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.
We have some real nice prize pools today on this small four game slate. Get in on the action here:
Warriors @ Wizards
The big news here is the availability of one of the starting guards on each team. Bradley Beal is listed as doubtful and Steph Curry is still questionable for this evening. Vegas is slow to post a line, because the Steph news will change the flow of this game dramatically. The Wizards have really struggled without Beal recently. They have lost three in a row and five of their last seven. The offensive end is where he is really missed as they have only managed to play to the over twice in those seven games. The Warriors also have struggled to score with Steph not being 100%. They have played to the under in five straight games and failed to crack 95 in three of the last four. This is a team that was routinely putting up numbers in the 120 range so the change is noticeable. If Steph is out again we should see a combination of Leandro Barbosa and Shaun Livingston get more work. Neither has really proven a good play in that situation and I think the way to take advantage of this is to use Klay Thompson. With Curry out, we see Klay take a more active role in that offense. More usage, more shots, and more points means more fantasy goodness. The Wizards are a tough defensive team and with no Steph the Warriors offense is no where near as potent, so if that’s the case I would think this total may be in danger of an under. The way these two teams have played lately I would think it is a definite possibility.
Players to Watch
- Klay Thompson, SG, Warriors ($8000)
- Harrison Barnes, SF, Warriors ($4100)
- John Wall, PG, Wizards ($8700)
- Kris Humphries, PF, Wizards ($3600)
Cavaliers @ Pistons
I am very interested to see this game play out tonight. For Fantasy purposes we have a bunch of guys here who could prove to be the winning piece today.This is the highest total game on a small four game slate so we should be looking for plays here. Cleveland has won four of it’s last five and played to the over in five of it’s last six. They are averaging 112 points per game over that five game stretch. Detroit has won four of it’s last six and only played to the over once. For them the key has been improved defensive effort. They have limited opponents to 86 points in the four recent wins and allowed 118 per game in the losses. While It looks like they could limit the Cavs here again today, I would have to think this is one of the games where they could get lit up for over 100. The Cavs have a dynamic offense with multiple guys who can create and multiple guys who can score, so limiting them to under 90 points would be a huge accomplishment. The Pistons are at home, so I expect them to fight and keep this close. In the end though i just think Cleveland will be too strong for them and this should be a Cavs win.
Line: Cavs -6.5, O/U 206.5
Players to Watch
- Reggie Jackson, PG, Pistons ($4500)
- Greg Monroe, PF, Pistons ($8100)
- JR Smith, SG, Cavs ($5000)
- Lebron James, SF, Cavs ($10300)
Pacers @ Thunder
Indiana is red hot winning six of their last seven and playing to the over in five of those. Their scoring has picked up as they have averaged over 104 points during this stretch. They have also limited five of those last six opponents to under 100 points, so they have got it done on both ends of the floor. With that being said they will face a stern test today in an OKC team that has won six straight and averaged close to 116 points while doing so. Kevin Durant is out again today and that means Russell Westbrook is in line for another monster usage rate. He’s been a triple double threat every time he steps on the floor without KD and tonight is no different. The addition of Enes Kanter has been a nice pick up for the Thunder as it gives them a huge upgrade at Center over Kendrick Perkins with Steven Adams still out with an injury. Serge Ibaka has also picked up his game and is another reason the Thunder have improved. Ibaka has a tough match up today with the solid David West on the other side and a price that has adjusted upwards due to his recent performances. As well as Indy has played I am not sure they have enough to knock off the surging Thunder tonight. I would think the pace uptick favors the Indy players outperformance, but this is a nice total so I would be fine using guys on either side.
Line: Thunder -7, O/U 203.5
Players to Watch
- Russel Westbrook, PG, Thunder ($11000)
- Enes Kanter, C, Thunder ($6000)
- Rodney Stuckey, SG, Pacers ($4600)
- CJ Miles, SF, Pacers ($4500)
Raptors @ Mavericks
Another really nice game to target today with a high total and low spread. This should be another one that goes down to the final minutes with full run for all the stars. Toronto had won four straight before being blown out by Houston and coughing up an 18 point lead last night on the way to a three point loss to New Orleans. They have played under in five of the last six and the defense and slower pace have been the reasons. During the win stretch they limited opponents to right around 90 points while putting up over 100 on average. They have allowed the last two teams to get up to 98 and 100 while the scoring has dipped which has led to the losses. As for the Mavs, they have won five of their last seven. They too have tightened the defense and seen the scoring and pace drop with five of seven unders to prove it. With Toronto traveling on the tail end of a back to back I think we could see this one stay towards the under. Chandler Parsons is out again for the Mavericks and the Raptors will be playing without Patrick Petterson. Amir Johnson got the increased minutes with no Pat Pat last night, but the production went to Jonas Valaciunas who had the big game. He has a tough match up with Tyson Chandler tonight who has been the most efficient center in the league this year and one of the better defensive centers in the league for a number of years. That leads me to believe if I had to bank on one big guy for the Raptors it would be Amir tonight in a sneaky low owned spot with increased minutes and coming off a sub par game. It’s tougher to gauge for the Mavs. Parsons being out has seen Aminu put up 40 DK points and Richard Jefferson finding the fountain of youth to put up 35 with a monster dunk in the last game. Judging by the match ups I would think we see more RJ tonight as well, but there is no way to tell for sure and that makes them both strictly GPP guys for me. I like the Mavs at home to win this one, but I think the game is going to stay close and likely finish towards the under.
Line: Mavs -4, O/U 205.5
Players to Watch
- Amir Johnson, PF, Raptors ($4300)
- Kyle Lowry, PG, Raptors ($7000)
- Richard Jefferson, SF, Mavs ($3500)
- Monta Ellis, SG, Mavs ($7100)