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.
Pistons @ Hornets
Detroit has won four of it’s last five and played to the over in four of those games. They are averaging about 105 points over that stretch and giving up right around 100. Charlotte has won three of it’s last five and tend to play towards the under. In fact only two of their last ten opponents have managed to reach the triple digit mark. Based on recent history I would have to say the pace ticks down the Pistons and gives a slight bump to the Hornets. The injury concerns in this one are all on the Charlotte side as Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are both out today. This is not the highest total on the day but it is expected to stay close. With only five games on the slate I think it makes sense to have some exposure here, but I would not be going all in as we do have better spots to target.
Line: Hornets -2, O/U 191
Players to Watch
- Gerald Henderson, SG, Hornets ($5100)
- Al Jefferson, C, Hornets ($7700)
- DJ Augustin, PG, Pistons ($7300)
- Greg Monroe, PF, Pistons ($8500)
Nets @ Grizzlies
The Nets have won three of their last five and played to the under in four of those games. They are only averaging about 95 points over that stretch and have given up over 100 on three of those occasions. Memphis has won nine of it’s last ten and have only given up over 100 in one of those games. The stout defense we have come to know and love from the Grizzlies is back and they are riding that defense and a scoring average just under 100 points during this run. Memphis went into Brooklyn and walked out with a 103-92 victory and I see more of the same coming down in this one. The only real injury news is Mirza Teletovic out for the Nets. Kevin Garnett did play yesterday, so there’s a good chance he takes the night off today. If so it makes the minutes for Lopez and Plumlee much safer. Memphis is one of the NBAs best teams and the Nets are not great on the road, so I can totally see this game being one sided. Memphis plays at a pretty slow pace, so while the spread is high I am not going to call for a blow out in this one. I think the Grizzlies do win and by a comfortable margin, but think it stays close enough to allow full run for many of the starters. We have some higher O/U games which make more sense to go after today, but you can use a few guys from this one here and there.
Line: Grizzlies -12, O/U 190
Players to Watch
- Mike Conley, PG, Grizzlies ($6900)
- Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies ($7600)
- Jarrett Jack, PG, Nets ($6800)
- Mason Plumlee, C, Nets ($4700)
Rockets @ Suns
This is a perfect game to target for daily fantasy. The spread is only 1 point and the total is 214. The Rockets have won six of their last eight, which includes two of the last three games where both teams scored over 100 as is expected today. The Rockets have a lot of run and gun guys that enjoy the uptempo pace expected in this one tonight. Phoenix has only one win in their last five and a string of eight consecutive unders to go with it. They have been tougher to handle at home, but this Rockets team did beat them 113-111 in Phoenix about two weeks ago. There’s not a lot of injury news to go over here. Dwight Howard remains out for the Rockets and Alex Len is the only Sun in danger of missing this game. Eric Bledsoe was not with the team yesterday to attend the birth of his child, but reports are he will be back in time to play tonight, so ignore that Q tag next to his name. Based on recent games I do not see how the Rockets are not favored here or how the total is this high. I think we could easily see a Rockets win in a game with a few less points based on recent results. Both teams play fast and the pace does not make me really tick either one up or down. I still think this is one of the higher scoring games on the day but not sure we see both teams get into the 110s like many are expecting.
Line: Suns -1.5, O/U 214.5
Players to Watch
- James Harden, SG, Rockets ($10300)
- Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Rockets ($5800)
- Eric Bledsoe, SG, Suns ($7700)
- Isaiah Thomas, PG, Suns ($5400)
Kings @ Bulls
Injuries are the big key to this game today and without more information it is tough to gauge what happens here. Vegas still has not posted any lines on this one for the same reason. Darren Collison remains out for the Kings and Rudy Gay injured his foot last time out as well. Kirk Hinrich and Mike Dunleavy are both questionable for the Bulls and you can see how all these concerns could open up a lot of minutes for other guys. Sacramento only has three wins in their last 10 games. They have played to the under in seven of those ten including six straight. Chicago recently snapped a three game slide with two straight convincing wins. They have now played under in eight of the last ten and the defense has led the way for them as we usually expect from the Bulls. Joakim Noah seems to be rounding back into form and that is a key for this team on the defensive end. They are getting solid contributions now from all the starters and that will go a long way to making them the team many thought would contend for the Eastern Conference title this year. The Kings are just a mess right now and even with a healthy Collison and Gay I would lean towards the Bulls winning this one at home. With the injury concerns we could see some value pop up, but this game is also just as likely to turn into a blowout. Cousins was visibly upset the last time the Kings took the floor and this team is really close to imploding. I would not be shocked to see an easy victory for the Bulls here and maybe even one that allows them to rest some of the main players.
Line: Bulls -9, O/U 200
Players to Watch
- Pau Gasol, PF, Bulls ($9400)
- Jimmy Butler, SG, Bulls ($7900)
- DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kings ($10500)
- Ramon Sessions, PG, Kings ($4000)
Nuggets @ Lakers
Denver has lost six straight games and have really struggled to score lately. The 114 they managed to put up last night was the first time in that stretch they scored over 100 points. It’s been over a month since they last won a tail end of a back to back like they are facing again tonight. The Lakers have also struggled losing nine of their last ten. This team really lacks an indentity at the moment and tend to allow the opposition to dictate pace. They have lost high scoring games that reached into the 200s by about the same margin they lose to slower paced teams that keep totals under 190. The Lakers are basically trying to weather the storm for this season with a bunch of no name talent getting their first shots to play big minutes in the NBA. That makes the fact they are favored in this one even more shocking to me. I can see this game going either way, but neither team has shown good defensive principles lately, so I can see the score reaching the over. It’s the second biggest total and one of the lowest spreads on the day so it should be high scoring and remain close to the end which we like for fantasy purposes. This is probably the second best game to target on the night and you should have some exposure to it on a small slate.
Line: Lakers -2, O/U 202
Players to Watch
- Jusuf Nurkic, C, Nuggets ($4500)
- Kenneth Faried, PF, Nuggets ($5900)
- Ed Davis, PF, Lakers ($4900)
- Jordan Clarkson, PG, Lakers ($5100)