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.

CAVALIERS AT 76ERS

Game Analysis

With LeBron James and Kyrie Irving out with injury, the 76ers (4-28) will still have a difficult time beating the Cavaliers (19-15), who have lost six games out of their last eight played. Kevin Love will be the anchor for the Cavs on Monday as the 76ers will try to stop him on the defensive front as they’ve allowed almost 122 points a game over their last three games. The Cavs will need to improve defensively, considering their overall poor play over their recent losing run, which means stopping Michael Carter-Williams, who is averaging 15 PPG, 7 APG and 6 RPG this season. Look for a tight outcome, with the Cavs pulling out the win on the road.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Kevin Love, PF, Cavaliers – 22nd OPRK ($10,600)
  • Michael Carter-Williams, PG, 76ers  – 22nd OPRK ($9,000)
  • Tony Wroten, PG, 76ers – 23rd OPRK ($6,500)
  • Dion Waiters, SG, Cavaliers  – 26th OPRK ($5,600)

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HORNETS AT CELTICS

Game Analysis

This is an even  matchup between two clubs that are still trying to find consistent production, as the Hornets (11-24) look to steal one in Boston over the Celtics (11-20). Kemba Walker leads the way for the Hornets as he’s put up some dominating production at times this season and will have no issue with a Celtics club that has given up 104.4 PPG this season. The Hornets do struggle at times to get points on the board, so the Celtics do have a decent chance of getting the win. Take the 198 under in this game as both defenses will step up.

Line: BOS -5.0, Over/Under: 198

Players to Watch

  • Kemba Walker, PG, Hornets – 18th OPRK ($10,300)
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Hornets – 18th OPRK ($5,700)
  • Cody Zeller, PF, Hornets – 27th OPRK ($5,100)
  • Marcus Smart, PG, Celtics – 28th OPRK ($5,000)

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MAVERICKS AT NETS

Game Analysis

Since landing Rajon Rondo in a deal from the Celtics, the Mavericks (25-10) are 6-2. There’s no doubt that Rondo’s overall presence on the floor for the Mavericks has been huge, but it’s the overlooked defensive ability that Rondo brings to a Mavs team that has allowed 102.3 PPG this season to the opposition. But as long as the Mavs keep putting up 109.9 PPG on the offensive front, mediocre teams, like the Nets (16-17), won’t be able to stay with the Mavs on the floor. The Mavs carry a dominant road record against Eastern Conference clubs, where they have not lost a game. Take the 206 over in this one.

Line: DAL -5.5, Over/Under: 206

Players to Watch

  • Rajon Rondo, PG, Mavericks – 24th OPRK ($8,600)
  • Monta Ellis, SG, Mavericks – 15th OPRK ($7,400)
  • Dirk Nowtizki, PF, Mavericks – 25th OPRK ($7,000)
  • Jarrett Jack, PG, Nets – 29th OPRK ($6,000)

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ROCKETS AT BULLS

Game Analysis

With James Harden averaging 27.2 PPG for the Rockets (23-10), he and the Rockets should give the Bulls (24-10) fits in Chicago, even with the Bulls winning nine out of their last 10 games. The Bulls, with a 10-6 home record, are certainly not a lock to win at home, although getting Jimmy Butler back in action would definitely help. Butler is probable for a Monday return. Pau Gasol, who is averaging 18 PPG and 11.2 RPG, has been playing very well defensively as he’s averaging 2.4 blocks per game. Look for Derrick Rose’s play to be the key in the game as he’s still fighting to remain consistent from game-to-game.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Dwight Howard, C, Rockets – 27th OPRK ($9,200)
  • Joakim Noah, C, Bulls – 12th OPRK ($7,000)
  • Trevor Ariza, SF, Rockets – 21st OPRK ($5,900)
  • Nikola Mirotic, PF, Bulls – 14th OPRK ($5,300)

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KNICKS AT GRIZZLIES

Game Analysis

The Knicks (5-31) continue to struggle as a team, as they take their 2-16 road record into Memphis to face the Grizzlies (24-9). The Knicks are only scoring 93.4 PPG as a team and continue to fight injuries and consistency. The Knicks are currently without Carmelo Anthony and Iman Shumpert due to injury, while only shooting 36.6 percent over their last four games played. The Grizzlies have lost three out of their last four games at home, but will pull out the victory with ease. Look to take the 192 under, and then also take the Grizzlies to cover – don’t be frightened away – considering the Knicks horrible output of late in putting up points.

Line: MEM -14.0, Over/Under: 192

Players to Watch

  • Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies – 10th OPRK ($9,700)
  • Mike Conley, PG, Grizzlies – 9th OPRK ($8,400)
  • J.R. Smith, SG, Knicks – 29th OPRK ($6,100)
  • Courtney Lee, SG, Grizzlies – 27th OPRK ($4,400)

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NUGGETS AT TIMBERWOLVES

Game Analysis

The Timberwolves (5-27) have lost 17 of their last 18 games and have lost 11 in a row to this point, but piling on a losing club is always a dangerous venture when looking to bet the line. I would avoid the -4.0 being spotted to the Timberwolves, as evidence of consistent production has been thrown by the wayside – even with the chance of putting a mini winning streak together after coming off a win. The Nuggets (14-20) should be able  to take care of business, with Kenneth Faried really blossoming of late. Faried has done quite well facing the Timberwolves over his career, averaging 14.0 PPG, 10.4 RPG on 64.2 percent shooting (13 games).

Line: DEN -4.0, Over/Under: 208

Players to Watch

  • Kenneth Faried, PF, Nuggets – 29th OPRK ($7,400)
  • Gorgui Dieng, C, Timberwolves – 29th OPRK ($7,000)
  • Wilson Chandler, SF, Nuggets – 29th OPRK ($6,400)
  • Thaddeus Young, PF, Timberwolves – 30th OPRK ($6,100)

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WIZARDS AT PELICANS

Game Analysis

Over their current three-game losing streak, the Wizards (22-11) have given up 108.0 PPG on 53.5 percent shooting which points to shoddy defensive play. The Pelicans (17-16) have scored almost 102.0 PPG and are 11-4 at home this season, as things point to a decent shot of extending the Wizards losing streak to four. Eric Gordon is set to return to the Pelicans’ lineup after suffering through a shoulder injury and missing 21 games. The Pelicans have scored 110.0 PPG over their last 11 home contests. I’m betting the 200 over in this game, but avoiding the line.

Line: NO -3.0, Over/Under: 200

Players to Watch

  • John Wall, PG, Wizards – 11th OPRK ($10,300)
  • Bradley Beal, SG, Wizards – 28th OPRK ($6,500)
  • Marcin Gortat, C, Wizards – 17th OPRK ($6,300)
  • Omer Asik, C, Pelicans – 13th OPRK ($4,300)

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PACERS AT JAZZ

Game Analysis

As the Pacers (13-22) suffer through injury losses to George Hill and C.J. Watson, backup guard Donald Sloan has stepped in nicely averaging 13 points, 7.5 assists and 7.5 rebounds over his last two games. On paper, this is a solid matchup as the Pacers matchup well with the Jazz (12-22) with similar win-loss records and similar scoring and points allowed averages. The player to look for in Monday’s game is Trey Burke, who is starting to take on a more expanded role in light of teams injuries. This will be a very close game overall.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Derrick Favors, PF, Jazz – 8th OPRK ($7,900)
  • David West, PF, Pacers – 23rd OPRK ($6,900)
  • Trey Burke, PG, Jazz – 19th OPRK ($6,300)
  • Rudy Gobert, C, Jazz – 24th OPRK ($5,900)

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LAKERS AT TRAIL BLAZERS

Game Analysis

Kobe Bryant played hero for the Lakers (11-23) in Sunday’s game as he sank the winning shot with 12 seconds remaining against the Pacers, but unfortunately for the Lakers, Bryant will be taking the day off to due to a scheduled rest day. The Trail Blazers (26-8) are 8-2 over their last 10 games played and sport a 15-3 winning record at home in Portland, giving the Lakers a very slim chance at a win, especially without Kobe in their lineup. I like the line enough, taking Portland to cover the -12.0 being spotted. Look for Nick Young to see his average numbers rise without Kobe in the lineup.

Line: POR -12.0, Over/Under: 210.5

Players to Watch

  • LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, Trail Blazers – 26th OPRK ($10,900)
  • Damian Lillard, PG, Trail Blazers – 30th OPRK ($6,900)
  • Nicolas Batum, SF, Trail Blazers – 23rd OPRK ($6,400)
  • Jeremy Lin, PG, Lakers – 20th OPRK ($5,500)

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THUNDER AT WARRIORS

Game Analysis

The Warriors (26-5) continue to be the dominant team in the West as their offensive presence on the court has been incredible, averaging 108.6 PPG. But even more impressive than their offense is the Warriors ability to limit teams with their solid style of defense, allowing only 98.5 PPG, which translates to a +10.1 point differential. Since getting Kevin Durant back from his recent injury stint, the Warriors will need to really clamp down on Durant and the Thunder (17-17) if they expect to pull out a victory. I like the Thunder on the road being spotted the +3.5 points.

Line: GS -3.5, Over/Under: 217.5

Players to Watch

  • Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder – 21st OPRK ($10,500)
  • Klay Thompson, SG, Warriors – 19th OPRK ($7,900)
  • Serge Ibaka, PF, Thunder – 13th OPRK ($6,900)
  • Reggie Jackson, PG, Thunder – 21st OPRK ($5,300)

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HAWKS AT CLIPPERS

Game Analysis

The Hawks (25-8) have now put together an eight-game winning streak over Western Conference opponents and head into Los Angeles to face a Clippers (23-11) club that has gone 6-4 over their last 10 games. The Clippers show a positive record at home this season (15-4), while the Hawks play as a decent road team (11-5). DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin will try to stop the Hawks with their excellent rebounding skills, making the Hawks win the game from the outside. Over their last five contests, the Clippers have only allowed opponents to score 92.4 PPG.

Line: LAC -5.0, Over/Under: 209.5

Players to Watch

  • Blake Griffin, PF, Clippers – 21st OPRK ($10,800)
  • Chris Paul, PG, Clippers – 15th OPRK ($10,700)
  • DeMarre Carroll, SF, Hawks – 27th OPRK ($5,500)
  • J.J. Redick, SG, Clippers – 25th OPRK ($5,000)

 

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