The focus may be on football today, but we've got a couple late-night NBA picks that we feel good about it here on Sunday Night to make sure you end the weekend a winner.
Sacramento Kings vs. Toronto Raptors
The Kings have managed to win each of their last two games, thus moving up to a more respectable 3-7 overall this season. They topped Detroit 101-92 at home and then followed up with a hard-fought 111-109 victory over Brooklyn back on Friday night.
DeMarcus Cousins was a beast in both wins, scoring 33 points against the Pistons and then dominating the Nets for 40 points and 13 boards. The drama continues in Sacramento, with Cousins and head coach George Karl apparently at odds with each other, but Cousins did apologize for stirring the pot after a recent loss, and he's been tremendous out on the court since. Sacramento continues to get heavy minutes from point guard Rajon Rondo too, and it looks like Rudy Gay will be able to go too after shaking off an illness.
The Kings will match up with a Toronto team that's also won two in a row, as they've beaten Philadelphia and New Orleans in consecutive games to move to 7-3 on the year. Considering the Raptors had lost three straight prior, it's been a much-needed little winning streak for Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and company.
Where should we go with our sports picks tonight? The NBA Odds have Toronto favored by just two points on the road, while the total is currently trading at 208 points.
And, while it's always scary to consider backing Sacramento given how volatile they can be, you have to be encouraged by their play over the last couple games. Some may have expected Toronto to be favored by a heavier number, considering they've had the much more successful season so far, but clearly oddsmakers like the Kings' chances of at least being competitive. But we primarily like Sacramento because of how unstoppable Cousins has been, and we don't see how Toronto's weak interior is going to be able to stop him here. We'll take the home underdogs.
NBA Pick: Sacramento Kings +2 at Pinnacle
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons
The other late game involves the Lakers and the Pistons, and it's no surprise to see Detroit favored by a solid 4.5 points at most of the top online sportsbooks.
It's become commonplace to see the Lakers at the bottom in recent seasons, and this year has been no different. They've won only once through their first nine games, and they're ranked 20th or worse or both scoring offense and scoring defense. Kobe Bryant leads the team with 16.9 points per game on average, but he's shooting a miserable 33.9 percent from the floor and his effectiveness seems to be waning with each passing game. LA does have some good young talent in the form of Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell, but they haven't translated that into victories. Quite the contrary.
As for the Pistons, they've hit a rough stretch, having lost three games in a row (against the Clippers, Warriors and King), but overall they've been performing at a higher level than many expected them to. Andre Drummond has been an absolute force, averaging 18.7 points and 19.2 rebounds per game, while Reggie Jackson has been excellent while running the point.
To wrap up our NBA Picks of the day for Sunday, we'll take the much better team, in spite of the fact they'll be on the road.
Drummond should have his way inside, and the Jackson/Kentavious Caldwell-Pope duo should have plenty of success against a terrible Lakers defense. We also know motivation will be there for a team that's trying desperately to end a growing losing streak; we'll be backing the Pistons this evening.
NBA Pick: Detroit Pistons -4.5 at 5Dimes