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.
Suns @ Bucks
The Bucks rode solid defense to four wins in their last six while giving up only 86 points per game during that stretch. The Suns, as their name implies, are scorching hot right now. They have won 8 of the last 10 games and averaged over 114 points per game while doing so. Eric Bledsoe has really stepped up his game recently and adding IT2 back in the mix has allowed the Suns to keep up that blistering pace for a full 48 minutes most nights. Milwaukee has struggled to score though with totals in the 190s range being common. The Suns struggle to stop people with totals around 210 seen often. It is a clash of styles here and I think that ticks down the Suns and ticks up the Bucks. Vegas tends to agree with a total of 209 and a spread of 3 meaning they expect 103 Milwaukee points and 106 for the Suns. That puts one team about 10% below their recent scoring average (Suns) and the other almost 15% above it. While everyone will be targeting a load of the expensive Suns tonight, the better value should be on the lower priced Bucks who are getting a tick up in pace and expected points. This looks like the better game to target for fantasy goodness, so have some exposure to both sides of this one.
Line: Suns -3, O/U 209
Players to Watch
- Eric Bledsoe, SG, Suns ($9300)
- Isiah Thomas, PG, Suns ($5600)
- Zaza Pachulia, C, Bucks ($6000)
- Kris Middleton, SF, Bucks ($4800)
Pistons @ Spurs
If you do not follow NBA basketball closely and I told you one of these teams had five wins in a row and the other has lost six of the last ten I bet every casual fan would pick the wrong ones. The Pistons have been red hot since releasing Josh Smith and have won 5 straight while scoring more, playing at a higher pace, and giving up less points on the defensive end. The Spurs lost Kawhi Leonard who is so much more important to that team than he gets credit for being. Strong play recently has turned it around as they are coming off back to back wins over New Orleans and Washington who are both very talented teams. Detroit’s defense has allowed them to play four straight unders and the Spurs are working on a three game under streak as well. Both of these teams play defense, so I can see the game staying lower scoring in the 190s range on a total. It’s always tough to beat San Antonio in their house, but if their was ever a time for the Pistons to do it, this would be that perfect storm. They are playing as well as they have all season and San Antonio is playing as bad as they have in five years. Vegas is not buying into this Pistons team rising from the ashes after burning it down and releasing their top paid player. I tend to think this one will stay a little closer. Tony Parker is slated to make his return tonight too, so keep it in mind. I do not think he is a play first game back, but he also kills some of the value plays at G for the Spurs. On a 2 game slate you need guys from both games, but try to pick more from the first one would be my advice. Go for the stars here and hope you get the top 2 or 3 performers from this game.
Line: Spurs -8, O/U
Players to Watch
- Brandon Jennings, PG, Pistons ($7600)
- Greg Monroe, PF, Pistons ($7100)
- Tim Duncan, PF, Spurs ($9100)
- Patty Mills, PG, Spurs ($3400)