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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Suns @ 76ers

Game Analysis

Phoenix has gone over in 7 of their last 10 and scored over 100 points six times. Philly has gone under in 7 of their last 10 and given up 100 points 6 times. I can say it is probable that the Suns score 100 points tonight, but the question we all have to ask is whether the 76ers can keep pace or if the last 20-30 of those 100+ Suns points will come from guys that help no one in fantasy while the starters take a little break late in the 4th quarter. The 76ers are 0-11 and they managed 90 points for the first time in 6 games the other night against a Celtics team that has not limited anyone to under 100 points. It was less of a victory for 76ers to reach 90 then it was for the Celtics to keep someone under 90 and that statement alone should give you an idea of whether or not I think the starters will still be in at the end.

Line: Suns -9.5, O/U 206.5

Players to Watch

  • Tony Wroten, PG, 76ers ($5600)
  • Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, SF, 76ers ($3400)
  • Alex Len, C, Suns ($3400)
  • Isiah Thomas, PG, Suns ($5600)

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Magic @ Hornets

Game Analysis

Orlando has been over in 6 of the last 8 and Charlotte have played under in 5 of their last 6. The Hornets have been out of sorts on defense to start the season as the usually solid defensive unit has allowed quite a few teams to reach triple digits lately. With the injuries piling up they have struggled to score, so the points given up are becoming harder for them to make up on the other end. Orlando is a team on the upswing. They have a great front line with Vucevic and Tobias Harris leading the way. With the injuries on the wing for the Hornets, I think they will really struggle to stop Tobias. Despite Big Al in the middle the Hornets are getting outrebounded recently and I think the Duo of Vucevic and Harris can help that continue today. I would think Charlotte’s depleted roster and shaky play lately will doom them in this one. The pace may be a tad slower then usual, but I expect Orlando to score a few and get the W.

Line: Hornets -4.5, O/U 190

Players to Watch

  • Tobias Harris, SF, Magic ($7400)
  • Nikola Vucevic, C, Magic ($8600)
  • Lance Stephenson, SG, Hornets ($7200)
  • Kemba Walker, PG, Hornets ($6800)

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Pistons @ Hawks

Game Analysis

Detroit has been under 3 of the last 4 and the Hawks have been 5-1-1 to the over in their last 7. Detroit averages right around 92 points a game which puts them in the bottom 5 of the league. Atlanta has been putting points up recently and with the probable addition of Demarre Carroll back from a groin injury they finally have the whole starting five healthy. Detroit has dropped 3 straight and has a pretty bad road record over the last year and a half, so this should be a win for the Hawks. I’m thinking the pace should be average in this one, with neither team really getting a tick up or down much.

Line: Hawks -6.5, O/U 199 up from 197

Players to Watch

  • Brandon Jennings, PG, Pistons ($7700)
  • Greg Monroe, PF, Pistons ($7200)
  • Paul Millsapp, PF, Hawks ($9300)
  • Jeff teague, PG, Hawks ($6900)

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Bucks @ Raptorrs

Game Analysis

Milwaukee has scored 239 points in the last two games after playing mostly in the 80s/90s and being a top five team to start the season in DEF ratings. Keep in mind that the last game was a 3OT game that ended in the 120s and was well below that mark after 4 quarters. I say this because many people only look at the last game or two when building rosters and researching players, so keep in mind those numbers for the Bucks are inflated by an extra few minutes of free basketball the other night. The Raptors on the other hand just hung up 96 points on a very good defensive Memphis team, so that performance is more impressive then it looks. Many people will look to Bucks based on the game logs, but the Raptors are the better plays in this match up. I would bump up all the Raptors and tick down the Bucks a bit. A few of the Bucks guys played huge minutes in that 3 OT game. Despite having a day off and young legs, we could see a little let down from them tonight on the road.

Line: Bucks -8.5, O/U 200 down from 202

Players to Watch

  • Amir Johnson, Pf, Raptors ($4800)
  • Kyle Lowery, PG, Raptors ($7800)
  • Zaza Pachulia, C, Bucks ($4000) <—- If Larry Sanders Limited
  • O J Mayo, SG, Bucks ($4400) <— If Giannis out

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Cavaliers @ Wizards

Game Analysis

Both teams have played pretty even against the O/U this year although the Cavs had slightly higher numbers to reach. Washington has been off to a hot 7-3 start and just got back the services of starting SG Bradley Beal. The Cavs are fresh off two losses right when things were starting to look up for them. Lebron James has just not been his usual dominate self to start the year and I think you have to take a step back and truely look at him as unrosterable until that price drops. Wizards get a tick up and expensive Cavs players are an easy fade for me tonight.

Line: Cavs -1.5, O/U 204

Players to Watch

  • Bradley Beal, SG, Wizards ($6300)
  • John Wall, PG, Wizards ($9400)
  • Kyrie Irving, PG, Cavs ($8800)
  • Andersen Varejao, C, Cavs ($5200)

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Celtics @ Grizzlies

Game Analysis

So here is your textbook clash of styles game. Memphis is a stout defensive unit that likes to own the paint, bang it inside, and stop you from scoring while controlling the glass on both ends. The Celtics show very little interest in playing defense at all and hope to just outscore opponents. There’s over a 20 point gap between the average O/U in Celtic games and the average one Memphis usually sees. I think it is bad news for the Celts as Memphis has put up triple digit scores in the 110s which the Celtics are good at giving up. On the flip side they rarely allow opponents to score over 100 as it has only happened twice this season. I tick all Memphis players not plagued by the flu or an injury up tonight and all the Celts get a tick down. Memphis has 9 of 15 guys on the roster listed on the injury report so check on the status of basically all the wing players before tip off. The good news for them is Conley, Randolph, and Gasol are not on the list and that is the heart of that team anyway.

Line: Memphis -6, O/U 199

Players to Watch

  • Mike Conley, PG, Grizzlies ($7600)
  • Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies ($8200)
  • Jeff Green, SF, Celtics ($6600)
  • Rajon Rondo, PG, Celts ($7900)

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Spurs @ Timberwolves

Game Analysis

The only way the Timberwolves don’t give up 100 points to an opponent is when they play a team from New York. So far this month they manged to hold the Nets to 91 and the Knicks to 99 and every other team scored triple digits. The Spurs games tend to trend under 100 for both teams, but when they play a hot pace team like Golden State or Philly they are able to crank up the offensive output. The Spurs defense though is really what makes them a great team. They have limited all but two teams this year (GS and NO) to under 100 points which accounts for their run of 8 unders in 10. The Knicks 99 snapped a stretch of five straight games the Wolves gave up 100 points or more and the epically bad defensive run includes two games where they gave up over 130. I think the Wolves are in for a long night and the Spurs starters a very short one, so be careful where you look for fantasy value here. The one place where you can see minutes going no matter the game flow is the Wolves front court which is very thin due to injuries and family matters that need attending to. Everyone’s favorite fallace symbol nicknamed player should see another start tonight and as many minutes as his gorgeous self can handle. He should be waxing that glass and filling the hole with easy buckets during his extended run of minutes with Pekovic sidelined.

Line: Spurs -8.5 up from -6, O/U 201 down from 203.5

Players to Watch

  • Mo Williams, PG, Timberwolves ($4600)
  • Gorgui Dieng, C, Timberwolves ($6500)
  • Cory Joseph, PG, Spurs ($3600)
  • Danny Green, SG, Spurs ($4600)

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Nets @ Thunder

Game Analysis

Nets needed three overtimes to snap their 3 game streak of unders and the Thunder needed one of the fastest paced bad defensive teams (Denver) to finally break the 3 game under streak they were on. I would bet that this one stays low scoring and under as both teams seem to be playing that way lately. Both teams are also playing some bad basketball which also helps the case for the under. Brooklyn trumps the Thunder’s four game losing skid with a current five game skid of their own, so one way or another someone has to win this game tonight, right? Best advice I have is look elsewhere as this should be low scoring and ugly.

Line: Thunder -1, O/U 188.5 down from 193.5

Players to Watch

  • Serge Ibaka, PF, thunder ($6800)
  • Steven Adam, C, Thunder ($4200)
  • Bojan Bogdanovich, SG, Nets ($4600)
  • Jarrett Jack, PG, Nets ($5200)

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Lakers @ Mavericks

Game Analysis

The Lakers play at one of the highest paces in the league and have the worst DEF rating so far. The Mavericks are also no stranger to coming in on the over with numbers in the 210 range. This should be a very hot paced, high scoring affair. The Mavericks have been playing a little defense though as they have won their last five games by an average of 20 points. I have no doubt the Mavs put up a nice fat triple digit number in this one with ease, but I am a little concerned that the Lakers will not be able to match the offensive explosion.

Line: Mavericks -9.5, O/U 216.5

Players to Watch

  • Jordan Hill, C, Lakers ($6400)
  • Carlos Boozer, PF, Lakers ($5800)
  • J J Barea, PG, Mavs ($3300)
  • Monta Ellis, SG, Mavs ($8000)

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Pelicans @ Nuggets

Game Analysis

The Pelicans have failed to score 100 only twice this year and that is coincidentally the same number of times Denver has failed to give up that many. I expect a very hot pace as both teams play fast and the Pelicans should crack 100 by mid way through the fourth quarter. Denver plays tougher at home most years so I can see them hanging around for a little, but it is very tough to crack that Pelicans D with AD standing in the back to block shots and clean up the misses I think that continues. This game looks like it’s tailor made for Tyreke Evans and I would expect him to put up some numbers.

Line: Pelicans -2 up from pickem, O/U 212

Players to Watch

  • Anthony Davis, PF, Pelicans ($11300)
  • Tyreke Evans, SF, Pelicans ($7400)
  • Ty Lawson, PG, Nuggets ($8500)
  • Wilson Chandler, SF, Nuggets ($5700)

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Jazz @ Warriors

Game Analysis

This will be an easy one guys. Utah gives up too many points to have a chance to keep it close on the road. They let up 100 or more in 6 of 10. The Warriors won their last three by an average of 21 points without star power forward David Lee. They have scored an average of 118 points in those games, so I expect a fast pace and a lot of points from them here. Blowout is always a concern, but the Warrior’s guys seem to get enough minutes to put up stats even in those games, so they are safer then most teams would be with a double digit spread. I will still shy away from the pricier guys though as that may be a tall order for them to reach value.

Line: Warriors -11.5, O/U 207.5

Players to Watch

  • Klay Thompson, SG, Warriors ($7200)
  • Marreese Speights, PF, Warriors ($3800)
  • Gordon Hayward, SG, Jazz ($7600)
  • Alec Burks, SG, Jazz ($6100)

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Bulls @ Trailblazers

Game Analysis

A week ago I would have loved Chicago in this spot, but now they lost Pau and Portland got Batum back, so my thoughts are shifting. Taj Gibson is a capable back up, but the depth gets worse for Chicago when he is not the guy coming off the bench. Portland has been decent without Batum, but will welcome back his defense and athleticism to a spot they had trouble getting production from when he was gone. Chicago looked bad last out vs. Sacramento and it’s largely why the line has moved 5 points in Portland’s favor. I would expect a lower paced game and tick down all players here on both sides.

Line: Blazers -7.5 up from 2.5, O/U 195

Players to Watch

  • Damian Lilliard, G, Blazers ($8900)
  • Lamarcus Aldridge, PF, Blazers ($9600)
  • Jimmy Butler, SG, Bulls ($7200)
  • Taj Gibson, Pf, Bulls ($5900)