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.

Bucks @ Pacers

Game Analysis

With so many injured players to start the season, this is not the Indiana team we are all used to seeing. The stout defensive side we came to know last year is either injured or left town and so far the current cast has been letting opponents score at an unusually high clip for a Pacers team. The Pacers have played 3 games and all of them went over the Vegas line. Their opponents in Milwaukee have been over in two of their three as well. The young talented Bucks are looking more aggressive under new coach Jason Kidd and this should be a game with some points scored.

Line: Pacers -3.5, O/U 191

Players to Watch

  • Donald Sloan, PG, Pacers ($6,000)
  • Chris Copeland, PF, Pacers ($4,600)
  • Jabari Parker, SF, Bucks ($5,300)
  • Brandon Knight, PG, Bucks ($7,500)

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Wizards @ Knicks

Game Analysis

Both of these teams have been playing some defense to start the season. Knicks held Lebron and the Cavs down on the road in the opener for Cleveland before going to Charlotte and engineering a big comeback by holding the Bobcats to only 14 4th quarter points. Wizards got back Nene from suspension and with him and Gortat manning the middle and a plethora of young athletic guards on the perimeter, they too can and do usually keep teams in the 90s. I would expect this game to be slightly lower scoring than Vegas does, so be careful who you pay up for.

Line: Knicks -1.5, O/U down from 194.5 to 191.5

Players to Watch

  • John Wall, PG, Wizards ($9,600)
  • Nene Hilario, PF, Wizards ($5,800)
  • Iman Shumpert, SG, Knicks ($4,000)
  • Marcin Gortat, C, Wizards ($6,800)

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Magic @ Bulls

Game Analysis

The Magic are only averaging slightly over 92 points a game. Chicago has one of the best defensive coaches, and two of the best flat out defensive players at their positions in the league with Noah and Jimmy Buter. They pride themselves on keeping other teams scores down so it could be an underwhelming performance from the Magic here. The Bulls will have Rose and Butler together for the first time all season in this one and I can see them win it going away.

Line: Bulls -12.5, o/U 191

Players to Watch

  • Elfrid Payton, PG, Magic ($3,900)
  • NIkola Vucevic, C, Magic ($8,500)
  • Jimmy Butler, SG, Bulls ($5,000)
  • Joakim Noah, C, Bulls ($7,000)

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Cavaliers @ Blazers

Game Analysis

Both teams have high scoring potential but have sputtered a little out of the gate. Damian Lilliard has yet to find his shooting touch for the Blazers who as a team are not hitting the 3 ball like many expected they would. On the other side the Cavs are still trying to learn how to play together. With Kyrie, Love, and Lebron they have three guys who can and have averaged over 20 points a game, so it’s a matter of finding roles and fitting it all together. Both teams have been playing in the 90s so I would expect to see that here as well.

Line: Cavs -2.5, O/U 202

Players to Watch

  • Damian Lilliard, PG, Blazers ($7,500)
  • LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, Blazers ($9,000)
  • Lebron James, SF, Cavs ($10,700)
  • Tristan Thompson, PF, Cavs ($5,400)

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Suns @ Lakers

Game Analysis

The Suns have looked good to start the season except for a stinker in their last game. The Lakers on the other hand are an absolute mess right now on both sides of the ball. They are giving up a league worst 118 points per game and I think the Suns three guards will look to push the ball and keep the tempo up until they are pulled for rest late in the fourth quarter of an expected blowout.

Line: Suns -6.5, O/U 214

Players to Watch

  • Eric Bledsoe, SG, Suns ($7,200)
  • Markieff Morris, PF, Suns ($5.900)
  • Jordan Hill, PF, Lakers ($5,700)
  • Kobe Bryant, SG, Lakers ($7,800)

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Hornets @ Pelicans

Game Analysis

Charlotte has the big man in the middle and a group of young quick Athletic wing players surrounding him. They were a very stout defensive unit last season and the trend seems to be carrying over to this year as well. The Pelicans have a ton of guys who can score the ball and like to push the pace with Evans and Holliday both healthy and thriving. Charlotte has the fire power to score too if they choose to run with New Orleans and I can honestly see this game going either way.

Line: Pelicans -3, O/U 189.5

Players to Watch

  • Tyreke Evans, SG, Pelicans ($7,300)
  • Anthony Davis, PF, Pelicans ($11,500)
  • Al Jefferson, C, Hornets ($8,500)
  • Omer Asik, C, Pelicans ($6,500)

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Rockets @ Heat

Game Analysis

Both of these teams have been on fire out of the gate. Rockets are Averaging 105 points a game and not firing on all cylinders as Coach Kevin Mchale puts it. They are also giving up under 92 points a game, so they have decided to play a little defense this year. The Heat are averaging 109 points so far for second best in the league. They are getting balanced contributions from many bench players and are being led by Chris Bosh who has reverted to the superstar form he showed in Toronto. It’s the old unstoppable force vs. Immovable object problem and I’m not sure who wins out. This looks like it could be a high scoring affair if it stays close with a very hot pace.

Line: Heat -2, O/U 191

Players to Watch

  • Dwayne Wade, SG, Heat ($7,500)
  • Chris Bosh, PF, Heat ($9,000)
  • Trevor Ariza, SF, Rockets ($6,000)
  • Dwight Howard, C, Rockets ($8,400)

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Thunder @ Raptors

Game Analysis

This game has blowout written all over it. Thunder travel to Toronto without star players Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook. Last night they lost replacement SG Andre Roberson and Perry Jones limped off the court as well. Playing on the second night of a back to back with only 8 healthy players against a Toronto team that has been scoring and giving up a decent number of points.

Line: Raptors – 10.5, O/U up from 191.5 to 195

Players to Watch

  • Reggie Jackson, PG, Thunder ($5,800)
  • Serge Ibaka, PF, Thunder ($7,300)
  • Amir Johnson / Patrick Patterson, PF, Raptors ($5,100)($3,500) Check injury report
  • Grievis Vasquez, PG, Raptors ($3,800)