The Kings will be without their star DeMarcus Cousins Tuesday, but Sacramento may still hold value as a home underdog to the Grizzlies, who lost by 50 points at Golden State last night.
With the road favorites coming off of their worst performance in franchise history last night, the home underdogs may have value Tuesday night when the favored Memphis Grizzlies (2-2, 1-3 ATS) pay a visit to the Sacramento Kings (1-2, 2-1 ATS) sans DeMarcus Cousins at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, CA at 10:00 ET on a game available on FOX Sports - Southeast.
The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Sacramento as a moderate home underdog for this contest with the current line at +4 with odds of -103.
Worst Loss Ever
The Grizzlies are opening up a five-game road trip with a back-to-back, although it can also be argued that Memphis took last night off while absorbing the worst loss in franchise history 119-69 in Oakland to the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. Not only did the Grizzlies lose by 50 points, but they also shot 26-for-96, 27.1 percent from the field in a very forgettable performance.
The Kings have had potential to be a nice young club for several years, and now maybe Coach George Karl can get the best out of his team in his first full season at the helm after taking over following the All-Star break last year. Sacramento is off to a 1-2 start, but it is 2-1 ATS as NBA picks after taking the Los Angeles Clippers down to the wire on the road at the Staples Center in a 114-109 loss on Saturday.
Not a One-Man Show
Unfortunately the Kings suffered a bigger loss during that contest when Cousins suffered a strained Achilles tendon, and it is unclear at this time just how long he will be out. That injury may have rendered Sacramento uncompetitive in recent seasons, but this team is not a one-man show and we could see the Kings holding their own here vs. the reeling Grizzlies even without their best player.
While the Kings are primarily a young team, they did add some veteran leadership at point guard in Rajon Rondo, and although he had been known as a malcontent at his previous stops, he has been a model citizen under Karl after signing a one-year, $11 million contract that could turn out to be a bargain, as Rondo had identical stat lines the past two games of 21 points and eight assists vs. the two Los Angeles teams, as the Kings blew out the Lakers 132-114 on Friday.
With Rondo flourishing at the point under Karl’s running system, Darren Collison has slid over to be the shooting guard and has averaged 14.0 points while still dishing out 5.0 assists per game, while small forward Rudy Gay is second on the team with his 18.3 points per contest. Gay may also have some extra incentive here taking on a Memphis team that traded him away a couple of years ago.
Paging Memphis Defense…Paging Memphis Defense!
There is really no way to sugar coat how the Grizzlies played (or didn’t play) last night, as besides the aforementioned dreadful shooting, they were outscored 72-27 over the second and third quarters, they shot 3-for-23 from beyond the three-point arc, they were outrebounded 65-44 and they allowed the Warriors to shoot 43-for-84, 51.2 percent from the field! “Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”
Memphis has had one of the best defenses in the NBA for several years now and the general consensus is that the Grizzlies will come around on that end of the floor. However, it remains disconcerting that the defense has not been evident yet four games into the year, with Memphis ranking second to last in the NBA in field goal percentage allowed at 48.9 percent and permitting 104.8 points per game with the only foe not to reach 100 points being the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets are an offensively challenged team these days though while the Kings are not, even without Cousins, and we think that makes the Grizzlies shaky road favorites in this spot.
Taking Losing Teams Lightly?
Finally, the Grizzlies are surprisingly just 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games vs. teams with losing records, and while the Kings fit that description, they could be a dangerous team this season that can upset a lot of teams. Memphis is also 1-6 ATS in its last seven games overall, while Sacramento is 4-1 ATS in its last five after scoring 100 points or more in its previous game.
While being without Cousins hurts, we feel the Kings still have enough to pull an upset here at home in Sacramento, although we are recommending taking the points when Memphis visits Sleep Train Arena on Tuesday.
NBA Pick: Kings +4 (-103)