Odds, picks, betting tips for Wednesday’s Game 2s

ESPN Fantasy and Betting Analysts7 Minute Read

Why Kezirian has his eye on the Lakers series spread

Doug Kezirian explains why he likes the Lakers to advance in six games or less vs. the Grizzlies.

ESPN’s fantasy basketball and basketball betting tips cheat sheet is your pregame destination for basketball betting predictions and our best intel and data, featuring ESPN’s proprietary Basketball Power Index (BPI) to help you make smart fantasy and wagering decisions. NBA game odds for Wednesday are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.

What you need to know for Wednesday’s games

The availability of superstars Ja Morant and Giannis Antetokounmpo looms over tonight’s three-game schedule. Morant is listed as questionable after suffering an injury to his shooting hand in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers to open the series. Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported there’s not much optimism that the Memphis Grizzlies’ superstar will be ready to go, so it’s prudent to have contingency plans in place when building out lineups and pricing bets for tonight’s matchup in Memphis.

Antetokounmpo is listed as doubtful due to a back injury sustained in a loss to the Miami Heat. If Antetokounmpo misses the game, Jrue Holiday becomes a must-play in DFS lineups and arguably even for scoring props given what would be a sizable uptick in usage rate. Waiting for official lineups will prove critical tonight when building rosters.

In regards to the top bargains from this six-team player pool, Miami’s Gabe Vincent and Milwaukee’s Jevon Carter stand out as affordable guards to pair with the likes of Holiday, Jimmy Butler, and the other stars that will define tonight’s slate.

— Jim McCormick

Breaking down the slate

Los Angeles Lakers at Memphis Grizzlies
Game 2: 7:30 p.m. ET, Grizzlies series 1-0

Records (Against the Spread)
Lakers: 43-39 (39-41-2)
Grizzlies: 51-31 (37-42-3)

Line: Lakers (-1) Total: 226.5
BPI Projection: Grizzlies by 3.1
Money Line: Lakers (-115), Grizzlies (-105)

Injury Report:
Lakers: Anthony Davis, (GTD – Foot); Dennis Schroder, (GTD – Achilles); LeBron James, (GTD – Foot)
Grizzlies: Brandon Clarke, (OUT – Achilles); Ja Morant, (GTD – Hand); Jake LaRavia, (OUT – Calf); Steven Adams, (OUT – Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Jaren Jackson Jr. under 7.5 rebounds. Jackson corralled just 5 rebounds in Game 1 against the Lakers. Memphis has struggled on the glass significantly without Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke. The Lakers, meanwhile, are one of the better rebounding teams in the league. Anthony Davis and LeBron James both reached double-digit boards in Game 1. Jackson – especially if Morant is unable to go – will be busy expending most of his energy on offense and protecting the rim. — Tyler Fulghum

Best bet: Jaren Jackson Jr. over 22.5 points. Triple-J had 31 points against the Lakers in Game 1 and has scored 31, 31, 36, 40, 17 and 31 points in each of his last six games. He’ll be looked to for more offense if Morant is out and I’m fully expecting another dominant offensive performance from Jackson. He hit 54.7 percent of his shots from the floor over his final four regular-season games and hit 62 percent of his shots (13-of-21) in Game 1. The Grizzlies are going to leave it all on the table tonight and Jackson Jr. is going to have to have a monster game if they’re going to win. — Steve Alexander

Best bet: Austin Reaves over 23.5 points + assists + rebounds. Reaves is in the zone and I’m here for it. It’s no secret that the Lakers put him in positions where he can show off his talents, and he’s doing that. Reaves has surpassed 23.5 PAR in six of his last 10 games. His ability to create and score raises the ceiling of this Lakers team immensely. LeBron James trusts Reaves, too. You should trust him with this prop bet. – – Eric Moody

Best bet: Dennis Schroder over 12.5 points + assists. The name of the game for Schroder is availability. He has been dealing with a sore foot that has limited his playing time of late, including to only 20 minutes in Game 1. However, Schroder averaged 30.1 MPG this season overall, including 22.9 MPG in his games off the bench. When Schroder has played at least 22.9 minutes, you have to go back to February 13th to find a game where he notched less than 12.5 total points + assists. That’s a span of 18 straight overs, including in the play-in game last week. Thus, this best bet is really a bet that Schroder plays at least his normal allotment of 23 minutes off the bench tonight, and if so he has a great chance of going over. — Andre Snellings

Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks
Game 2: 9 p.m. ET, Bucks lead series 1-0

Records (Against the Spread)
Heat: 44-38 (30-49-3)
Bucks: 58-24 (42-34-6)

Line: Bucks (-6.5) Total: 219
BPI Projection: Bucks by 10.2
Money Line: Heat (+222), Bucks (-278)

Injury Report:
Heat: Kyle Lowry, (GTD – Knee); Nikola Jovic, (OUT – Back); Tyler Herro, (OUT – Hand)
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, (GTD – Back); Wesley Matthews, (OUT – Calf)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Max Strus over 13.5 points. Tyler Herro has a broken hand and won’t play tonight, meaning Strus should see a big role as the Heat look to take a 2-0 lead against the Bucks, who might be without Giannis Antetokounmpo (back). Strus played 38 minutes in Game 1 but I think that’s a fluke. And while it’s true that Strus didn’t score more than 12 points in any of their previous five meetings this season, the absence of Herro is big for him. Strus should be primed for a breakout game tonight. — Alexander

Best bet: Gabe Vincent over 15.5 points + assists + rebounds. Vincent is in line for a ton of minutes with Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro both dealing with injuries. He surpassed 15.5 PAR in Game 1. Vincent has averaged 15.8 points, 3.7 assists, and 2.7 rebounds in 12 games without Herro this season. He’s in a very good spot to meet or exceed those averages. — Moody

Minnesota Timberwolves at Denver Nuggets
Game 2: 10 p.m. ET, Nuggets lead series 1-0

Records (Against the Spread)
Timberwolves: 42-40 (40-42-0)
Nuggets: 53-29 (44-37-1)

Line: Nuggets (-8.5) Total: 222.5
BPI Projection: Nuggets by 10.4
Money Line: Timberwolves (+278), Nuggets (-355)

Injury Report:
Timberwolves: Jaylen Nowell, (GTD – Knee); Rudy Gobert, (GTD – Back); Jaden McDaniels, (OUT – Hand); Naz Reid, (OUT – Wrist)
Nuggets: Nikola Jokic, (GTD – Wrist)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Nuggets (-8.5). Denver absolutely dismantled the T-Wolves in the first game of the series. Minnesota — having played two play-in games to get here – has got to be a little fatigued. Playing at altitude in Denver doesn’t help that, either. I expect the Nuggets to go up 2-0 in the series and do so with a cover in Game 2. — Fulghum

Best bet: Anthony Edwards under 23.5 points. Edwards scored 29 points against Denver way back on Jan. 2 but hasn’t scored more than 20 points against them in his last four tries. Denver is healthy and playing some shutdown defense, while the Wolves will be trying to feed Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley, in addition to Edwards, who averaged 24.6 points per game this season. Edwards could easily get hot and make me look like a fool but history is on our side here and the pressure of the playoffs spotlight might be too bright for the young star. — Alexander

Best bet: Nikola Jokic over 8.5 assists. Jokic averaged 12.7 APG in three regular season games against the Timberwolves this season. He could have easily gone over 8.5 assists in Game 1, but it was such a blowout that he only played 28 minutes and dished 6 assists. This game should be more competitive, so I expect Jokic to produce more similarly to his usual distribution output on Wednesday. — Snellings

Best bet: Aaron Gordon over 20.5 points + rebounds. With the personnel Minnesota has, the Timberwolves should continue to have a hard time defending Gordon in Game 2. In his last five games against the Timberwolves, Gordon’s averaged 17.0 points and 6.4 rebounds. He should continue to prosper on Wednesday night. — Moody

Best bet: Karl-Anthony Towns over 20.5 points. Towns entered Game 1 of this series on a tear, having averaged 25.2 PPG in his previous five games (including the two play-in games) while scoring at least 22 points in all five outings. He laid an egg in Game 1, but typically plays well against the Nuggets so I’m looking for a bounce back in Game 2. — Snellings