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 match ups.

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Magic @ Raptors

Game Analysis

Toronto has been playing games that tend to reach into the 100’s, so this is a nice place to look for a hot pace. The drawback though is that double digit point spread which could mean this game can get out of hand. Toronto is averaging an NBA best 107 points per game and they give up about 95. At home though they are a very stout defense holding opponents under 87 points a game. I see the Raptors winning and dominating this one with all the big guys back healthy, but I’m still a little bit afraid of a small fourth quarter workload for the horses on both teams if it gets out of hand.

Line: Raptors -10.5, O/U 202 up from 197.5

Players to Watch

  • Demar DeRozan, SG, Raptors ($8100)
  • Terrence Ross, SF, Raptors ($5000)
  • Nikola Vucevic, C, Magic ($8400)
  • Evan Fournier, SG, Magic ($4900)

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Lakers @ Grizzlies

Game Analysis

The Lakers have gone over 5 of 7 games with O/U averaging 210 points. The Grizzlies have been under in 4 of 7 with totals in the high 180’s. Memphis has one of the best defenses in the league and with all the starters returning from that team last year it is no surprise they picked up right where they left off. Memphis has not shot the ball particularly well so far and the combination of their defense holding teams down and their offense struggling a little tends to lead to those very low scoring games. The spread here is big and Memphis is coming off a stinging loss at the buzzer on a three point play when they were up 2, so I expect them to come out hungry on their home floor.

Line: Memphis -9.5 down fom -11.5, O/U 196.5

Players to Watch

  • Courtney Lee, SG, Grizzlies ($4100)
  • Zach Randolph, PF, Grizzlies ($7100)
  • Ed Davis, PF, Lakers ($4700)
  • Jeremy Linn, PG, Lakers ($5500)

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Thunder @ Bucks

Game Analysis

A young team coming off a big win gets a home game against a scrappy group of reserves trying to hold the fort until the stars heal up. Not sure how this one is going to turn out to be honest. Thunder are 0-5 on the road and despite solid play from Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb, they are not Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Milwaukee has a group of young players that seem to be improving, but off a big win I think you could see a let down in this one. Neither team is particularly great on either end of the floor and it’s likely to remain a somewhat close game throughout.

Line: Bucks -3 down from -6, O/U 190

Players to Watch

  • Jeremy Lamb, SG, Thunder ($3900)
  • Steven Adams, C, Thunder ($4100)
  • Brandon Knight, PG, Bucks ($7300)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG, Bucks ($4700)

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Kings @ Mavericks

Game Analysis

These two are a combined 7 of 14 on O/U this season with the average being right around the number for today. Well done Vegas. Sacramento has been very strong on defense so far as they hold teams to 42% on FG attempts. Dallas has been playing pretty poorly on the defensive end so far and that has been their achillies heel. I think the King’s defense will hold the Mav’s down a little and the lack of defense from Dallas (Except at C) should give a boost to them, so I like Sacramento to win the game on the road. The upside is Dallas will compete in front of the home fans, so it should be close throughout and likely high scoring.

Line: Mavericks -6, O/U 207

Players to Watch

  • Rudy Gay, SF, Kings ($7700)
  • Darren Collison, PG, Kings ($6300)
  • Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Mavs ($7300)
  • Tyson Chandler, C, Mavs ($5900)

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Hornets @ Trailblazers

Game Analysis

Blazers are 4-1 this year at home and Charlotte is 0-3 on the road so far. Nic Batum is most likely out for Portland and Dorrell Wright is definitely a step down from him at SF. Big Al Jefferson also left the last game before it was over with some injury so there’s no line yet and not much analysis to do without knowing all the details. This is a game you will definitely need to keep an eye on for any late injury news as the early reports from various sources are all over the map. Without Jefferson I think Charlotte will be forced to play fast so the O/U and fantasy scores could be a tick up for them. It also helps Portland who have the firepower to match anyone point for point. If he does play though I think they will look to get it inside and play through him in a much slower game. This way you have both scenario’s depending on his status, so adjust accordingly.

Line: Blazers -7.5, O/U 197 down from 202.5

Players to Watch

  • Dorell Wright, PF, Blazers ($3000)
  • Wes Matthews, SG, Blazers ($6100)
  • Lance Stephenson, SG, Hornets ($6700)
  • Kemba Walker, PG, Hornets ($7800)

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Warriors @ Spurs

Game Analysis

Spurs have been under in 5 of the last 6 with O/U averaging near 200. The high powered GS Warriors have been playing some solid defense and despite their scoring have held opponents down to cash under in 4 of 6. David Lee is out and Klay Thompson missed the game this weekend in a mysterious late scratch, so keep an eye on availability in this one. The Spurs played without Bellinelli yesterday and won a hard fought victory over the Clippers to start the back to back road trip. Be careful about starting Spurs tonight as coach POP got a win yesterday already and may choose to limit or sit some of the studs. Again here check the twitter feeds and see if any announcements are made. They play the late game, so think about what swap options you may have to go to before line up lock in case the late news breaks bad.

Line: Warriors -6.5, O/U 199.5

Players to Watch

  • Draymond Green, SF, Warriors ($6200)
  • Steph Curry, PG, Warriors ($10200)
  • Kawhi Leonard, SF, Spurs ($5900)
  • Boris Diaw, PF, Spurs ($4600)