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.

 

Wednesday Contests

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$150K Return of the Bird – $33 to Play >> DRAFT NOW

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Brooklyn Nets @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Game Analysis

The Nets have won two of their last seven and have been about 50/50 to the over and under lately. They have been seeing some higher than normal Totals though and have both scored and allowed over 100 often recently, so they have been paced up from earlier in the season. The Cavs are no stranger to high scores as they have topped 120 points in four of their last seven games. They do have some banged up studs in Kyrie and Love, but one or both are likely to suit up tomorrow. The Cavs look like a team firing on all cylinders on both ends of the floor lately. Both teams are playing paced up so we will see some scoring, but the question is how much run will the starters see if the game gets out of hand.

Line: Cleveland -11.5, O/U 206.5

Players to Watch

  • JR Smith, SG, Cavaliers ($5500)
  • Lebron James, SF, Cavaliers ($10600)
  • Jarrett Jack, PG, Nets ($4700)
  • Thaddeus Young, PF, Nets ($6200)

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Detroit Pistons @ Philadelphia 76ers

Game Analysis

Detroit had lost ten in a row before shocking everyone by beating Memphis last night. They are on the road for the tail end of this back to back and get a Sixers team that has been struggling. They have lost seven of the last nine and have only scored over 95 in one of their last six. The teams have split four meeting already this season and the home team has won three of the four. This game is in Philly with Detroit on the tail end of a back to back, and missing one of their leading scorers. I’m not saying the Sixers are a favorite here, but they do have a chance to win this game. Neither team has been incredibly high scoring, so this could be a lower scoring game tomorrow. Both teams struggle to guard big men, but I think the Pistons are the only one that can take advantage of that. I still like them to win, but think the Sixers will keep it close.

Line: Detroit -1.5, O/U 192

Players to Watch

  • Reggie Jackson, PG, Pistons ($6400)
  • Andre Drummond, C, Pistons ($7500)
  • Ish Smith, PG, Sixers ($4800)
  • Nerlens Noel, PF, Sixers ($7400)

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Minnesota Timberwolves @ Toronto Raptors

Game Analysis

The Timberwolves have lost five in a row and nine of their last ten games. On top of that they are pretty banged up. Pekovic, Kevin Garnett, and Rubio are all listed as questionable. Rubio is likely to play, but the other two are 50/50 at best. Toronto on the other hand has won two of the last three. They had lost a few before that, but it was not do to their scoring. They have scored over 100 in six of the last eight games. The pace is hot and they played to the over a bunch lately. This strikes me as a game that could be high scoring as well. The Wolves have not been good at keeping road games close though so there’s some blow out risk too. It might be a good off the radar place to find some cheap points though depending on who is sitting out.

Line: Toronto -9, O/U 207

Players to Watch

  • Kyle Lowry, PG, Raptors ($7400)
  • Jonas Valaciunas, C, Raptors ($5100)
  • Kevin Martin, SG, Timberwolves ($5800)
  • Justin Hamilton, C, Timberwolves ($4500)

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Portland Trailblazers @ Miami Heat

Game Analysis

In the last five games the Heat have won three. They have also managed to average 108 in those three wins and have not kept an opponent under 90 in five straight games. This is important, because many still view them as a slow down half court team playing games with 180 totals, but that is not how they are presently constructed. The Blazers have always been a high scoring team with a lot of talented offensive players. They have not scored less than 97 points in any of their last five and opponents are averaging 105 against them, so this game could be destined for an over with an already high number. Both teams playing paced up lately leads me to believe this could be a fantasy goldmine that others overlook. Low spread and high total with both teams playing faster lately leads me to believe this is a game you need exposure to.
 
Line: Portland -2.5, O/U 200.5

Players to Watch

  • Lamarcus Aldridge, PF, Blazers ($8800)
  • Nicolas Batum, SF, Blazers ($6800)
  • Hassan Whiteside, C, Heat ($7800)
  • Dwyane Wade, SG, Heat ($7800)

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Boston Celtics @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Game Analysis

The Celtics have won seven of their last eight and played under in seven of the last ten. Most consider them a paced up team now, but that has not been the case. With Isiah Thomas out that is definitely not the case. They have seen their totals rise and have played under them with totals barely reaching the 190s. The Thunder do have a way of pushing the pace against any team, but this total seems like it may be a bit high for me. Of course OKC has only been under in one of it’s last ten and they routinely play games where both teams reach tripl digits. While I think this game can stay under it is still very likely to see over 200 points. It’s no secret who has been doing the scoring for the Thunder and as long as Ibaka and Durant remain out I think it continues. The Total here is huge and the spread is not too overly concerning. I think this game is usable tomorrow and one you should have exposure to.

Line: Oklahoma City -7, O/U 212

Players to Watch

  • Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder ($12600)
  • Enes Kanter, C, Thunder ($6600)
  • Avery Bradley, SG, Celtics ($5800)
  • Brandon Bass, PF, Celtics ($5500)

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Indiana Pacers @ Chicago Bulls

Game Analysis

Indiana had won seven in a row before dropping their last two. They had been playing to the under and relying on some solid defense during this run. In the last two games though that defense seems to have let them down and they will need to turn it back around today. The Buls have been decimated by injuries and losers of five of their last six. They have played to the over in five straight as their defense has been letting them down. A struggling offense against a stout defense and a sturggling defense playing an offense that can use a boost does not seem like a solid game script in Chicago’s favor. They are home which could help, but I’d rather tick up the Pacers before I looked at using many Bulls tomorrow. Either way though it;s a low total game and we have better spots to target.

Line: Chicago -1.5, O/U 190

Players to Watch

  • Joakim Noah, C, Bulls ($6300)
  • Nikola Mirotic, PF, Bulls ($7200)
  • George Hill, PG, Pacers ($6800)
  • Rodney Stuckey, SG, Pacers ($6700)

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Orlando Magic @ Dallas Mavericks

Game Analysis

Orlando played tonight and Tobias Harris left the game early. Elfrid Payton and Oladipo really picked up the pace after he was gone and Vucevic had a solid showing as well. The Magic will be leaning hard on those guys again tomorrow with Harris out. As for Dallas they have really been playing better lately. Chandler Parsons has found his scoring kick and the Mavericks have been putting up some points. They have averaged over 100 in their last four and I think they could do so again tomorrow against a banged up Magic squad on the tail end of a back to back. My fear is the Magic roll over and this one gets out of hand. If not though there’s some really nice options on both teams in a predicted high scoring affair.

Line: Dallas -11, O/U 204

Players to Watch

  • Elfrid Payton, PG, Magic ($6200)
  • Victor Oladipo, SG, Magic ($7700)
  • Chandler Parsons, SF, Mavericks ($6700)
  • Tyson Chandler, C, Mavericks ($5700)

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San Antonio Spurs @ Milwaukee Bucks

Game Analysis

The Spurs have won seven of their last nine, but did lose to the Knicks by four last night in what has recently become a trend of unpredictable NBA outcomes. They are playing fast which has led to their scoring and opponents scoring both being up. The Bucks on the other side have lost four of their last five. They dropped a close one to the Pelicans last night. Their scoring is down lately as they struggle to put points up on the board. at one point last night they were down 12-0 to start the game with about 6 minutes to go in the first quarter. I am honestly not sure why Vegas only has this game as a 4 point spread for San Antonio. I assume they feel we will see some guys get rested. Even the Spurs that do start are seeing noticeably less minutes, so you can still get burned even if your players are not out. Milwaukee has been solid defensively all year, but the Spurs are rolling so I only slightly tick down their fantasy prowess. On the tail end of back to back games for both these teams I think we could see a sloppy one here. Not my favorite game to target today.

Line: San Antonio -4.5, O/U 196

Players to Watch

  • Zaza Pachlia, C, Bucks ($4300)
  • Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Bucks ($7000)
  • Kawhi Leonard, SF, Spurs ($8600)
  • Tiago Spitter, C, Spurs ($3600)

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Los Angeles Clippers @ Sacramento Kings

Game Analysis

The Clippers have won three of their last five and were able to welcome back star PF Blake Griffin last game. That will big a big boost to this team on both ends of the floor. The Clippers have been playing to the under more often recently and have done so twice since Blake returned. Sacramento has only won one of their last eight, but at least they look good doing it in the eyes of their owner. He wanted a faster paced game and now he has it. They have been playing to the over nearly every time out. The pace is high, their scoring is up, and the allow an absolute ton of points. Two high octane teams coming together here could lead to some fireworks. My only fear is how close this game stays as I think the Kings are a clueless franchise with very little in the way of talent. I like the Clips and a lot of points in this one. Worth looking at for fantasy.

Line: Los Angeles -7, O/U 216.5

Players to Watch

  • Blake Griffin, PF, Clippers ($9000)
  • Chris Paul, PG, Clippers ($9700)
  • Omri Casspi, SF, Kings ($3800)
  • Ben McLemore, SG, Kings ($4400)

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Atlanta Hawks @ Golden State Warriors

Game Analysis

A possible NBA finals preview takes place in Golden State tonight and this should be a fun one to watch. Both teams are missing their SG in this one as Klay Thompson and Kyle Korver are already ruled out. Everyone else should be in play though and we should see a high scoring back and forth contest here. Both teams like to put points on the board and play at a high pace. The Hawks play slightly better defense  than the Warriors and the Warriors tend to play a little faster than Atlanta, so the uptick in production should be on the Hawks side. Either way though with a close high scoring game expected, All these guys are in play for fantasy purposes tonight.

Line: Golden State -6, O/U 210.5

Players to Watch

  • Jeff Teague, PG, Hawks ($6700)
  • Al Horford, C, Hawks ($6900)
  • Draymond Green, PF, Warriors ($7200)
  • Stephen Curry, PG, Warriors ($9700)

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Washington Wizards @ Utah Jazz

Game Analysis

If you are looking for games to fade, this has to be near the top of the list. Two solid defensive teams hook up in a game with a total of only 180. That’s more then 30 points below some of the other games we can target on this large slate. Utah’s defense has been amazing lately. They have not allowed any of their last ten opponents to score over 91 points. They play very slow and rarely reach 100 themselves, but if they are able to keep other people from scoring it will continue to translate into wins. Washington has won six of their last eight and the scoring for them is up. They face a much tougher defense today though, so I would actually tick both teams down due to opponents defensive efficiency and the probable slow pace. I will be staying away from this, but there’s some big names to play here who should be low owned if you choose to go this route.

Line: Utah -3.5, O/U 180

Players to Watch

  • Rudy Gobert, C, Jazz ($8100)
  • Gordon Hayward, SF, Jazz ($7500)
  • John Wall, PG, Wizards ($9100)
  • Nene Hilario, PF, Wizards ($4500)