has allowed the second-most points to opposing point guards this season. — Snellings

Houston Rockets at LA Clippers
3 p.m. ET, Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California

Line: Clippers (-9.5)
Money line: Clippers (-455), Rockets (+345)
Total: 221 points
BPI Projected Total: 224.4 points
BPI Win%: Clippers (76.7%)

Questionable: Luke Kennard, Paul George
Ruled Out: Kevin Porter Jr.
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Golden State Warriors at Chicago Bulls
3:30 p.m. ET, United Center, Chicago, Illinois

Line: Warriors (-4.5)
Money line: Warriors (-190), Bulls (+158)
Total: 239 points
BPI Projected Total: 232.2 points
BPI Win%: Warriors (60.9%)

Questionable: Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan
Ruled Out: James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, JaMychal Green
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Anthony Lamb (available in 98.8% of leagues) caught fire while Andrew Wiggins and Stephen Curry were out and hasn’t slowed appreciably since their return. Lamb has scored double-digits in four of his last five games, averaging 16.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.8 3PG and 2.6 APG in 27.0 MPG over that stretch. Lamb dropped to 24 minutes in his last game, and presumably he’ll lose time eventually with the starter’s return, but he still managed 14 points, 5 boards, 3 3-pointers, 2 steals and 1 block in those 24 minutes and makes a viable streamer candidate on Sunday. — Snellings

Oklahoma City Thunder at Brooklyn Nets
6 p.m. ET, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Line: Nets (-4.5)
Money line: Nets (-190), Thunder (+158)
Total: 229.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 229.4 points
BPI Win%: Nets (74.3%)

Ruled Out: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Aleksej Pokusevski, Kevin Durant
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Sacramento Kings at San Antonio Spurs
7 p.m. ET, AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

Line: Kings (-7)
Money line: Kings (-285), Spurs (+228)
Total: 245 points
BPI Projected Total: 241.7 points
BPI Win%: Kings (70.4%)

Questionable: Kevin Huerter
Ruled Out: Devin Vassell
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Malik Monk (available in 89.0% of leagues) is a streaker player that seems to be in the midst of a strong streak. In his last three games, he’s scored double digits wll three times, averaging 13.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.3 APG and 2.0 3PG in 20.7 MPG off the bench. He’s got a season-high of 33 points, set at the end of 2023, and could have a big game on any given day. — Snellings

Best bet: De’Aaron Fox over 6.5 assists. Fox tends to dish either a handful of assists or flirt with double-digits, with little middle ground. In his last nine games, Fox has between 9 and 13 assists in five outings and 5 and 6 assists in the other four. He’s dished nine assists in three of his last four games, and on Sunday faces a Spurs team tied for the seventh-most assists allowed to opposing point guards. —Snellings

Orlando Magic at Denver Nuggets
8 p.m. ET, Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado

Line: Nuggets (-10.5)
Money line: Nuggets (-550), Magic (+400)
Total: 234.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 231.5 points
BPI Win%: Nuggets (81.1%)

Questionable: Jalen Suggs
Ruled Out: Jonathan Isaac, Chuma Okeke
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers
9 p.m. ET, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

Line: Blazers (-6)
Money line: Blazers (-225), Mavericks (+185)
Total: 224.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 233.8 points
BPI Win%: Blazers (65%)

Ruled Out: Justise Winslow, Nassir Little, Josh Green, Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

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