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.

ROCKETS AT 76ERS

Game Analysis

The Rockets defense as a whole has been playing great basketball to start the season, only allowing 91 points per game so far while scoring 105.3 points a game which is highest in the league to this point. The Rockets will continue to improve their pace as superstar guard James Harden gets healthier. The 76ers really shouldn’t pose a problem for the Rockets in this game, and the Rockets have also covered over their last seven games played. Point Guard Patrick Beverley has a good shot of returning on Monday as he was able to practice on Sunday, and if he can go he’s a nice option to take advantage of considering matchup and salary.

Line: N/A

Players to Watch

  • James Harden, SG, Rockets ($10,300)
  • Trevor Ariza, SF, Rockets ($6,000)
  • Nerlens Noel, PF, 76ers ($3,000)
  • Patrick Beverley, PG, Rockets ($4,800)

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THUNDER AT NETS

Game Analysis

With Russell Westbrook now going down to injury (hand), it puts the Thunder in a tough situation as they start the season 1-2. Now, they’ll have to continue to rely on Perry Jones to carry most of the load until Westbrook and Kevin Durant can return to action. Look for the Nets to have the advantage in this game with players Kevin Garnett and Joe Johnson getting hot over their last game played. Look for point guard Reggie Jackson to return to action on Monday assuming he’s okay during pregame warm-ups.

Line: N/A

Players to Watch

  • Serge Ibaka, PF, Thunder ($7,300)
  • Joe Johnson, SG, Nets ($6,800)
  • Reggie Jackson, PG, Thunder ($5,900)
  • Lance Thomas, PF, Thunder ($3,700)

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PELICANS AT GRIZZLIES

Game Analysis

The Grizzlies have started the season 3-0 and face a Pelicans team that’s one of the better in the league. I’m not crazy about the line on this matchup, so I’m looking to stay away for the most part. Pelicans PF Anthony Davis is money-in-the-bank, averaging 69 FPPG so far in the young year. I’m not expecting this kind of production every single night, but if there’s one superstar I want in my lineups right now it’s Davis. The Grizzlies are forcing over 20 turnovers a game so far, so Davis could be in line for a tough matchup. Mike Conley has struggled to this point, only going 16-for-47. Plus, he hasn’t had fantastic success against the Pelicans in recent past.

Line: MEM -4.5

Players to Watch

  • Anthony Davis, PF, Pelicans ($11,500)
  • Jrue Holiday, PG, Pelicans ($7,200)
  • Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies ($7,700)
  • Omer Asik, C, Pelicans ($6,500)

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CELTICS AT MAVERICKS

Game Analysis

This is a heavy mismatch, with the Mavericks having a good shot of winning by 15 or more points although the Mavs have struggled during the third quarter so far this season as they’ve come out sluggish after halftime. Defensively, the Mavs have been about as solid as any team although there are even better individual matchups to take notice of including Chandler Parsons. Parsons has had two good games in a row now since starting the season off slowly. Along with Parsons, I’d take a look at getting Jared Sullinger into action considering the point production you can get for a reasonable $6,400 price tag.

Line: DAL -9.5

Players to Watch

  • Monta Ellis, SG, Mavericks ($7,200)
  • Chandler Parsons, SF, Mavericks ($6,500)
  • Jared Sullinger, PF, Celtics ($6,400)
  • Avery Bradley, SG, Celtics ($3,500)

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KINGS AT NUGGETS

Game Analysis

There has been no hiding the fact that the Kings have been the worst defensive team in the league for years, and taking advantage of that fact by using players against them was a nice “hidden” treasure for us DFS players. But, things do change and it looks like the Kings finally have a roster that can defend the ball. Still, making use of players like Ty Lawson is smart since he’s usually going to get his numbers. I like the game to be closer than the -6.5 spread suggests with Denver having a slight advantage at home. I’d take Kings and the points, however.

Line: DEN -6.5

Players to Watch

  • DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kings ($9,700)
  • Ty Lawson, PG, Nuggets ($7,000)
  • Rudy Gay, SF, Kings ($7,600)
  • Timofey Mozgov, C, Nuggets ($5,100)

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JAZZ AT CLIPPERS

Game Analysis

It’s only a few games into the season, but power forward Derrick Favors is starting to show owners that he can reach stardom in Utah with a 43.3 FPPG average so far. This game offers some good individual backcourt  options for reasonable salaries, especially guys like Jamal Crawford for the Clippers assuming he can go on Monday due to injury. The Clippers have only covered two of their last ten games, so be wary of automatically going in with them even though this is a pretty decent mismatch on paper with the Clippers shooting 49.4 percent against the Jazz over their last nine games played against each other.

Line: LAC -8.5

Players to Watch

  • Derrick Favors, PF, Jazz ($7,900)
  • Gordon Hayward, SG, Jazz ($7,600)
  • Jamal Crawford, SG, Clippers ($5,600)
  • J.J. Redick, SG, Clippers ($4,800)

 

Good luck on Monday! If you’re interested in the Twitter thing, you can catch me @TheRolyPolyBoy.