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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THUNDER AT BULLS
The Thunder (33-27) currently hold onto the 8th playoff seed in the Western Conference but by a very slim margin of just one game. They are playing fantastic basketball running an 8-2 record over their last 10 games played, but with injuries to superstars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant – deja vu, anyone? – the Thunder, as a club, are certainly looking to hold onto their playoff grasp. Luckily for the Thunder, Anthony Davis is fighting injury as well for the Pelicans, the team sniffing the Thunder’s heels for the playoffs, so things aren’t too lost for Oklahoma City. It’s a wonder that the Thunder has been able to play this well suffering through injury, but there’s been some nice production off the bench. The Bulls (38-23) are establishing themselves as a playoff seed, and while they hold the 3rd seed currently, there are only a few games separating them from the 6th seed. Paul Gasol, who is the double-double king of the NBA (39), is worth every dollar spent as your DFS point forward. Look for the Bulls to take this game, and I love that that they’re being spotted four points at home. Wait? Is that right? Take the Bulls and the points.
Line: OKC -4.0, Over/Under: 200.5
Players to Watch
- Pau Gasol, PF, Bulls – 21st OPRK ($9,400)
- Serge Ibaka, PF, Thunder – 20th OPRK ($8,000)
- Enes Kanter, C, Thunder – 28th OPRK ($5,900)
- Tony Snell, SF, Bulls – 23rd OPRK ($4,000)
MAVERICKS AT TRAIL BLAZERS
The Trail Blazers (39-19) have won three in a row and seven out of their last 10 games, while bringing the bulk of their roster to the court on Thursday – no major injuries to speak of. The Mavericks (40-22) are 19-12 on the road this season, so they will challenge the Trail Blazers. I like the Mavericks to fight hard, although the Trail Blazers will net the victory. The Blazers remain a top threat statistically on offense and defense in the NBA, as they rank 9th in points per game (102.5) and points allowed (97.4). Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler remain out for the Mavericks, although the Mavs are a very deep club overall. Rajon Rondo is a nice risk considering his potential and value with the Mavs, although make sure you don’t go all-in on him – Rondo should only be a supporting player to your DFS lineup.
Line: None, Over/Under: None
Players to Watch
- Damian Lillard, PG, Trail Blazers – 26th OPRK ($8,100)
- Rajon Rondo, PG, Mavericks – 19th OPRK ($5,700)
- Wesley Matthews, SG, Trail Blazers – 23rd OPRK ($5,600)
- Arron Afflalo, SG, Trail Blazers – 23rd OPRK ($3,600)
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