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.

MAVERICKS AT HORNETS

Game Analysis

If you’re looking for a team to lock onto for offensive production, then look no further than the Mavericks. They are currently averaging 115.7 points at home, although their road average is worse at 100.3. There’s a bit of a mismatch in this game with the Hornets letting opponents score 107.0 points a game on average, and if you’re looking for one player to snag for your DFS lineup on Monday night in this game take advantage of Dirk Nowtizki’s 24.7 career scoring average against the Hornets. Not bad, eh? I’m not thrilled about taking the line on either team in this game, although if pushed I’d go with the Hornets and the three points at home.

Line: DAL -3.0

Players to Watch

  • Dirk Nowtizki, C, Mavericks ($7,300)
  • Kemba Walker, PG, Hornets ($7,200)
  • Lance Stephenson, SG, Hornets ($6,600)
  • Devin Harris, PG, Mavericks ($4,200)

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NUGGETS AT CAVALIERS

Game Analysis

The Cavaliers sure have turned things around since the start of the season, thanks to LeBron James and the rest of the gang starting to mesh well together. James is averaging 35 points a game to go along with a 59.4 shot percentage, while picking up 7.7 assists over his last three games played. With the Nuggets giving up 108.2 points per game, there’s a good shot of this game getting away early. I’m not confident that the Cavs will cover the 12 points they’re giving up, but I don’t see this game being close. Aside from the obvious choice in James in filling out your DFS lineup, look to sneaky values like Timofey Mozgov (19.3 FPPG for $4,600) and Shawn Marion (13.7 FPPG for $3,700) if you’re looking to cut salary.

Line: CLE -12.0

Players to Watch

  • LeBron James, SF, Cavaliers ($11,000)
  • Kevin Love, PF, Cavaliers ($8,800)
  • Ty Lawson, PG, Nuggets ($7,400)
  • Anderson Varejao, C, Cavaliers ($5,000)

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SUNS AT CELTICS

Game Analysis

The Suns will be looking to break their current mini-slump as they look to avoid losing their third loss in a row. The Suns match up pretty evenly to the Celtics, so this is one to avoid if you’re looking to bet the line. I would actually feel much more comfortable taking the 214.5 over, trusting both offenses to hit well enough on Monday night. Don’t expect a defensive slow-down in this game, so there should be plenty of baskets in Boston. Look for the Suns to take advantage of fast-break situations. Keep an eye on Avery Bradley who is 13-for-29 with nine rebounds over his last two games played – not bad for $4,700. And if you’re looking towards the opposite extreme salary-wise, don’t be afraid to spend the bucks on Rajon Rondo. His personal matchup isn’t fantastic, but it’s solid enough.

Line: PHX -1.5

Players to Watch

  • Rajon Rondo, PG, Celtics ($8,400)
  • Jared Sullinger, PF, Celtics ($7,100)
  • Eric Bledsoe, SG, Suns ($6,400)
  • Avery Bradley, SG, Celtics ($4,700)

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HEAT AT NETS

Game Analysis

Mario Chalmer’s 41.25 FPT on Friday night bumped up his salary from $4,400 to $5,200 as he started for Dwayne Wade, which is still fairly reasonable for the seasonal expectations I have for him. He won’t continue to shoot this well and his minutes will dip a bit on average, but keep Chalmers in mind moving forward. Monday’s game should see him get at least 25 minutes even coming off the bench. Look for Chris Bosh to establish a more consistent shot as he’s been up-and-down so far into the season. The Nets have hit an awful patch with their long-range  shot as they were only 1 of 19 from the 3-point mark on Saturday.

Line: None

Players to Watch

  • Chris Bosh, C, Heat ($8,500)
  • Brook Lopez, C, Nets ($6,700)
  • Mario Chalmers, PG, Heat ($5,300)
  • Mason Plumlee, C, Nets ($3,600)

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MAGIC AT PISTONS

Game Analysis

The 41.8 shot percentage the Pistons are averaging to this point isn’t going to get it done in the NBA, who are having problems playing consistent basketball. As the Pistons look to get better defensively, the Magic will try to improve their 2-5 road record which leads all the way back to a 6-42 record on the road since last season. Kyle Singler was a nice surprise in his last game out, although I’m staying away from him facing the Magic. Don’t fall into the trap on Singler as he was 5-of-7 on his 3-point shot on Saturday. I’m taking the Pistons to cover at home, even with their shot woes to this point.

Line: DET -4.5

Players to Watch

  • Nikola Vucevic, C, Magic ($8,100)
  • Brandon Jennings, PG, Pistons ($7,100)
  • Victor Oladipo, SG, Magic ($6,100)
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Pistons ($3,600)

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ROCKETS AT GRIZZLIES

Game Analysis

It doesn’t get much better than this if you’re looking for good basketball, with two 9-1 teams battling for supremacy. Both the Rockets and the Grizzlies are two of the better defensive units in the NBA, with each allowing 88.9 and 91.3 points per game respectively. There isn’t much to take advantage of here regarding individual OPRK matchups, so  sticking with household names makes sense with dollar amounts always staking claim to your plan.

Line: MEM -3.5

Players to Watch

  • James Harden, SG, Rockets ($10,300)
  • Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies ($7,900)
  • Mike Conley, PG, Grizzlies ($7,000)
  • Trevor Ariza, SF, Rockets ($6,300)

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76ERS AT SPURS

Game Analysis

The 0-9 76ers are about to go 0-10 facing one of the better clubs in the league in the Spurs, but you know what? I’m not going to pass on the 15.5 points I’m being spotted. Sometimes you have to go with your gut even when it doesn’t entirely make sense. Still, the 15.5 points are a safe bet in my eyes especially if some of the Spurs starters see less minutes due to the mismatch. Keep that in mind when filling out your lineups. If you’re digging deep, Brandon Davies is one to look at with his 18.4 FPPG showing to this point for $4,400. Davies is about the only 76ers player I’d consider using with defensive matchups at play.

Line: SA -15.5

Players to Watch

  • Kawhi Leonard, SF, Spurs ($7,200)
  • Tony Parker, PG, Spurs ($6,800)
  • Manu Ginobili, SG, Spurs ($5,000)
  • Brandon Davies, PF, 76ers ($4,400)

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PELICANS AT TRAIL BLAZERS

Game Analysis

LaMarcus Aldridge (respiratory illness) could  miss Monday’s game, so don’t automatically slot him in without checking his injury status up until game start.  Even if Aldridge sits, the Trail Blazers have a good enough club to compete with Anthony Davis and the rest of the Pelicans. Davis is having a monstrous season to this point, as he is averaging 55.6 FPPG and should be prime for another double-double night (24.5 PPG, 11.8 RPG). Expect a high-scoring affair, especially if Aldridge suits up.

Line: None

Players to Watch

  • Anthony Davis, PF, Pelicans  ($10,900)
  • Jrue Holiday, PG, Pelicans ($7,400)
  • Nicolas Batum, SG, Trail Blazers ($7,000)
  • Omer Asik, C, Pelicans ($5,400)

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BULLS AT CLIPPERS

Game Analysis

It looks like Derrick Rose could miss more time against the Clippers on Monday, which means the Clippers could be looking at another win in which they’ve won the last four meetings by 20.5 points or more. The Clippers are getting much needed help in the middle defensively which opens things up for Chris Paul and company. Paul’s 12th OPRK isn’t anything special, but giving DFS owners 46.9 FPPG makes it seem worth locking him up at $10,300. But, you’ll really have to go mining for lower-tier values.

Line: None

Players to Watch

  • Blake Griffin, PF, Clippers ($9,700)
  • Joakim Noah, C, Bulls ($7,100)
  • DeAndre Jordan, C, Clippers ($7,600)
  • Mike Dunleavy, SF,  Bulls ($4,700)