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What you need to know for tonight’s NBA slate
Count Out Kyrie: Kyrie Irving has exclusively played road games but was unable to travel to Toronto due to the vaccine mandates in Canada. Cam Thomas scored 20-plus points six times in Feb. and should get extended run tonight.
Rocket Ship: Garrison Mathews quietly averaged 11.7 points per game in Feb. and knocked down multiple triples in four straight to close the month. His most recent game? 17 points (in 26 minutes) with four made 3’s against the same Clippers team he faces tonight.
Stephen Cousy: The Mavericks aggressively denied and doubled Stephen Curry in Sunday’s epic comeback, a strategy that led to him quickly passing to open shooters. Minnesota employed a similar approach to James Harden last Friday, resulting in 12 dimes. With Draymond Green and Klay Thompson sidelined for tonight’s matchup against the Timberwolves, Curry’s assist prop (7.5) appears attainable. He paced the Warriors with 68 passes on Sunday — well above his season average of 49.6 and 27 more than any teammate.
That’s the Point: With Kevin Porter Jr. questionable for tonight’s game against the Clippers, Dennis Schroder could shine as the team’s lead distributor. He flirted with a triple-double in this role against the Clippers on Saturday and has averaged 7.8 assists since joining Houston at the deadline.
Next Mann Up: With Norman Powell out, Terance Mann has averaged 16 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.7 SPG and 33 MPG over a six-game sample. He has at least one steal in nine straight games and multiple swipes in six of those. Mann — who is rostered in just 22% of leagues — is an ideal streaming option for tonight’s matchup against the Rockets.
Bogdan Balling: Bogdan Bogdanovic has been the main statistical beneficiary from John Collins’ absence in Atlanta’s rotation over the past five games. He’s averaged 28.2 combined points, rebounds, and assists during this time. With Collins listed as doubtful for Tuesday night, Bogdanovic could play an important role against Boston tonight. — Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe
Game of the Night
Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers; 10 p.m.
Line: Mavericks (-5.5)
Moneyline: Mavericks (-220), Lakers (+180)
Total: 217 points
BPI Projected Total: 220 points
BPI Win%: Mavericks (68.6%)
Key players ruled out: Anthony Davis, Avery Bradley
Notable: Everyone is aware of the struggles in Los Angeles, but how about the printing press that the Mavericks have been of late? They’ve covered eight of their past nine, with under tickets cashing in six of those nine games.
Best bet: Luka Doncic over 50.5 total points + assists + rebounds
Doncic averaged 34.7 PPG, 10.3 RPG, and 8.8 APG in Feb with a 42% usage rate. He should thrive against the Lakers, who have struggled defensively against point guards all season. Doncic averaged 25.0 points, 9.3 assists, and 7.0 rebounds in his past three games against the Lakers. — Eric Moody
Best bet: Mavericks -5.5.
The Lakers and Mavericks are moving in opposite directions right now. The Mavs have won seven of their last nine games, with an average scoring margin of +7.7 points during that stretch. The Lakers have lost five of six games with an average margin of -7.5. The Lakers lost by 28 points at home in their last outing, and could bounce-back, but the levels of play suggest the Mavs should have the advantage tonight. — André Snellings
Breaking down the rest of the slate
Detroit Pistons at Washington Wizards; 7 p.m.
Line: Wizards (-3.5)
Moneyline: Wizards (-170), Pistons (+150)
Total: 218 points
BPI Projected Total: 219.5 points
BPI Win%: Wizards (56.8%)
Key players ruled out: Kristaps Porzingis
Notable: The Wizards may be without the services of Bradley Beal and struggling to cover spreads at home (1-8-1 in their past 10), but four of their past five games in front of their home crowd have gone over the total.
Best bet: Kyle Kuzma over 35.5 total points + assists + rebounds
Kuzma has scored 30 or more points in his last two games. He averaged 21 PPG, 8.8 RPG and 4.3 APG per game in Feb. with a 27.2% usage rate. The Pistons rank 25th in points allowed per 100 possessions while giving up a high percentage of offensive rebounds to opponents. — Moody
Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics; 7:30 p.m.
Line: Celtics (-6.5)
Moneyline: Celtics (-265), Hawks (+215)
Total: 223.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 219 points
BPI Win%: Celtics (70.7%)
Key players ruled out: none
Notable: The NBA is a game of runs and the Hawks are on one. They’ve seen five straight games go over the total, this coming on the heels of an 11 game stretch that saw nine of 11 Atlanta games go under.
Best bet: Jayson Tatum over 38.5 total points + assists + rebounds
Tatum has averaged 30.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in three games against the Hawks this season. The Hawks rank 24th in points allowed per possession, allow a high effective field goal percentage and don’t create turnovers. Tatum is positioned to have a big game on Tuesday night. — Moody
Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors; 7:30 p.m.
Line: Raptors (-8.5)
Moneyline: Raptors (-365), Nets (+280)
Total: 219 points
BPI Projected Total: 218.5 points
BPI Win%: Raptors (73.2%)
Key players ruled out: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, OG Anunoby
Notable: It’s a rematch of last night, but this time it’s north of the border and that matters. The Nets have covered three straight on the road and have seen the over come through in each of their past five away games.
DFS value: Pascal Siakam ($8300 on FD, $8900 on DK)
Siakam has averaged 21 PPG, 9.0 RPG, and 5.3 APG over the past 15 games while playing 37.4 MPG this season. The Nets are near the bottom of the league in terms of defense, allowing 113.4 points per 100 possessions and a high number of offensive rebounds. You can build a strong DFS lineup around Siakam. — Moody
Golden State Warriors at Minnesota Timberwolves; 8:00 p.m.
Line: Warriors (-1)
Moneyline: Timberwolves (-110), Warriors (-110)
Total: 231 points
BPI Projected Total: 235.5 points
BPI Win%: Timberwolves (50%)
Key players ruled out: Draymond Green, Klay Thompson
Notable: The Warriors opened February by covering as 6.5-point dogs in San Antonio, but they managed just one cover for the rest of the month.
Best bet: Stephen Curry over 39.5 total points + assists + rebounds
Curry averaged 24 PPG, 7.7 APG, and 4.2 RPG in Feb. The Timberwolves are the worst team in the league when it comes to defensive rebounding and Curry and the Warriors should be able to benefit from the additional shot attempts. — Moody
Best bet: Under 231 points
The Timberwolves Home/Road scoring split has been one of the surest bets in sports for the past month. Minnesota and their opponents have combined to score more than 244 PPG on the road for their last 15-plus road games, but at home, both teams have combined to average about 25 PPG fewer. This game is in Minnesota, where these two teams combined for 218 points the last time they faced off. — Snellings
LA Clippers at Houston Rockets; 8:00 p.m.
Line: Clippers (-7)
Moneyline: Clippers (-290), Rockets (+230)
Total: 229.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 219.5 points
BPI Win%: Clippers (60.5%)
Key players ruled out: none
Notable: The Clippers failed to cover on Sunday in a 99-98 win over these Rockets, but they had covered each of the five games prior. Potentially more noteworthy: Sunday’s game marked a fourth under in six games for the Clippers (directly following an 8-1-1 run for the overs).
Best bet: Ivica Zubac over 23.5 total points + assists + rebounds
Centers have been very successful against the Rockets this season with an average of 25.7 PPG, 15.7 RPG, and 3.6 APG. Zubac could be set for a big game. He averaged 13.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks in his past two games against the Rockets. — Moody
BPI highest projected totals
1. Golden State Warriors (117.7 points)
2. Minnesota Timberwolves (117.7 points)
3. Toronto Raptors (112.7 points)
BPI lowest projected totals
1. Brooklyn Nets (105.8 points)
2. Atlanta Hawks (106.5 points)
3. Los Angeles Lakers (107.1 points)
BPI top probability to win (straight up)
1. Toronto Raptors (73.2%)
2. Boston Celtics (70.7%)
3. Dallas Mavericks (68.6%)
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