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.

 

Friday’s Contests

$70K Sharpshooter – $3 to Play >> DRAFT NOW

$100K Crossover – $27 to Play >> DRAFT NOW

_____________________________________________________

Bulls @ Thunder

Game Analysis

The Bulls have lost four of the last five. They played to the over in four of the last five as well. I don’t put too much stock into that as the totals of those games tended to be 190 or less. They have not blown by those totals with most games finishing slightly above lately, so they are still paced down and solid defensively. Thunder are on the other end of that spectrum. They have won four of the last six and only played to the under once. They have been blowing past totals in the 212 range and both teams tend to reach the triple digit mark when the Thunder are on the floor. I think they pace up the Bulls a lot in this one. This current Bulls roster is not the defensive unit they are when healthy so I do not think they slow the Thunder down much. We could see a lot of points here if Chicago can keep up. This is an early game and there’s a lot of questionable tags surrounding it, so make sure to get more information before tip off.

Line:

Players to Watch

  • Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder ($12600)
  • Mitch McGeary, PF, Thunder ($3800)
  • Pau Gasol, PF, Bulls ($8800)
  • Joakim Noah, C, Bulls ($6400)

_____________________________________________________

Rockets @ Clippers

Game Analysis

The Rockets have only won two of their last six. They have played under every spread over 200 in the past three weeks. The only time they see overs anymore is when the totals dips down into the mid 190s. The Clippers have lost three of their last five as well and except for the explosion against the Thunder, they also have struggled to reach the overs. The other four games they averaged about 94 points, so this could be lower scoring than many expect. As of now the big news is a questionable tag on Blake Griffin. He hasn’t played in a long time so I would not expect much from him as he rounds back into shape, but it’s worth noting. Crawford is the only other injury concern of note and he is definitely out. There’s a lot of high priced stars here in what many expect to be a hot pace. I think many will use it very heavy on the early slate and I’m not sure I love it enough to do that. Both teams have been slower and allowing less points, so there’s an arguement to be made for the under.

Line:

Players to Watch

  • Chris Paul, PG, Clippers ($10000)
  • DeAndre Jordan, C, Clippers ($9000)
  • James Harden, SG, Rockets ($10800)
  • Terrence Jones, PF, Rockets ($7100)

_____________________________________________________

Cavaliers @ Magic

Game Analysis

The Cavs have won five of their last six. They’ve done it by scoring 255 points in the last two games and they did it a few games before by holding opposing teams under 80 points. The Cavs can win any type of game and it makes it tough to figure how this will go. Vegas is expecting them to win going away by a score well above the totals for the recent Magic games. The Magic lost three games in a row and have averaged under 90 during this stretch. Their recent totals tend to be in the low 190s and we do have some blow out risk here. I like other games in the late set more so I will be staying away from this one.

Line: Cavs -10, O/U 202

Players to Watch

  • Kyrie Irving, PG, Cavs ($8100)
  • Kevin Love, PF, Cavs ($7600)
  • Nikola Vucevic, C, Magic ($8300)
  • Elfrid Payton, PG, Magic ($6100)

_____________________________________________________

Nuggets @ Pelicans

Game Analysis

Denver has won five of their last seven. They are back to playing fast and scoring over 100 in every one of the last seven games. They have given up some big scores and held opponents to around 100 in the others, so we should see some points today. That also has a lot to do with New Orleans scoring a lot of points lately. They have scored over 110 in each of the last two games. Everyone is healthy and expected to play for New Orleans tomorrow. There’s a lot of explosive players in this one who could put up huge numbers. It’s definitely a game I would try to have exposure to on this slate.

Line:

Players to Watch

  • Anthony Davis, PF, Pelicans ($11000)
  • Omer Asik, C, Pelicans ($4800)
  • Kenneth Faried, PF, Nuggets ($6900)
  • Danilo Galinari, SF, Nuggets ($6000)

_____________________________________________________

Trailblazers @ Raptors

Game Analysis

The Blazers have won seven of the last eight. They have been playing very well offensively lately and averaging well over 100 a game. The Raptors have only won two of the last six games and have averaged 205 point totals during that stretch. With both teams playing so well on offensive I would expect a lot of points here tomorrow. These two hooked up once already this season with the final being a five point Portland win at home for right around 200 total points. The Total here is high and the spread is tight, so this is definitely a game we should look towards for fantasy purposes.

Line: Raptors -2, O/U 204.5

Players to Watch

  • Kyle Lowry, PG, Raptors ($7400)
  • Amir Johnson, PF, Raptors ($4000)
  • Damian Lilliard, PG, Blazers ($8100)
  • Nic Batum, SF, Blazers ($6700)

_____________________________________________________

Timberwolves @ Spurs

Game Analysis

Minnesota has lost seven of the last eight games. They have played to the over in only three of those games. They are averaging around 96 points per game and have allowed over 100 in six of the last eight. Today they get a Spurs team that has averaged over 110 points in their last seven. They have won six of them and the only loss was a high scoring defeat in overtime at the hands of the Cavs last out. This should be another high scoring affair we need to look towards for fantasy purposes. I’d be happier if the game was in Minnesota, because there is a chance of a blowout today.

Line:

Players to Watch

  • Tony Parker, PG, Spurs ($6400)
  • Tim Duncan, PF, Spurs ($6800)
  • Justin Hamilton, C, Timberwolves ($4000)
  • Gorgui Dieng, C, Timberwolves ($5700)

_____________________________________________________

Knicks @ Suns

Game Analysis

The Knicks have lost five of their last six and averaged less than 88 points while doing so. The total here is pretty low and the spread is huge, so this is not a game we should look to target. The Suns are very low on guards with some recent injuries, so the only saving grace may be too much playing time to spread around  and not enough warm bodies to play those minutes. There’s some cheap flyers you can take here, but i would not look to go heavy on this one.

Line: Suns -12, O/U 196.5

Players to Watch

  • Brandon Wright, PF, Suns ($3600)
  • Markieff Morris, PF, Suns ($6100)
  • Marcus Morris, PF, Suns ($4800)
  • Alexey Shved, PG, Knicks ($5800)

_____________________________________________________

Hawks @ Lakers

Game Analysis

This is another game I would not look to use a lot for fantasy. The Lakers have won one of their last seven. The hawks have won eight of the last ten. That alone is a problem for LA. The Lakers have struggled to score recently and the Hawks have one of the league’s best defenses. The Lakers struggle to stop people and the Hawks offense is a clinic. The match up here is just bad all around for LA. There is a chance the Hawks choose to rest some guys, but that only makes it harder to recommend any of them. If this game does get out of hand there’s a chance we see less Horford and Teague and more of the bench players. I guess a few Lakers tend to be decent options, but they are all splitting time pretty evenly so it’s tough to pinpoint the best plays.

Line: Hawks -8.5, O/U 199

Players to Watch

  • Denis Schroder, PG, Hawks ($4800)
  • Paul Milsapp, PF, Hawks ($7500)
  • Ed Davis, PF, Lakers ($5000)
  • Jordan Hill, C, Lakers ($5700)