NBA Picks: Sharps Know Real Value Tonight Isn't With Kobe, But On Rockets vs. Kings

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 2:17 PM GMT

Kobe's final exit happens tonight and while everyone's distracted with the Jazz/Lakers game, us sharps will be beating the books with Kings vs. Rockets as one of our NBA picks to grab. 

Sacramento Kings vs. Houston Rockets 
The Sacramento Kings close their season on Wednesday night, when they travel to Houston for this 8:05 ET start. For the Houston Rockets, their season will continue to the playoffs should they get this outright victory. Currently, Houston and Utah are tied for the No. 8 (and final) spot in the NBA Western Playoffs. Houston holds the tiebreaker over the Jazz, who play in the 10:35 ET slot against the Lakers.   

These teams have met 3 times this season with the results being high-scoring, competitive contests.  Houston won the first game of the series with Sacto (116-110) in California, then followed it up with a (120-113) home victory. But, the Kings won the 3rd meeting in California (107-97). Clearly, the Kings believe they can play with the Rockets.

This line is bloated because of two factors. First is the injury list which finds key contributors for Sacramento (Cousins, Rondo and Collison) all scheduled to miss this game. But, it is also impacted by the Rockets’ need to win to make the playoffs. As we have seen repeatedly in all sports, it is a common theme that WITH NEED YOU BLEED. That is, it will be no surprise if the Rockets get this victory but fail to cover this extended impost.

Even with all-stars, Harden, at the point and Howard on the interior, Houston has greatly underachieved expectations this season. Three main reasons may attribute to this factor. First would be the selfish play of Harden and Howard, which has prohibited team chemistry and cohesion. Next is a defense that is among the worst in the league with 107 PPG allowed, which is better than only their opponent tonight. Combined with a posted total in this game of 222, it tells you all you need to know about the pace of this contest.

Again this season, the Sacramento Kings with a record of 33-48 have long been out of contention for an NBA playoff spot. Yet even without their superstar, Cousins, they have continued to play hard down the stretch. In that regard, they have posted a recent record of 10-3 ATS, 4-1 ATS recently. They even enter tonight with the momentum of consecutive victories, including a (105-101) win at Phoenix Monday night.  

 

Betting Analysis
In short, the Kings have NOT tossed the towel, figure to play hard in this regular season final and can also rely on the greatly improved play of Seth Curry to fill the void of Rondo and Collison.  In the Kings’ consecutive wins, Curry has scored 20+ points and has averaged 18 PPG down the stretch in his final 6 games (only 5 PPG previous to that). In Saturday’s (114-112) win over OKC, Curry connected on 6/10 triples. In further imitating his more famous brother, Curry handed out 15 assists in Monday’s victory at Phoenix.

This has all the makings of a big dog cover for the Kings. Fueled by the poor defense by the Rockets, their need to win this game (rather than cover) and the teams’ pointspread personalities this year, which sees Houston 6-15 ATS as home chalk of 4 or more points, while the Kings are 15-7 ATS as a road dog of 6 or more points. I invite you to put the NBA odds in your favor and join me in my NBA pick on Sacramento tonight. We also have two more valuable games happening tonight plus get our handicapper's thoughts on Kobe's final showdown here.

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Free MLB Pick: Sacramento +15
Best Line Offered: at Heritage