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.
Big Money SUNDAY
It’s a Larry Bird appreciation day on Wednesday over at Draft Kings and the crown jewel is the $33 Bird tourney. There’s also a $3 tourney in honor of him winning the 3 point title on all star weekend and the winner should tweet out a picture of him/herself walking away from their computer with one finger in the air as PMR runs out in his honor. For those with larger bankrolls there’s also a $333 Money ball tourney that night. Draft Kings has satellites to all these running this afternoon, so be sure to take a shot and pick up some tickets on the cheap. Links to them all are below so reserve your entries today:
Clippers @ Thunder
OKC has only won three of the last seven but are back at full strength with the return of Durant last game. The Clippers have lost three in a row and the defense has let them down as they have given up an average of 110 over the last three games. Neither team is playing well at the moment. Both teams play at a high pace and have been scoring and giving up more points then average lately so I think both get a slight tick up. The total on this game is pretty high and I think there is a good chance we even see it go over today. Both teams have allowed opponents to score over 100 and lately the Clippers have struggled to get there themselves. The Clippers are one of the better teams to target perimeter players against and that’s bad news with Durant back. This is one of the higher totals on the day, one of the closest spreads, and features two of the highest paced teams. If you play the early games this is definitely not one you want to fade.
Line: Thunder -3, O/U 209.5
Players to Watch
- Kevin Durant, SF, Thunder ($9800)
- Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder ($11200)
- Jamal Crawford, SG, Clippers ($5200)
- DeAndre Jordan, C, Clippers ($7500)
Lakers @ Cavaliers
There’s no line on this game because Lebron is listed as questionable. I think he plays tomorrow, but if he doesn’t or is limited than you have to fire up Kyrie Irving. These two teams are heading in opposite directions as the Cavs have won nine of ten and the Lakers have lost nine of ten. Cleveland has not just been wining, but they have been dominating the opposition. They have an average margin of victory over the last ten that is in double digits. Indiana’s 103 last game was the first time Cleveland has allowed over 100 during this run. The Lakers have not played good basketball lately and they are spiraling downward. The one silver lining is the pace has slowed which has also allowed the opponents points per game to go down. Their own scoring has also dropped so it’s not exactly an ideal situation for them. With or without Lebron I expect this to be the lower scoring game of the early session and probably also a game Cleveland wins easily. Until Lebron news comes out I doubt Vegas posts a line, but the total should be lower and the spread higher than the other game on the slate so I think this is the game to go lighter on.
Players to Watch
- Kyrie Irving, PG, Cavs ($8500)
- JR Smith, SG, Cavs ($4800)
- Jordan Clarkson, PG, Lakers ($4700)
- Ed Davis, PF, Lakers ($4600)