NBA Picks: Rockets Superior Offense to Lift Off Against Kings

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 5:14 PM GMT

The Kings will have the benefit of 5 days’ rest, since a (99-97) home win. The Rockets, meanwhile, come in unrested, having just played at the altitude of Denver last night. Check our NBA pick here.

 

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NBA Pick: Rockets +2
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings (-1-) 10:05 ET
The Houston Rockets visit Sacramento Kings for a 10:05 ET tip. While the Rockets are 12-13 SU for the season and the Kings just 9-15 SU, they hold identical records of 7-7 SU (road and home respectively). The Kings will have the benefit of 5 days’ rest, since a (99-97) home win on December 10th. The Rockets, meanwhile, come in unrested, having just played at the altitude of Denver last night. 

 

Betting Preview
Where things diverge is a series history in which Houston has won 7 consecutive games against Sacramento. On a longer term basis, Houston is 16-4 SU vs. the Kings. That includes victories in the first 2 meetings this season by scores of 116-110 on this court on November 6th and 120-113 at home on December 5th  at this site, Houston has won 8/10 previous meetings.

Following a dismal run of 2-7 SU, 0-9 ATS, the Rockets appear to have turned the corner under interim coach Bickerstaff, who took the reins for deposed, former HC Kevin McHale. After struggling through a 2-7 SU, 0-9 ATS slide, the Rockets went to Denver on a 6-2 SU ATS run.  But, they fell to the Nuggets last night (114-108) despite having a chance to win the game when they cut a 15 point Denver lead to 110-108 in the final minute.

For Sacramento, they appeared to be on a positive run when they won back-to-back games for the first time in 4 weeks. They were led by PG Rondo, who had 33 points, 25 assists and 16 boards in the 2 wins. Regrettably for Sacramento, Rondo has been suspended for this game due to a defaming, gay slur uttered by Rondo to NBA Official, Bill Kennedy. Cousins and Gay are a formidable inside/outside duo. But, it was clearly Rondo who was the straw that stirred the drink which might actually enable the Kings to get to the plus side of .500.  

  

Final Analysis 
Look for a high-scoring Rockets’ win in this one, as Houston games total an average of 212 PPG and Kings’ games total 213 PPG. But without PG Rondo in the lineup, we will back the series dominator to continue their ascent in the role of underdog. Without Rondo in the lineup, there is a clear edge on the perimeter for Houston with high-scoring guard Harden. Harden has returned to form with 32 PPG in his last 3 games, knocking down 13/22 triples.  He is shooting over 50% over the Kings this season, averaging 37 points and 11 assists. I invite you to put the NBA odds in your favor and join me with my NBA pick of the Houston Rockets.