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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Bucks @ Magic

Game Analysis

Milwaukee has been under in 6 of 8 and Magic have been over in 6 of 9. We have a clash in styles here. Both are young teams who are prone to up and down performances from time to time. Bucks have not been great on the road over the last two seasons, so that is a knock. Orlando has struggled defending the guard spots, while Milwaukee has trouble with big men. That plays into each teams strength as Milwaukee’s best player is the PG and the two guys people fear on Orlando play inside. Could turn out to be higher scoring than anticipated here, but probably not the highest scoring game on tonight’s slate.

Line: Bucks -2.5, O/U 194.5

Players to Watch

  • Evan Fournier, SG, Magic ($5800)
  • Nikola Vucevic, C, Magic ($8100)
  • Brandon Knight, Pg, Bucks ($7100)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG, Bucks ($4800)

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Nuggets @ Pacers

Game Analysis

The Nuggets have played over the 200’s in 6 of 8 and Indiana has also been hitting the over at that clip but they have seen much lower numbers in the 180s. I think the pace uptick edge goes to Indy here as the Nuggets will be the team to tick down a bit. Denver’s defense has been non existent as they have given up over 100 points in 6 straight with two of those game reaching 130. Indy is ravaged by injuries and have not scored 100 since the season opener. It really could not be more of a contrast in styles here and I am not sure if bad defense trumps bad offense or vice versa. I would expect a final score of around 100 to 97 and that would put you squarely in the middle of the Vegas line.

Line: Pacers -3, O/U 196.5

Players to Watch

  • Ty Lawson, PG, Nuggets ($7400)
  • Wilson Chandler, SF, Nuggets ($4300)
  • Roy Hibbert, C, Pacers ($7300)
  • CJ Miles, SG, Pacers ($3000)

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Heat @ Hawks

Game Analysis

Miami has played under totals in five straight with most of those victories being by scores of just over 100 to just over 90. The Hawks have gone over in four and pushed one other total during their first seven. They tend to see numbers in the 190s as well. Atlanta has struggled to contain shooting guards this season and Miami struggles stopping centers. That means we should see a good match up for D. Wade and Al Horford in this one. Both teams have been trending better on the defensive end, so this could be a low scoring, old school, Eastern Conference slug fest that ends in the low 90s on a few late traded baskets. The stars here are in play, but be careful as Miami also holds opponents to one of the lower 3 point shooting percentages in the league (Hear that Kyle Korver fans).

Line: Hawks -2, O/U 194.5

Players to Watch

  • Dwayne Wade, SG, Heat ($7600)
  • Loul Deng, SF, Heat ($5500)
  • Mike Scott, PF, Hawks ($3000)
  • Jeff Teague, PG, Hawks ($7000)

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Jazz @ Knicks

Game Analysis

Both teams here have played about even against the O/U with average scores in the mid 190s. The Knicks are 2-8 ATS this season, so they have been disappointing their supporters from the start. Utah struggles to defend guys at the forward spot and that is one of the strengths of the Knicks. Knicks also struggle to defend the PG and the PF as well as being one of the worst in the league against the 3 pt shot. The early money is coming in heavy on Utah as well as the under so be careful how much exposure to this game you have. Jazz are on fourth game of a five game road trip as well, so this could be a lot of ugly basketball.

Line: Knicks -3.5, O/U 193

Players to Watch

  • Trey Burke, PG, Jazz( $5300)
  • Alec Burks, SG, Jazz ($5200)
  • JR Smith, SG, Knicks ($4400)
  • Samuel Dalembert, C, Knicks ($3600)

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Cavaliers @ Boston

Game Analysis

Boston has been going over in almost ever game this season and Cleveland has seen some of the highest O/U of any team in the league. Expect a high scoring game in this one. Cavs got back on track at home after a four game road trip and the momentum is building as all of the big 3 had good games. I think they will be able to keep it rolling against one of the worst defensive, yet higher scoring teams in the league. Celtics have been putting up and giving up points at a very high clip early on. They have failed to crack 100 only twice this year, but they have only kept one opponent under that mark too.That was a very low scoring Indiana team, so we can not give them credit for that. Cleveland should benefit from the uptick most, so start your favorite Cavs stud tonight with confidence and watch the points pour in.

Line: Cavs -5.5, O/u 210.5

Players to Watch

  • Lebron James, SF, Cavs ($10700)
  • Shawn Marion, SF, Cavs ($4200)
  • Rajon Rondo, PG, Celtics ($8500)
  • Avery Bradley, SG, Celtics ($5100)

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Timberwolves @ Pelicans

Game Analysis

Here is the stat that sums this whole game up for me. Wolves are 0-5 when allowing 100 points and Pelicans have scored 100 in 6 of 7. Factor in PG Ricky Rubio is out with an injury and this one could get ugly fast. AD is arguably the NBAs best player so far and his supporting cast is also putting up career best numbers. The Pelicans get a bump at home, a bump in pace, and a bump because Rubio is out and rookie Zac Lavine is handling PG duties. The Pelicans have a better player at every position on the floor with Center being the only one that is really close. I expect a blow out is the only thing stopping Pelican players from reaching their point potential because it will certainly not be Timberwolves defense.

Line: Pelicans -7, O/U 205

Players to Watch

  • Anthony Davis, PF, Pelicans ($11200)
  • Jrue Holiday, PG, Pelicans ($7300)
  • Kevin Martin, SG, Timberwolves ($5900)
  • Nikola Pekovic, C, Timberwolves ($6300)

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76ers @ Rockets

Game Analysis

76ers on tail end of a back to back that saw them get absolutely smoked by Dallas. I think the score was something like 70 to 29 at one point yesterday. Even with the return of last season’s Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter Williams, it was still no where near enough to make them a decent team. The Rockets have been scoring over 100 a game and despite a few minor injuries I would expect them to have no trouble with the 76ers tonight. The spread on this game is a season high 17 points, so not only does Vegas think it will be a blowout, but they are calling for a massacre. Be careful with any of the starters here as it could be a short night. The best bets are the fringe guys who may see run whether or not the score is close.

Line: Rockets – 17, O/U 204.5

Players to Watch

  • Donatas Montejunas, SF, Rockets ($4000)
  • Jason Terry, SG, Rockets ($3500)
  • Michael Carter-Williams, PG, 76ers ($6800)
  • Henry Simms, C, 76ers ($4800)

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Pistons @ Thunder

Game Analysis

Both of these teams struggle to score as Thunder were averaging under 90 points before the last game and Pistons just cracked triple digits for the first time this season. Injuries have been the problem for OKC while bad shooting has plagued the Pistons. Vegas expects a very low scoring game here and I would not think it is ripe for a lot of big fantasy performances. Some of the cheaper options though may be attractive.

Line: Thunder -3.5, O/U 190.5

Players to Watch

  • Reggie Jackson, PG, Thunder ($7600)
  • Anthony Morrow, SG, Thunder ($4000)
  • Brandon Jennings, PG, Pistons ($6800)
  • Kentavius Caldwell-Pope, SG, Pistons ($4000)

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Hornets @ Suns

Game Analysis

Charlotte has been known as a methodical, slow it down, and defend team. That is in stark contrast to what the Suns do. The money is coming in very heavy on both the Suns and the over, so most people are thinking that the Suns will dictate the Tempo of this one. The three guard attack and multiple versatile athletic forwards the Suns roll out will prove to be to tough for a Charlotte team that is not very deep and has a few guys banged up. Charlotte has allowed PGs to have some very good games thus far and that plays right into the strength of this Suns team. Expect a hot pace and a decent amount of points to be scored here. Could see some nice fantasy stat lines.

Line: Suns -6, O/U 201

Players to Watch

  • Goran Dragic, PG, Suns ($6100)
  • Isiah Thomas, PG, Suns ($5800)
  • Lance Stephenson, SG, Hornets ($6700)
  • Gary Neal, SG, Hornets ($3700)

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Spurs @ Lakers

Game Analysis

The early money is coming in hard and heavy on the Spurs and the Under in this one. San Antonio has not been scoring or giving up as many points this year from an already solid defensive performance last year. Most people do not realize the Spurs are not a slow it down team, but the under has been hitting in most of their games due to the high O/U. The low amount of points they allow most nights helps too. The Lakers play hard but defensively they are not a good team. They struggle to guard bigs and PGs which are two of the strengths the Spurs do have healthy. You never know who is going to sit out for San Antonio, but if Timmy and Tony play they both should be able to have good games.

Line: Spurs -8, O/U 206 down from 208.5

Players to Watch

  • Tony Parker, PG, Spurs ($6700)
  • Tim Duncam, C, Spurs ($8000)
  • Kobe Bryant, SG, Lakers ($8800)
  • Carlos Boozer, PF, Lakers ($5500)