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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RAPTORS AT PACERS

Game Analysis

The Raptors (39-26) are struggling majorly as a team right now, only winning two games out of their last 10 played, while  still having difficulty winning the rebounding edge as they rank 26th in the NBA with 41.4 rebounds per game. Over the Raptors’ last four losses, they’ve given up almost 108 points per game which has now put their current 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture in jeopardy. The Pacers (30-35), however, have been playing just the opposite, winning eight out of their last 10, by dominating teams defensively. As of February 4th, the Pacers have only allowed four teams to exceed 100 points in a game, and one of those games was a recent OT loss to the Bucks. Look for the Pacers to continue their hot play at home, pushing the Raptors further down in the playoff picture.

Line: IND -5.0, Over/Under: 197

Players to Watch

  • DeMar DeRozan, SG, Raptors – 12th OPRK ($7,300)
  • Rodney Stuckey, SG, Pacers – 9th OPRK ($6,900)
  • George Hill, PG, Pacers – 23rd OPRK ($6,800)
  • C.J. Miles, SF, Pacers – 24th OPRK ($4,300)

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TRAIL BLAZERS AT WIZARDS

Game Analysis

The Trail Blazers (43-20) are a different team on the road, where they’ve posted a seasonal record of 15-14. It really gives you an idea of how dominant they are at home with only six losses on the season in Portland. Luckily for the Wizards (38-28), who have started to wake up of late, John Wall is establishing a more consistent game as he’s averaged 22 points and 9 assists over the Wizards’ three-game mini winning streak. Defensively, the Blazers will give the Wizards a tough time as they rank highly in all defensive stats (2nd in rebounds per game and 9th in points allowed), although the most impressive stat defensively by the Blazers is that they rank best in the NBA in opponent points per shot (1.12). I see the Blazers pulling out an upset win, even with their so-so record on the road. Take the +2.5 points the Blazers are being spotted.

Line: WSH -2.5, Over/Under: 197

Players to Watch

  • John Wall, PG, Wizards – 18th OPRK ($8,900)
  • Damian Lillard, PG, Trail Blazers – 20th OPRK ($8,100)
  • Robin Lopez, C, Trail Blazers – 11th OPRK ($5,200)
  • Paul Pierce, SF, Wizards – 25th OPRK ($4,700)

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76ERS AT CELTICS

Game Analysis

It’s been a tale of two seasons for the Celtics (29-36), but they have managed to get themselves back into the playoff picture as they are only a half game out of the 8th seed and one full game out from the 7th seed. The Celtics are 7-3 over their last 10 games, currently on a four-game win streak. Don’t expect the 76ers (15-51) to put up much of a fight on the road, where they’ve only won five games all season. Nerlens Noel – I swear it’s Christmas every time I write his name – is about the only positive you can count on in the 76ers lineup these days, so don’t forget him if you’re looking for an under-the-radar name for your lineup. The Celtics should see Isaiah Thomas’ services on Monday as he has missed three games dealing with an elbow injury.

Line: -9.0, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Nerlens Noel, PF, 76ers – 27th OPRK ($7,200)
  • Evan Turner, PG, Celtics – 28th OPRK ($5,500)
  • Avery Bradley, SG, Celtics – 28th OPRK ($5,400)
  • Robert Covington, PF, 76ers – 27th OPRK ($5,200)

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NUGGETS AT GRIZZLIES

Game Analysis

The Grizzlies (46-20) have slowed of late, but a bunch of that has to do with the day-to-day injuries they have suffered as a club. Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Mike Conley have all taken it on the chin in some form or another when it comes to injury – all three have missed games or played ball without being 100 percent of late. Gasol and Randolph are good to go, but Conley could miss another game. Even though the Grizzlies could be without Conley, don’t expect the Nuggets (25-41) to pull this one out as Memphis is solid at home with a 25-7 record. The Grizzlies are the best team in the league in points allowed, only letting teams average 95.5 PPG on the year.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies – 15th OPRK ($8,100)
  • Zach Randolph, PF, Grizzlies – 30th OPRK ($7,000)
  • Jeff Green, SF, Grizzlies – 18th OPRK ($5,600)
  • Tony Allen, SF, Grizzlies – 18th OPRK ($4,200)

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NETS AT TIMBERWOLVES

Game Analysis

There are five teams in the Eastern Conference that have a fighting chance for a playoff spot including the Nets (26-38), who are currently three games away from the 8th seed. The Nets recently broke a five-game losing streak as they beat the lowly 76ers in Philadelphia, but they have to travel to the Target Center in Minnesota to face the Timberwolves (14-51) where there’s a good probability of stringing together a couple of wins. Both clubs don’t offer much by way of offensive production, although, most notably, Thaddeus Young intrigues me as he draws a 23rd OPRK against the Sixers.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Ricky Rubio, PG, Timberwolves – 22nd OPRK ($7,800)
  • Brook Lopez, C, Nets – 16th OPRK ($6,900)
  • Andrew Wiggins, SF, Timberwolves – 19th OPRK ($6,500)
  • Thaddeus Young, PF, Nets – 23rd OPRK ($5,900)

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CAVALIERS AT HEAT

Game Analysis

The key to the Heat (29-36) and their success is Dwyane Wade. If he can keep himself on the court staying injury free, the Heat have a strong chance to lock up a playoff spot. Although the rest of the regular season may bode well for Miami, beating the Cavaliers (42-25), even at home, will be a difficult task. The Cavaliers have only lost five games since the middle of January, although it is worth noting that all of those losses have occurred on the road. There is a slim chance the Heat could nab a victory here, but everything would have to go right for Wade and Hassan Whiteside, both players I wouldn’t mind rostering in my lineups on Monday. I see the game heading over the 204.5 mark, but the smart play is going with the Heat and the +5.5 points.

Line: CLE -5.5, Over/Under: 204.5

Players to Watch

  • LeBron James, SF, Cavaliers – 14th OPRK ($10,900)
  • Hassan Whiteside, C, Heat – 17th OPRK ($8,000)
  • Dwayne Wade, SG, Heat – 13th OPRK ($7,500)
  • J.R. Smith, SG, Cavaliers – 21st OPRK ($5,500)

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THUNDER AT MAVERICKS

Game Analysis

It’s all about Russell Westbrook these days, as the Thunder (37-29) hold on tightly to the 8th playoff seed in the Western Conference with a +2.7 average point differential. Just to show you how incredible Westbrook has been for Oklahoma City, he has six triple-doubles over his last nine games played. He’s averaged a bit over 34 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists during that stretch, which makes him arguably the most valuable player in the NBA this season. The Mavericks (42-25) remain one of the more well-rounded clubs in the game, although they won’t be able to stop Westbrook defensively. The key to this game, however, isn’t stopping Westbrook. Instead, it’s the Mavs ability in stopping the surrounding players in the Thunder’s offense. The Mavs are still one of the better scoring teams in the league as they average 104.6 points per game this season, ranking 3rd in the NBA.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder – 26th OPRK ($12,600)
  • Monta Ellis, SG, Mavericks – 24th OPRK ($6,700)
  • Chandler Parsons, SF, Mavericks – 22nd OPRK ($6,200)
  • Enes Kanter, C, Thunder – 24th OPRK ($6,100)

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HORNETS AT JAZZ

Game Analysis

The Jazz (29-36), who have won five games in a row and eight out of their last 10 games, are looking to play spoiler for the rest of the season as they host the Hornets (29-35), who currently hold onto the 8th playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert will give the Hornets problems defensively, but Favors has really stepped up his game of late averaging 21.8 points in his last four contests. It should be a tight game on both ends of the court, even with the Hornets holding a 2-9 record on the road against Western Conference opponents. Look for the Jazz to pull out a victory at home, and don’t be surprised if it’s by a total of three points or less.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Derrick Favors, PF, Jazz – 24th OPRK ($8,300)
  • Kemba Walker, PG, Hornets – 10th OPRK ($7,700)
  • Mo Williams, PG, Hornets  – 10th OPRK ($7,000)
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Hornets – 4th OPRK ($6,200)

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HAWKS AT KINGS

Game Analysis

DeMarcus Cousins is currently averaging 23.7 points per game, to go along with 12.3 rebounds per game, as he leads the Kings (22-43) statistically on the year. But, it’s not going to be enough to beat the Hawks (51-14), who travel to Sacramento with a 10-game lead and the 1st seed all but locked up. The Hawks rested Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague and DeMarre Carroll on Sunday, but all three should return to action on Monday. Rumor has it that Al Horford could sit this game out, although I still list him below as an option just in case he does play. Kyle Korver, who suffered a broken nose in Sunday night’s game, could miss action on Monday, although it isn’t clear right now how serious the injury is. Make sure you check out player news up to the start of league action, just in case you’re thinking about going all-in on the Hawks. Sort of muddled things are, eh? Even with the risk associated with your DFS lineups, considering players may miss time due to a healthy scratch or injury, the Hawks should pose no problem in beating the Kings.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Paul Millsap, PF, Hawks – 17th OPRK ($7,500)
  • Al Horford, C, Hawks  – 18th OPRK ($6,900)
  • Jeff Teague, PG, Hawks – 29th OPRK ($6,700)
  • Kyle Korver, SG, Hawks – 29th OPRK ($5,100)

 

Update – Korver and Horford are both listed as ‘Doubtful’ for tonight. Look for Pero Antic and Kent Bazemore to gain some extended run.

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LAKERS AT WARRIORS

Game Analysis

I wish I could say “go for it” on the Warriors (52-13) to cover the -18.0 line, obliterating the Lakers (17-47), but I just can’t bring myself to do so. I have a sneaky suspicion that the Lakers will play well enough to fall within the 18-point range they’re being spotted, even with a roster of yuck starting and playing on Monday night. The game will likely get ugly at times, but just how ugly? Don’t be surprised if some Warriors’ starters get rested in this game, even if it’s just a half of play – something to keep in mind if you’re planning on playing Warriors players in your DFS lineups.

Line: GS -18.0, Over/Under: 210.5

Players to Watch

  • Stephen Curry, PG, Warriors – 30th OPRK ($9,600)
  • Klay Thompson, SG, Warriors – 19th OPRK ($7,300)
  • Draymond Green, PF, Warriors – 25th OPRK ($7,200)
  • Jeremy Lin, PG, Lakers – 16th OPRK ($5,000)

 

Catch me on Twitter @TheRolyPolyBoy. I just might answer your questions if I don’t have anything better to do.