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 CAVALIERS

Game Analysis

The Cavaliers will soon be riding a wave of win-success, assuming LeBron James and Kyrie Irving continue to stay on the same page. There’s no doubting the talent that’s on the Cavs roster, although the Pelicans will be a formidable opponent with superstar Anthony Davis (NBA-leading 4.4 BPG) really coming into his own early on. The Pelicans will need to step up their defensive efforts to stop the Cavs offense, which is loaded with plenty of options. Defensively, the Cavs are hurting a bit as they have given up far too many points in the paint to this point. I’ve got this game as a pretty close contest overall, enough that I’d rather have the points and the Pelicans.

Line: CLE -6.0

Players to Watch

  • Anthony Davis, PF, Pelicans ($11,000)
  • Tyreke Evans, SG, Pelicans ($7,500)
  • Omer Asik, C, Pelicans ($5,900)
  • Anderson Varejao, C, Cavaliers ($4,700)

_________________________________

JAZZ AT PACERS

Game Analysis

If you’re looking for a name to lock onto in this one at a reasonable value, then Gordon Hayward makes a ton of sense with the production he’s given. So far, Hayward is averaging 18 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 5.3 APG and almost a steal a game, while giving DFS owners 36.3 FPPG on average each night. The Jazz should have no problems containing the Pacers, although look for the Pacers to try to slow the pace in this one. Still, I expect the Jazz to get very close to their 99.3 average points scored per game number.

Line: IND -2.0

Players to Watch

  • Gordon Hayward, SG, Jazz ($7,800)
  • Derrick Favors, PF, Jazz ($7,100)
  • Alec Burks, SG, Jazz ($5,500)
  • Donald Sloan, PG, Pacers ($4,900)

_________________________________

HAWKS AT KNICKS

Game Analysis

The Knicks are giving up just under 100 points a game in their matchups so far this season, which helps explain their rough start to the year. They have lost five in a row, but a bunch of that has to do with the injuries they’re currently suffering and that they can’t defend perimeter shots very well right now. Expect to see most of the same production you’ve seen to this point from the Knicks with the Hawks having some of the best 3-point production in the game early on. I see the Hawks covering the line in this one, with point guard Jeff Teague leading the way. Two others to take advantage of considering their all-around game and OPRK are Paul Milsap and Amare Stoudemire albeit at differing salary ranges.

Line: ATL -1.5

Players to Watch

  • Jeff Teague, PG, Hawks ($7,300)
  • Paul Millsap, PF, Hawks ($7,600)
  • Amare Stoudemire, PF, Knicks ($5,100)
  • Iman Shumpert, SG, Knicks ($5,500)

_________________________________

PISTONS AT BULLS

Game Analysis

If you look at the early season win-loss records you’d think this might have a chance at being a blowout game, but I expect the Pistons to keep things pretty close considering the Bulls likely won’t have Derrick Rose on court. Look for the Bulls to win the game with Kirk Hinrich being a sneaky play for DFS lineups. He’s coming off an 0-for-7 night last game out, but with Rose likely out Hinrich gets one more chance to show his value at an excellent price. The matchup isn’t good at all, but I’m taking the chance on Hinrich in a game where the Bulls should get close to their 104.3 point average. The Pistons have lost 23 out of their last 25 road games and aren’t building consistent play, although Josh Smith does stick out as someone to snag considering his all-around contributing game.

Line: None

Players to Watch

  • Josh Smith, SF, Pistons ($7,600)
  • Joakim Noah, C, Bulls ($6,700)
  • Taj Gibson, PF, Bulls ($3,000)
  • Kirk Hinrich, PG, Bulls ($3,600)

_________________________________

SPURS AT CLIPPERS

Game Analysis

Blake Griffin is going to be in my DFS lineup with the numbers he’s put up in the last six meetings against the Spurs. Griffin is averaging 25.7 points and 12 rebounds over those games, and while he may not be the best value overall he’s someone I need locked in considering his nightly production that can be counted on. The Clippers are giving too many points on average (103.8), although they are facing a Spurs club that is only averaging 92.8 points a game.

Line: LAC – 3.0

Players to Watch

  • Chris Paul, PG, Clippers ($9,800)
  • Blake Griffin, PF, Clippers ($9,400)
  • Jamal Crawford, SG, Clippers ($5,400)
  • Manu Ginobili, SG, Spurs ($4,500)

 

Good luck on Monday!