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Jump ahead: Games of the night | Analytics edge
What you need to know for Wednesday’s play-in games
Bench Mobs: Charlotte and Atlanta meet in a game that claims a healthy total hovering around 236 points. Such a tally suggests stacking from these rosters could prove rewarding. In a night with just two games, finding fringe rotation contributors with high ceilings is key. Atlanta’s Bogdan Bogdanovic has averaged a team-high 9.7 3-pointers attempted per 36 minutes this season — nearly one more than Trae Young per game. Bogdanovic claims a PRA (points + assists + rebounds) prop of 24.5 on DraftKings, a clip he’s surpassed in eight of his past 12 appearances for Atlanta. The Hornets’ Kelly Oubre Jr. lofted 28 3-pointers against the Hawks in four meetings this season and, like Bogdanovic, paces his team with 10 3-pointers per 36 minutes. Even though the floors are somewhat low — especially with Oubre — these bench microwaves claim slate-shifting ceilings.
Point Forward: Somewhat lost in the shuffle in New Orleans this season is the fact Brandon Ingram averaged a career-high 5.6 assists. Betting markets are a bit more hip to Ingram’s passing prowess, as his assist prop for tonight’s matchup with the Spurs sits at 5.5, and yet, there’s still value in this number given he’s produced at least six dimes in 11 of his last 13 appearances for the Pelicans. As a DFS building block for tonight’s two-game slate, it’s helpful to note Ingram averaged 24.5 points and nine combined assists and rebounds against the Spurs in two meetings this season. Such rates should be considered closer to his production floor in a game that will demand around 40 minutes of exposure from this emergent playmaker.
Wild Card: Volatility is simply part of Danilo Gallinari’s game; in his final six appearances for Atlanta this season, his scoring log went 25, 4, 15, 26, 7 and 26 points. With John Collins ruled out with the rival for tonight’s tilt Hornets, it’s notable that Gallinari sees his usage and rebounding rates swell whenever Collins is off the floor. If you can embrace the inherent variance of his game in daily fantasy lineups, there’s payoff potential in this play-in matchup with a Charlotte team that has allowed 47.7 fantasy DraftKings points per game to power forwards – the seventh-highest rate in the league.
Block Party: You might be familiar with San Antonio’s Jakob Poeltl based on the fun daily NBA quiz game that references his surname, but for this evening against the Pelicans, it’s best to consider him a savvy target for DFS value and defensive props. Like with Cleveland’s Evan Mobley on Tuesday, in Poeltl we find an elite rim protector poised to play heavy minutes in a pivotal game. Poeltl led the NBA this season in shots defended per game within six feet of the basket and finished fifth in blocks per game and sixth in block percentage. It could make sense to target achievable block (1.5) and rebounding props (8.5) for Poeltl in a matchup with a large New Orleans frontcourt that he averaged 30 minutes, 10.5 rebounds and 2.25 blocks against in four meetings this season.
— Jim McCormick
Games of the night
no. 10 Charlotte Hornets at No. 9 Atlanta Hawks
7 pm ET, State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA
Line: Hawks (-4.5)
Moneyline: Hawks (-190), Hornets (+160)
Total: 260 points
BPI Projected Total: 224.2 points
BPI Win%: Hawks (68.9%)
Key players ruled out: John Collins
Notable: The Hawks have covered the spread in each of their last six games as favorites.
Best bet: Trae Young over 46.5 points + assists + rebounds. Young is getting hot at the right time against an exploitable Hornets team. He has averaged 32.3 PPG, 10.3 APG and 3.3 RPG over his past seven games. The Hornets rank 20th in points allowed per 100 possessions and allow opponents to shoot a high effective field goal percentage and collect a ton of offensive rebounds. — Eric Moody
Best bet: Clint Capela over 25.5 points + rebounds. Capela is another Hawks player on the rise. He has averaged 16 PPG and 12 RPG over the last four games. Capela has an advantageous matchup against the Hornets, who have struggled to defend the interior all season. Centers averaged 25.3 PPG and 17 RPG against Charlotte during the regular season. — moody
Best bet: Under 236 points. The Hornets and Hawks combined to average just 226 PPG during their four meetings this season, and the number drops to 215 if their Dec. 5 games are excluded. Several key offensive players are also expected to be absent from both teams. — moody
I agree with Moody for many of the same reasons. In addition, each of the lead guards in this series, Young, LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier, all struggled offensively in their matchups this season. Young and Ball have played better as of late, but these teams played just a few weeks ago, and the story was the same. This is playoff basketball, which typically means a more physical and potentially lower-scoring game. — André Snellings
no. 10 San Antonio Spurs at No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans
9:30 pm ET, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
Line: Pelicans (-5.5)
Moneyline: Pelicans (-220), Spurs (+180)
Total: 227.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 217.3 points
BPI Win%: Pelicans (69.6%)
Key players ruled out: none
Notable: The Spurs have won each of their last four games as underdogs against the Pelicans.
Erin Dolan explains why she expects Dejounte Murray to have a big game from deep against the Pelicans.
Best bet: Dejounte Murray over 40.5 points + assists + rebounds. Murray’s presence on the court against the Mavericks on Sunday was encouraging. He should have a great game against a Pelicans team that ranks 18th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Murray averaged 18.3 PPG, 10.0 APG and 10 RPG in four games against the Pelicans during the regular season. — moody
Best bet: Dejounte Murray over 7.5 rebounds. Murray is one of the best rebounding guards in the league, and has averaged 9.8 RPG against the Pelicans this season. Murray had double-digit rebounds in two of their four games, and has gone over 7.5 rebounds in three of those games. — Snelling
Best bet: Jonas Valanciunas over 30.5 points + rebounds. Valanciunas has had an excellent season and averaged 18 PPG and 11.4 RPG for the Pelicans. Centers have excelled against the Spurs all season, who give up a lot of offensive rebounds to opponents. — moody
Best bet: Under 227.5. The Spurs and Pelicans have averaged 220.5 PPG combined in four games this season. Only one of those games went over 227.5 points. — moody
BPI highest projected totals
1. Atlanta Hawks (114.8 points)
2. New Orleans Pelicans (111.5 points)
3. Charlotte Hornets (109.4 points)
BPI lowest projected totals
1. San Antonio Spurs (105.8 points)
2. Charlotte Hornets (109.4 points)
3. New Orleans Pelicans (111.5 points)
BPI ball probability to win (straight up)
1. Atlanta Hawks (69%)
2. New Orleans Pelicans (69.8)
3. San Antonio Spurs (30.2%)