The 2023 NBA season kicks off with a two-game slate on opening night featuring the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors. When it comes to Underdog Fantasy Pick'em there are plenty of player projections to sort through for today's entries. 

When breaking down today's slate we are focusing on a pair of Phoenix Suns in their matchup against the Golden State Warriors and a member of the Denver Nuggets who may be going over looked tonight. 

Let's get to our tip Underdog Fantasy Pick'em plays for tonight's NBA slate! 

Underdog Fantasy Pick'em NBA Top Picks & Plays


Bradley Beal, Phoenix Suns

Beal joins the Suns after being traded to Phoenix this offseason as part of a three-team deal. Part of that deal saw the Suns trade away Chris Paul. That note is important here because Beal now becomes the starting point guard for the Suns this season as he joins the likes of Devin Booker and Kevin Durant who are already on the roster. For today's play we are focusing on his assist projection which is set at 4.5 assists. 

Last season Beal finisher with higher than 4.5 assists in nearly 70-percent of the games he played as he acted as the primary facilitator on the Washington Wizards roster. Now the starting point guard for the Suns with much better offensive talent around him it would seem likely that Beal would have little trouble finishing with higher than 4.5 assists in this matchup as both Devin Booker and Kevin Durant are elite scorers in the NBA.

All-Pro subscribers to Fantasy Alarm get access to our daily fantasy projections for the NBA and for Beal's matchup against the Warriors on Tuesday we have him projected to finish with more than 4.5 assists this evening.

Pick: Higher than 4.5 Assists

UPDATE: Bradley Beal is now DOUBTFUL to play this evening! 


Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns

Durant begins his first full season in Phoenix after the shocking mid-season trade last year which saw him dealt by the Brooklyn Nets. For today's entry we are looking at the rebound projection for Durant which is currently set at 8.0 rebounds.

Last season Durant finished with a total lower than 8.0 rebounds in 70-percent of his regular season contests. With the Suns addition of Jusuf Nurkic this offseason as part of the three team trade which saw Damian Lillard dealt to the Bucks, there could be fewer rebounds to go around for Durant who will be stuck out on the perimeter. Adding to the potential struggles on the glass is the Suns opponent in this matchup as Warriors center Kevon Looney is one of the NBA's best pure rebounders. 

With Draymond Green already ruled out there is a high chance that Looney sees extended floor time in this game.

Referring back out the Fantasy Alarm daily projections, we also project Durant to finish with lower than 8.0 rebounds in Tuesday's contest.

And lastly, if you want to go check out some Vegas odds, most have the rebound projection for Durant set at 7.5 so, Underdog Fantasy is giving us an extra 0.5 rebounds to play with here.

Pick: Lower than 8.0 Rebounds


Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Denver Nuggets

We often consider KCP to be a three-and-D player which makes his projections outside of three-pointers and blocks+steals occasionally risky but for today we are focusing on his rebounds projection which is set at 2.5 boards.

Last season we saw KCP finish with higher than 2.5 rebounds in 50-percent of his games played. While that number may not seem all that high, it is also worth noting that the Nuggets personnel has changed a bit this offseason, notably, Bruce Brown is no longer on the roster. Brown played a lot of minutes for the Nuggets last season and was aggressive on both ends of the floor. His absence not only secures minutes for KCP in the Nuggets backcourt but should also free him up a bit for a few more loose rebounds that may hit the floor.

The Fantasy Alarm daily projections also have KCP finishing with higher than 2.5 rebounds in this matchup against the Lakers on opening night.

Pick: Higher than 2.5 Rebounds

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