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.

 

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Miami Heat @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Game Analysis

Miami has won four of their last five. They have been scoring over 100 and limiting opponents in the 90s. They have played to the under more often, but are seeing totals over 200 each game, so it is no surprise. The Thunder have also won four of their last five and have not played to the under at all during this stretch. They are routinely scoring over 110 points per game and giving up over 100. This game is expected to stay close and be very high scoring, so both sides of this game are useable.

Line: Thunder -4, O/U212

Players to Watch

  • Goran Dragic, PG, Heat ($7000)
  • Hassan Whiteside, C, Heat ($7700)
  • Steven Adams, C, Thunder ($5500)
  • Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder ($13200)

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Cleveland Cavaliers @ Milwaukee Bucks

Game Analysis

Cleveland has won eight of it’s last ten games. The scoring has dipped in recent contests and the Bucks play some solid defense, so I can see why the total here may appear a little low. The Cleveland offense is always capable of exploding for 120+ point outings, so it could go either way. The reason it could be a blowout is that Milwaukee is not playing well. Their scoring is down, their opponents scoring is up, and it’s no mystery why they have lost five in a row. The spread here is high and these teams have been going in opposite directions. The total is also a concern and I would not look to use this game heavily.

Line: Cavaliers -8, O/U 197.5

Players to Watch

  • Timofey Mozgov, C, Cavs ($4600)
  • Kyrie Irving, PG, Cavs ($7700)
  • Zaza Pachulia, C, Bucks ($4700)
  • Ersan Ilyasova, PF, Bucks ($5600)

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San Antonio Spurs @ Atlanta Hawks

Game Analysis

This is a coaching match up that pits student against teacher. Both teams have the same offensive philosophy predicated on quick ball m movement and sharing the wealth. The one minor difference is the Hawks tend to play more minutes. The Spurs are in a fight for playoff positioning in the West though and this should be a close high scoring game between two of the best teams in the league. Both play fast and both have been better offensively than defensively lately. This should be a great spot to target for fantasy points today.

Line: Hawks -2, O/U 203

Players to Watch

  • Tim Duncan, PF, Spurs ($6500)
  • Kawhi Leonard, SF, Spurs ($7900)
  • Jeff Teague, PG, Hawks ($6100)
  • Al Horford, C, Hawks ($6300)

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New Orleans Pelicans @ Los Angeles Clippers

Game Analysis

The Pelicans have lost two straight games without the services of Anthony Davis and their scoring has been abysmal. The Unibrow is still questionable, which is why Vegas is slow to release a line. The Team’s other big man, Omer Asik, is also questionable after sitting out last game. It will be tough for them to compete with the athletic front court of the Clippers with those two not in uniform. The Clippers recently welcomed back Blake Griffin and have won three straight games. The pace and scoring are up. The opponent’s scoring average is too because of the increased possessions. Without the big men this game could have some blow out risk and with them the defense could be stout. I think there’s a chance the Clippers score a lot of points and the big men sit, but that gives me concern about a blowout and low minutes for the starters.

Line:

Players to Watch

  • Tyreke Evans, PG, Pelicans ($7600)
  • Alexis Ajinca, C, Pelicans ($4600)
  • Blake Griffin, PF, Clippers ($00)
  • Chris Paul, PG, Clippers ($9800)

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New York Knicks @ Toronto Raptors

Game Analysis

The Knicks have been bad lately. they have lost eight of their last ten and played to the under in seven of those games. They have been playing to the under due to a lack of offense. When Alexey Shved can step into your team and be an instant star, then you know there’s problems. At full strength this would be a blow out, but Toronto lost it’s floor general, Kyle Lowry, and looked bad in the last game without him. The Bulls were able to beat them easily and from the looks of things, they should be without Lowry again. Even with the injuries they have suffered, the Bulls are still a much better team then the Knicks. Even without Lowry I expect the Raptors to win this one, but the total should be somewhat low. If there were not so many cheap options I would say to stay away, but the usage bumps on Toronto make all the other starters interesting if Lowry does sit,

Line:

Players to Watch

  • DeMar Derozan, SG, Raptors ($7700)
  • Greivis Vasquez, PG, Raptors ($4600)
  • Alexey Shved, PG, Knicks ($7000)
  • Andrea Bargnani, PF, Knicks ($6000)