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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Pistons @ Wizards

Game Analysis

Wizards have played 5 of 7 games this year that hit the over and the Pistons have been over in 3 of their last 4. The Pistons are 0-7 ATS to start the season and have no road wins yet. Wizards are undefeated on their home floor and off to a really solid start this season. The money is coming in about 2 to 1 on Washington giving the points and the over under is trending downward. Vegas is thinking this should be a lower scoring game that Washington wins going away at home.

Line: Wizards -6, O/U 191.5

Players to Watch

  • Brandon Jennings, PG, Pistons ($6000)
  • Caron Butler, SF, Pistons ($3600)
  • Garrett Temple, SG, Wizards ($3700)
  • Nene Hilario, PF, Wizards ($5700)

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Jazz @ Hawks

Game Analysis

There is a lot of interesting stats here to consider in this clash of styles. Utah is one of the worst teams in the league at defending the 3 point shot. They are also giving up more offensive rebounds then 90% of the league despite having a plethora of big bodies to throw at opponents. On the flip side they are a very high scoring team, especially when Gordon Hayward is on his game. Atlanta plays a slower pace and much tougher defense. It will be interesting to see which of those styles prevail. Overall I like the Hawks here to continue the hot start against a Jazz team that seems to be struggling to get it going.

Line: Hawks -7, O/U 199.5 down from 201.5

Players to Watch

  • Kyle Korver, SG, Hawks ($5600)
  • Al Horford, C, Hawks ($7100)
  • Gordon Hayward, SG, Jazz ($8000)
  • Thebo Sefalosha, SG, Hawks ($3000)  <————- (If Demarre Carroll and Mike Scott are out)

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Thunder @ Celtics

Game Analysis

100% of the early money is coming in on the over in this one and that is usually a good indicator of a high scoring game filled with fantasy goodness. The Thunder are playing without 50% of the Guards they had on the roster to start the season and so far they have battled hard but not really seen the results they are used to. Boston on the other hand is one of the higher scoring teams in the league in the early stages. They have dealt with some injury issue’s with their top player as well, so keep an eye on the injury reports to see whether or not Rondo plays. If he does, that ticks down Reggie Jackson as Rondo is known to be a very solid defender. Smart got hurt in the Celtics last game and Thornton went down with an injury in practice yesterday, so some minutes at the 2 guard spot are open for Avery Bradley and Evan Turner in tonight’s contest. Bradley especially should see a lot of floor time.

Line: Celtics – 5.5, O/U 197.5

Players to Watch

  • Reggie Jackson, PG, Thunder ($6500)
  • Jeremy Lamb, SG, Thunder ($3900)
  • Kelly Olynyk, C, Celtics ($5400)
  • Avery Bradley, SG, Celtics ($4900)

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Pacers @ Heat

Game Analysis

Many people put money on the original O/U line for this game and we have seen quite a move up since it was released. The Heat had played 4 straight games under, but those spreads were closer to 200. Indiana has gone over in 6 of their last 8 games with spreads right around the high 180’s mark, so the opening O/U of 183.5 was way too low. This was a key match up in years past with Lebron and Paul George going head to head and the Lance vs. Wade match up as well as David West v. Chris Bosh. The only starter returning for the Pacers from those battles is Roy Hibbert and we all know about the Heat missing that guy they had last year. The luster is off of this game now. Indy is playing with their B team against a still talented Heat squad that should be able to get the win at home. I would not expect a ton of points in this one, but a final score in the 90s for both teams seems reasonable.

Line: Heat -8.5 down from 10, O/U 188.5 up from 183.5

Players to Watch

  • Dwayne Wade, SG, Heat ($7800)
  • Loul Deng, SF, Heat ($5400)
  • Roy Hibbert, C, Pacers ($7000)
  • Donald Sloan, PG, Pacers ($5200)

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Magic @ Knicks

Game Analysis

Both teams have gone over in 5 of 8 so far with spreads closer to the 200 level this season. Today’s O/U seems curiously low to me based on first glance. The Knicks are a 6 point favorite and Orlando is on the tail end of a back to back and playing in NY. That is my only rationale for why that may be. The point of this though is that Vegas is not expecting a shootout here and you should be cautious about using some of the high priced guys when that is the case. They may not get enough done to make value, especially those who rely heavy on the point category.

Line: Knicks -6, O/U 192

Players to Watch

  • Iman Shumpert, SG, Knicks ($5000)
  • Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Knicks ($3800)
  • Evan Fournier, SG, Nuggets ($4900)
  • Tobias Harris, SF, Magic ($6800)

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Lakers @ Pelicans

Game Analysis

The Lakers have gone over four times when the spread was 208 or higher in four attempts. New Orleans likes to score too as they have been over in 4 of 6, although this is the highest O/U they have seen so far in 2014/2015. I think that has a lot to do with how bad the Lakers are on defense. They lack a PG capable of stopping penetration. They have a SG who looks like he is saving his energy for the other end of the floor (He was sick down the stretch last night, so I’m not knocking him for it). They have no one capable of stopping a good big man inside and like most teams in the league they are going to struggle to solve the question of how to stop Anthony Davis anywhere on the floor. The Pelicans on the other side have a ton of offensive weapons. We all know about AD, but so far this year he has had four different teammates also notch a 40 DK point fantasy game. Holiday, Evans, Anderson, and Asik are all capable of being paired with Brow to get you 100 fantasy points from 2 roster spots on any given night. Problem is you have to pick the right one on any given night, but I would think all 5 could be in play given the uptick in pace expected.

Line: Pelicans -10.5, O/U 209

Players to Watch

  • Anthony Davis, PF, Pelicans ($11,200)
  • Jrue Holiday, PG, Pelicans ($7400)
  • Jordan Hill, C, Lakers ($6500)
  • Wes Johnson, SF, Lakers ($3500)

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Trailblazers @ Nuggets

Game Analysis

Denver has lost five straight and allowed their opponents to average 114 in those five games. None of these teams scored below 102 in any of them and Sacramento finished with a high of 131 the other night. Portland has scored over 100 in five straight, yet have gone under a few times because they have held their opponents to an average of 95. Even without Nic Batum and finally on the road, I still like the Blazers a lot tonight. They score a lot anyway and the Nuggets defense coupled with no Batum should give a bump to the whole starting five fantasy wise.

Line: Blazers -1.5, O/U 208.5

Players to Watch

  • Damian Lilliard, PG, Blazers ($7700)
  • LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, Blazers ($8900)
  • Ty Lawson, PG, Nuggets ($7000)
  • Wes Matthews, SG, Blazers ($6100)

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Nets @ Suns

Game Analysis

The Nets have gone over in 4 of 6 and Phoenix has done it in 5 of 7, so both teams have been scoring and giving up a lot of points. This should have a hot pace and A score with both teams at or above 100 in the end. Suns have given up 110 on average in their last four and Brooklyn has been averaging over 100. If those numbers hold again here then that O/U should be met by the middle of the fourth quarter. Expect a lot of points and a lot of nice fantasy stat sheets in this one.

Line: Suns -5.5, O/U 203.5

Players to Watch

  • Isiah Thomas, PG, Suns ($5800)
  • PJ Tucker, SF, Suns ($4300)
  • Bojan Bogdanovich, SG, Nets ($3800)
  • Deron Williams, PG, Nets ($7700)

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Rockets @ Timberwolves

Game Analysis

Quick trivia question for you. Which NBA team has not gone over once this season? The answer would be this Houston Rocket team. The normally fast paced Minnesota team is also only 3-3 on the O/U this season, so be careful if you predict a ton of points here. The Rockets are scoring just over 100, so it’s not their fault they have been playing under, but the part Vegas failed to catch up with so far is the defensive improvement. Beverly and Ariza over Linn and Parsons might take away some scoring punch, but added to the uber athletic Terrence Jones and Dwight Howard in the back it becomes really tough to score on them. Even Harden who is a normally poor defender has seen his DvP numbers improve this year so be careful if you want to run out Timberwolves tonight as they have struggled and are getting a tough defense to crack.

Line: Rockets -7, O/U 201

Players to Watch

  • Zach Lavine, PG, Timberwolves ($3200)
  • Nikola Pekovic, C, Timberwolves ($6100)
  • Isaiah Canaan, PG, Rockets ($3600)
  • James Harden, SG, Rockets ($10,300)