The NBA Game Breakdown takes an in-depth look at all of the games on the schedule each day in terms of expected pace of play, Vegas lines and defense vs. position matchups.

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SPURS AT PACERS

Game Analysis

There aren’t too many individual matchups that I would consider favorable on Monday between the Pacers (19-32) and the Spurs (32-18). I’ve got Kawhi Leonard listed below, but really only because he is averaging over 40 FPPG over his last three games played. I like Leonard and the rest of the Spurs to manhandle the Pacers, enough to cover the -4.5 spread anyway. Maybe “manhandle” is a strong word, but you get the point – don’t be shocked to see a double-digit win by the Spurs. I know the Spurs 12-11 road record gives some pause, although they have won three out of their last four road games. The Pacers, ranked 26th overall in the league in points per game (95.5), have won four out of their last six games and aren’t suffering any major injuries to their starting lineup. The Pacers only chance of regaining any steam this season will be the return of Paul George, which may not be for another month yet.

Line: SA -4.5, Over/Under: 191

Players to Watch

  • Kawhi Leonard, SF, Spurs – 3rd OPRK ($7,700)
  • David West, PF, Pacers – 14th OPRK ($6,300)
  • Roy Hibbert, C, Pacers – 18th OPRK ($5,600)
  • Tony Parker, PG, Spurs  – 15th OPRK ($4,900)

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WARRIORS AT 76ERS

Game Analysis

Guess who’s going to win this game? Since there’s no line whatsoever and no over/under, the obvious points to the Warriors (40-9) who have a 17-7 road record this season and face a 76ers (12-40) club that ranks 30th in the league in points per game (89.9), 25th in assists per game (20.3) and 21st in points allowed (100.8). What does all that add up to? I don’t know, but it’s a lot of negative junk in the 76ers backpack. The 76ers really don’t have a prayer defensively, as the Warriors rank 1st in the league in points per game with 111.3. Robert Covington is the only 76ers player I like with the possibility that Michael Carter-Williams may sit this one out with a foot injury. Even if MCW is ready to go, he’s someone I’d shy away from since he’s not 100 percent.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Stephen Curry, PG, Warriors – 23rd OPRK ($10,400)
  • Klay Thompson, SG, Warriors – 29th OPRK ($8,100)
  • Draymond Green, PF, Warriors – 26th OPRK ($7,500)
  • Robert Covington, PF, 76ers – 17th OPRK ($5,000)

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MAGIC AT WIZARDS

Game Analysis

About the only thing the Magic have to be proud of at the moment is Nikola Vucevic. As a team, they can’t shoot the ball, score points or defend as they rank among the NBA league worst in points per game (96.1), rebounds per game (40.8), assists per game (20.6) and points allowed (102.2). The Magic are 1-9 over their last 10 games played and they head into Washington to play the Wizards, who are also struggling with a 3-7 record over their last 10 played. Look for the Wizards to take this one by a decent-sized margin, with the Magic scoring 100 points in only three out of their last eight games.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • John Wall, PG, Wizards – 28th OPRK ($8,900)
  • Nikola Vucevic, C, Magic – 12th OPRK ($8,500)
  • Marcin Gortat, C, Wizards – 25th OPRK ($5,000)
  • Nene Hilario, PF, Wizards – 22nd OPRK ($4,600)

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KNICKS AT HEAT

Game Analysis

The top-notch players in this game are highly questionable to play on Monday, including Carmelo Anthony, Hassan Whiteside and Dwayne Wade, so you’re better off looking for matchups from a better game – one where the players are healthy. There’s still a value or two below to take advantage of, but don’t get too thrilled over the below options. The Heat (21-29) play host to the Knicks (10-41), who are currently on a three-game losing streak. Amare Stoudemire returned from injury over the weekend and should be a boost to the Knicks lineup, however, don’t expect Stoudemire to do enough to get the Knicks a win. Take the Heat and the -6.0 to cover, and definitely go the 186 under.

Line: MIA -6.0, Over/Under: 186

Players to Watch

  • Chris Bosh, PF, Heat – 8th OPRK ($7,300)
  • Luol Deng, SF, Heat  – 13th OPRK ($5,000)
  • Mario Chalmers, PG, Heat  – 11th OPRK ($4,500)
  • Tim Hardaway, Jr., SG, Knicks  – 21st OPRK ($4,400)

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NETS AT BUCKS

Game Analysis

Once again, we’re getting down to limited options to choose from for your lineups regarding solid OPRK matchups, so Jarrett Jack is recommended here since he’s about the best thing the Nets (21-29) have going for them. The Bucks (28-23) have finally started to stretch themselves from the .500 mark they hovered around for so long, winning seven out of their last 10 games. The Nets are coming off Saturday’s game against the Wizards, where they were destroyed 114-77. This has the makings of another mismatch on paper, although the game should be closer than expected. The Nets should get Kevin Garnett back in action to help their bench depth, although the Bucks will be able to squeeze this game out just barely. I would actually take the 5.5 points and ride the Nets, although expect a narrow Bucks victory.

Line: MIL -5.5, Over/Under: 193

Players to Watch

  • Brandon Knight, PG, Bucks – 24th OPRK ($7,400)
  • Jarrett Jack, PG, Nets  – 1st OPRK ($6,800)
  • Khris Middleton, SG, Bucks  – 18th OPRK ($6,300)
  • Joe Johnson, SG, Nets  – 26th OPRK ($5,400)

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HAWKS AT TIMBERWOLVES

Game Analysis

It’s pretty obvious why there’s no action on this game, with the Hawks (42-10) continuing their NBA dominance and the Timberwolves (11-40) resting in the Western Conference cellar. Kevin Martin offers some interesting value for the Timberwolves when setting your lineups, but the matchup you want to take advantage of in this game is the Timberwolves inability to stop shooting guards, hence Kyle Korver and his 30th OPRK matchup. It’s hard to believe, but the Wolves have actually won three games in a row – that’s roughly a third of their total wins on the season to put it into perspective. Will the winning streak continue? I’d be willing to bet a body part or two the Hawks bust the Wolves streak quite easily.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Paul Millsap, PF, Hawks – 27th OPRK ($7,800)
  • Thaddeus Young, PF, Timberwolves  – 23rd OPRK ($6,000)
  • Kevin Martin, SG, Timberwolves  – 24th OPRK ($5,800)
  • Kyle Korver, SG, Hawks  – 30th OPRK ($5,000)

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JAZZ AT PELICANS

Game Analysis

The big news in this game is that Anthony Davis is day-to-day. He is fighting injury after falling hard on the court Saturday against the Bulls after dunking an alley-oop pass. There’s a solid chance that Davis could miss time for the Pelicans (27-24), who are 7-3 over their last 10 games. While the Pelicans have been playing good basketball, it will be difficult for them to succeed on Monday without their superstar power forward on the court. If Davis can’t go, Ryan Anderson would be a smart DFS play, although most of the burden will be put upon Tyreke Evans’ shoulders to guide the Pelicans to victory against a struggling Jazz (18-33) club. Gordon Hayward handles the Pelicans well, averaging 22.5 points over his last four games against.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Tyreke Evans, PG, Pelicans – 16th OPRK ($7,900)
  • Gordon Hayward, SF, Jazz – 14th OPRK ($7,900)
  • Derrick Favors, PF, Jazz  – 10th OPRK ($7,200)
  • Trey Burke, PG, Jazz  – 18th OPRK ($4,800)

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CLIPPERS AT MAVERICKS

Game Analysis

A Clippers (33-19) and Mavericks (35-18) matchup would normally rev my engine, but I really don’t like how the Clippers have been playing of late as they’ve lost four games in a row now. The Clippers haven’t lost five games in a row since 2011, although there is a shot that could happen if they don’t pull out of their current funk in Dallas. It will be difficult to do so, with Blake Griffin out for a month or longer as he undergoes surgery on Monday after being diagnosed with a staph infection on his elbow. Chris Paul will be leaned upon if the Clippers are expected to stop their fall in the Western Conference playoff rankings. Look for the Mavericks defense to step things up a bit when Paul has the ball in his hands, although they will need to heavily improve upon their 22nd ranking in points allowed (101.1).  I like the Mavericks to cover the -8.5 facing a downtrodden Clippers club.

Line: DAL -8.5, Over/Under: 210

Players to Watch

  • Chris Paul, PG, Clippers – 27th OPRK ($9,100)
  • DeAndre Jordan, C, Clippers  – 17th OPRK ($7,500)
  • Tyson Chandler, C, Mavericks  – 24th OPRK ($6,900)
  • Chandler Parsons, SF, Mavericks  – 28th OPRK ($6,000)

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THUNDER AT NUGGETS

Game Analysis

The Nuggets (19-32) are a struggling team, one that has lost 12 of it’s last 13 games, suffering from a current five game losing streak. They play host to the Thunder (26-25), a  team that has won three out of the last four contests and has averaged 112.5 points per game over the same four-game stretch. The Nuggets are only averaging 88.2 points per game over their last five played, so we should see the Thunder covering the -4.5. I like the 210 over in this one as well, since I’m assuming the burden of total points scored in the game will come at the Thunder’s hands. The Nuggets are dealing with an unhealthy roster at the moment, as many of their players have been dealing with illness, but they’ll do enough to get you past the 210 mark.

Line: OKC -4.5, Over/Under: 210

Players to Watch

  • Kevin Durant, SF, Thunder – 12th OPRK ($10,000)
  • Serge Ibaka, PF, Thunder  – 30th OPRK ($6,600)
  • Arron Afflalo, SG, Nuggets  – 27th OPRK ($5,200)
  • Wilson Chandler, SF, Nuggets  – 22nd OPRK ($5,200)

 

 

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