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.

PELICANS AT CELTICS

Game Analysis

The Celtics (12-23) have lost eight out of their last 10 games played as they play host to the Pelicans (18-18), who are quite awful on the road this season with a 6-13 record. Anthony Davis will yet again be leading his Pelicans’ club, although don’t be surprised to see him get shut down enough by the Celtics to ensure a Boston victory. The Celtics are managing to put up points at a decent clip, but defensively they are ranked 26th in the NBA allowing 103.9 points per game. The Pelicans have only won three out of their last seven games, as they were kept at 94 points or less in three out of those four losses. The temptation in this game is to run with the Pelicans to cover the -4.5 line, but be wary of an overconfident club heading into Boston. Take the points and the Celtics, and if you’re feeling jumpy go ahead and take the 205 over. On the surface, it looks like the Pelicans are struggling to score points of late, but you have to consider their level of competition of late.

Line: NOR -4.5, Over/Under: 205

Players to Watch

  • Anthony Davis, PF, Pelicans – 29th OPRK ($11,000)
  • Jrue Holiday, PG, Pelicans   – 19th OPRK ($7,700)
  • Ryan Anderson, PF, Pelicans – 29th OPRK ($5,400)
  • Avery Bradley, SG, Celtics  – 25th OPRK ($4,600)

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ROCKETS AT NETS

Game Analysis

Sometimes a team just needs to be carried by their best player from time-to-time, and James Harden certainly gives the Rockets (26-11) that added oomph that a club needs. Harden’s game only continues to strengthen as the season wears on, pushing his club to third place in the Western Conference. The Nets (16-21) will try to do their best to prevent the Rockets from taking a game on their home court, although it will take an incredible effort as a team to keep players like Harden and Dwight Howard from running away with the game. The Nets are a defensive-minded club, as well as the Rockets, so it would behoove you to take the 193.5 under.

Line: HOU -6.0, Over/Under: 193.5

Players to Watch

  • James Harden, SG, Rockets – 14th OPRK ($10,500)
  • Brook Lopez, C, Nets – 12th OPRK ($7,100)
  • Patrick Beverley, PG, Rockets – 24th OPRK ($5,100)
  • Kevin Garnett, PF, Nets – 23rd OPRK ($3,400)

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PISTONS AT RAPTORS

Game Analysis

The Pistons (13-24) have been trying to turn their season around as they’ve won eight out of the last 10 games played, taking a more youthful approach in games with the recent subtraction of Josh Smith from their roster. The Raptors (25-11), who should get DeMar DeRozan back from injury over the next week or so, will be able to get a good enough stranglehold on the visiting Pistons, even with an 8-10 road record that hints at a decent level of respectability. The Raptors are averaging 107.7 points per game and have one of the better home records in the NBA as they’ve tuned up teams to a 15-4 record. Even with the Pistons turning their season around some, we should see a Raptors team that won’t have any issue taking care of business. Expect the Raptors to cover the -6.0 line.

Line: TOR -6.0, Over/Under: 208.5

Players to Watch

  • Andre Drummond, C, Pistons – 25th OPRK ($9,100)
  • Brandon Jennings, PG, Pistons – 20th OPRK ($7,900)
  • Jonas Valanciunas, C, Raptors – 29th OPRK ($6,100)
  • Lou Williams, SG, Raptors – 27th OPRK ($4,700)

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MAGIC AT BULLS

Game Analysis

The Bulls (26-12) are thankful for Pau Gasol, as he is coming off a career game where he put up 46 points and 18 rebounds against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. The win righted the Bulls and helped the team avoid a third straight loss as they took it on the chin from the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards last week. The Magic (13-27) is a team that’s headed in a completely different direction, even with the solid play this season from center Nikola Vucevic. Jimmy Butler will need to get his shot going in the right direction, as he’s missed 17 of his last 21 attempts over the past two games played.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Pau Gasol, PF, Bulls – 21st OPRK ($9,700)
  • Nikola Vucevic, C, Magic – 26th OPRK ($8,500)
  • Joakim Noah, C, Bulls – 24th OPRK ($6,900)
  • Taj Gibson, PF, Bulls – 21st OPRK ($5,000)

 

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