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.

NUGGETS AT HORNETS

Game Analysis

The Hornets (8-19) have won two games in row, albeit the wins have come against the 76ers and the Jazz, while averaging 106.5 points. They’ll have a difficult time, however, facing the Nuggets (12-15) who won’t roll over like the Jazz did on Saturday. Kemba Walker is shooting 22.6 PPG over his last seven games played, but he’ll have Ty Lawson to contend with who plays solid defense. The Nuggets will have to be on top of their game as they sport a 4-9 record on the road, so the game is certainly winnable for the Hornets. The Nuggets will be without Danilo Gallinari, who will undergo surgery after tearing his meniscus in his right knee. While Gallinari is a solid bench guy, his lack of presence normally wouldn’t mean much to the outcome. I like the 200.5 over in this one.

Line: CHA -2.0, Over/Under: 200.5

Players to Watch

  • Ty Lawson, PG, Nuggets – 26th OPRK ($9,700)
  • Al Jefferson, C, Hornets – 30th OPRK ($9,000)
  • Arron Afflalo, SG, Nuggets – 17th OPRK ($5,900)
  • Cody Zeller, PF, Hornets – 29th OPRK ($4,500)

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RAPTORS AT BULLS

Game Analysis

The Raptors (22-6) and the Bulls (17-9) are two of the hotter teams in the NBA right now, with the Raptors winning six in a row and eight out of their last 10 games played, while the Bulls are 7-3 over their last 10 games played and currently on a two-game winning streak. The game projects to be one of the better matchups on Monday night with the Raptors late succesess coming without the services of DeMar DeRozan, which makes their run even more impressive. Defensive wizard, Joakim Noah, returned to the Bulls last week and should be a force in the middle yet again. Look for a tight game with the Bulls busting the Raptors current win streak.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Kyle Lowry, PG, Raptors – 16th OPRK ($10,000)
  • Joakim Noah, C, Bulls – 26th OPRK ($7,000)
  • Jonas Valanciunas, C, Raptors – 27th OPRK ($6,400)
  • Mike Dunleavy, SF, Bulls – 22nd OPRK ($5,500)

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TRAIL BLAZERS AT ROCKETS

Game Analysis

The Rockets (19-7) normally don’t win games with their offense, as they rank 18th in the league in points per game (99.7); however, they do win games by locking down their opponents defensively as they currently rank 3rd in the NBA, keeping teams to an average of 96.3 points per game. The rub? The Trail Blazers (22-6) are equally impressive on defense as they keep opponents to 96.3 PPG as well, which technically gives them a 2nd overall rank (to the tenth). So, you have to figure that means lots of good defense and a total score that stays under the total 198 mark – that’s where my money’s going anyway. The Trail Blazers will pull this one out with their overall rebounding, ranking 1st overall in the NBA with 47.0 per game.

Line: HOU -3.5, Over/Under: 198

Players to Watch

  • LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, Trail Blazers – 24th OPRK ($10,600)
  • Trevor Ariza, SF, Rockets – 26th OPRK ($8,500)
  • Nicolas Batum, SF, Trail Blazers – 24th OPRK ($6,000)
  • Donatas Motiejunas, SF, Rockets – 26th OPRK ($5,200)

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JAZZ AT GRIZZLIES

Game Analysis

It’s starting to look like the Grizzlies (21-6) will be without the services of Zach Randolph (knee) on Monday night, so make sure you stay away from adding him to your lineup if you’re doing the “early” thing. Luckily for the Grizzlies, an MRI showed no structural damage to the knee. The Jazz (8-20) have a pathetic road record, winning only 4-of-15 games, and will pose no problem for the Grizzlies even without Z-Bo suiting up. The Jazz fell to the Hornets on Saturday, shooting under 39 percent from the floor. They’ll need to do much better than that if they expect to upset the Grizzlies in Memphis, as they rank in the bottom third in the NBA in all offensive and defensive categories.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Mike Conley, PG, Grizzlies – 19th OPRK ($8,200)
  • Derrick Favors, PF, Jazz – 30th OPRK ($7,300)
  • Alex Burks, SG, Jazz – 19th OPRK ($5,700)
  • Jon Leuer, PF, Grizzlies – 25th OPRK ($4,700)

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HAWKS AT MAVERICKS

Game Analysis

Rajon Rondo will be looking to improve upon his poor debut for the Mavericks (20-8) on Saturday, and shouldn’t have any issue doing so considering his poor shooting that day. This should be a very interesting game, as the Hawks (19-7) are playing some of the best defense in the NBA of late, while the Mavericks lead the league with an average of 109.7 points per game. The key to the win lies within the Hawks defense and if they can stop the uptempo offense of the Mavericks. I like the Hawks and the 6.5 points they’re being spotted in this one, although the 207.5 under is a bit more attractive to me if choosing. I don’t see the Mavericks getting too nutty against the Hawks defense.

Line: DAL -6.5, Over/Under: 207.5

Players to Watch

  • Monta Ellis, SG, Mavericks – 25th OPRK ($7,500)
  • Jeff Teague, PG, Hawks – 29th OPRK ($7,000)
  • Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Mavericks – 14th OPRK ($6,400)
  • Dennis Schroder, PG, Hawks – 29th OPRK ($5,400)

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CLIPPERS AT SPURS

Game Analysis

Fortunately for the Clippers (19-8), they’re facing the Spurs (17-11) at just the right time. The Spurs have lost 7-of-11 games since they started the season off at 13-4, and are currently in the middle of a four-game losing streak as they deal with injuries to Tony Parker (hamstring) and Kawhi Leonard (hand). The competition doesn’t get any easier for the Spurs as they take on one of the better clubs in the league in the Clippers. Look for Blake Griffin to dominate the paint as he averaged 27.0 points against the Spurs last season. The Spurs are 4-6 over their last 10 games played and look like an underdog at home facing the Clippers.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Chris Paul, PG, Clippers – 11th OPRK ($10,300)
  • DeAndre Jordan, C, Clippers – 17th OPRK ($8,600)
  • Danny Green, SG, Spurs – 13th OPRK ($6,500)
  • Matt Barnes, SF, Clippers – 15th OPRK ($5,100)

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KINGS AT WARRIORS

Game Analysis

If there’s one player to build your lineup around on Monday night, it’s Stephen Curry. He’s currently averaging 46.7 FPPG for DFS owners, although he is quite pricey. Still, the salary is to be expected when building around a dominant player like Curry. The Warriors’ (22-3) successes this season are due to their 107.5 PPG average (2nd in the NBA) to go along with their 97.6 points allowed average (9th in the NBA). The Kings (12-15)  don’t have much of a shot of winning the game, although I am tempted with the 12 points they’re being spotted; however, I’m passing and riding the Warriors overall lineup into the proverbial sunset. Look for the Warriors to dominate.

Line: GS -12.0, Over/Under: 210

Players to Watch

  • Stephen Curry, PG, Warriors – 25th OPRK ($10,700)
  • Draymond Green, SF, Warriors – 20th OPRK ($7,500)
  • Darren Collison, PG, Kings – 15th OPRK ($6,600)
  • Ben McLemore, SG, Kings – 29th OPRK ($5,300)

 

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