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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Hawks @ Wizards

Game Analysis

Both teams routinely see the O/U right around 200 which is the number this game gets today. The Hawks have been 6-3-1 to the over and Wizards are 6-4 to it as well. The Wizards are currently leading the division with a 9-3 record and they have looked very good doing it. The biggest concern for them is starting center Nene Hilario who left the last game early with an injury. He is still questionable to play tonight, so check on his status before finalizing those line ups. Both teams here play with above average pace and have seen quite a few guys have big games against them, especially at the guard spots. The Hawks allow the third most fantasy points per game as a team and Wizards hold opponents to the second or third lowest amount in the league, so that should give you an idea of where to look for your plays in this one. Keep in mind that Paul Millsap plays the PF spot for the Hawks and would be a tough match up for Nene or Kris Humphries. More likely the Wizards may opt to go smaller and slide Pierce into the 4 to guard Millsap. This could mean a few less minutes for Humphries who has played well in limited action. People are going to jump on him if he gets the start with Nene out, but just be warned that it might not be what you hope it will be.

Line: Wizards -4.5 down from -6.5, O/U 198 down from 199.5

Players to Watch

  • Bradley Beal, SG, Wizards ($6000)
  • Paul Pierce, SF, Wizards ($5500)
  • Demarre Carroll, SF, Hawks ($5100)
  • Jeff Teague, PG, Hawks ($7000)

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Warriors @ Heat

Game Analysis

Most people would assume the high powered Golden State Warriors play mostly to the Over, but so far this year they are only 3-7 to the over. The Heat have always been a stout defensive team and they see O/U routinely 15 points below the average O/U Golden State sees. Despite the O/U of most Heat games being around 190, they also are only 3-7 to the over in their last 10. Vegas does not even have a line on this game yet due to the uncertain status of Dwayne Wade. On the flip side of the injury coin, Golden State Center Andrew Bogut is also questionable after taking a shot to the face in the last game. Their is a lot of uncertainty surrounding this game from a player usage standpoint, but Golden State has been averaging a 20 point margin of victory in their last few, routinely scoring over 100 points and limiting opponents to scores in the 80s. The one thing I am fairly certain about is the outcome. Whether or not the game remains close against a struggling Heat squad will be the difference between the stars paying off or falling short.

Line: Warriors -5, O/U 198

Players to Watch

  • Loul Deng, SF, Heat ($5600)
  • Mario Chalmers, PG, Heat ($6400)
  • Draymond Green, SF, Warriors ($6100)
  • Marreese Speights, PF, Warriors ($5300)

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Pistons @ Bucks

Game Analysis

The Pistons have been .500 against the O/U in their last ten and after going under 6 straight times with numbers in the low 190s, the Bucks have gone over 4 straight numbers in the high 190s. Good luck figuring this one out on those metrics. The biggest news to me here would be if Brandon Jennings has to sit out. He hurt his hand late in the game last time out and is questionable today. Even if he does play though I think he will be feeling it a little and it could affect his play. The Pistons have dropped five straight and are off to a horribly poor shooting start. The Bucks have picked up the scoring lately and my biggest knock on them is the inconsistency of a young team. I think the Bucks take care of business in this one, and the game may be higher scoring then some anticipate.

Line: Bucks -3, O/U 191 down from 196.5

Players to Watch

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG, Bucks ($6200)
  • Larry Sanders, C, Bucks ($3900)
  • DJ Augustin, PG, Pistons ($3900) <—– If Jennings is out
  • Greg Monroe, PF, Pistons ($7000)

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Kings @ Pelicans

Game Analysis

Sacramento is 7-3 against the over and New Orleans is 7-2-1 so both of these teams can score and give it up. Both routinely reach those numbers with O/U over 200, so when the opening one came out at 200.5 it did seem a little low. I expect a pretty hot pace in this one and a close game. The starters should see a full allotment of minutes and usage. This is definitely a game worth targeting for fantasy goodness. Keep an eye on the Sacramento PG situation as both Ramon Sessions and starter Darren Collison are questionable. I’m really not sure what plan C is if one or both of those guys are out.

Line: Pelicans -3, O/U 203.5 up from 200.5

Players to Watch

  • Anthony Davis, PF, Pelicans ($11500)
  • Jrue Holliday, PG, Pelicans ($7500)
  • Ben McLemore, SG, Kings ($4300)
  • DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kings ($10400)

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Bulls @ Nuggets

Game Analysis

The line on this game opened as a scorcher. An O/U of a whopping 206.5. The Nuggets have played some epically lack defense so far this season and they do love to push the pace and take quick shots, so I can see this one being an excellent game to target for fantasy purposes. Both teams have been under over 75% of the time in their last five so just be careful what you expect here. Chicago has been playing under spreads in the 190s recently and the Bulls players definitely get a bump up due to the expected pace. I would temper my expectations from some of the Nuggets though as the Bulls are a pretty stout defensive unit when healthy. I say when healthy because although they lost Taj Gibson the other night, they also welcomed back Rose and Gasol. It will be an interesting battle between a normally high scoring Nuggets team and a pretty good defensive Bulls squad.

Line: Nuggets -3.5, O/U 206.5

Players to Watch

  • Ty Lawson, PG, Nuggets ($8600)
  • Wilson Chandler, SF, Nuggets ($5900)
  • Derrick Rose, PG, Bulls ($6500)
  • Pau Gasol, PF, Bulls ($7200)