Coming out of the All Star Break, the Kings host the Western Conference and NBA leading Spurs tonight.
As you expected, the NBA odds favor the Spurs by a ton, -9 to be exact. Obviously the break in action helped both teams, but who did it help the most? Let’s dive into this west coast matchup this evening, and see if we can cash a late NBA ticket this evening.
Spurs’ lucky break
San Antonio is on their annual circus road trip, which luckily for them was divided by the All Star Break. The Spurs are 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS on their current road trip, but tonight's matchup against the Kings could be a tough one. San Antonio barely beat the Cavaliers right before the break, but now with rest under their belts, they shouldn’t run into the same problems they did last week in Cleveland.
Tim Duncan is back and healthy. He did play in the All Star Game, which is a very good sign for Spurs fans and bettors alike. Also, Manu Ginobli played 10 minutes in his return to the lineup against Cleveland last week. Both of these guys had some chances to rest over the week, and both should be back to full capacity tonight against the Kings.
Some people speculated that the Kings would be better this season under a full season of Keith Smart, but their blatant lack of defensive effort is disconcerting for anyone trying to bet the Kings. I’ve made the mistake some this season as well. Sacramento has an act for throwing a game late.
The Kings are one of the worst teams ATS this season because of their horrific late game defense. Sacramento is 10-15-1 ATS at home this season, and an even worse 22-31-1 ATS on the season.
With the exception of Marcus Thornton, who looks like he might be a game time decision, the Kings are healthy and well rested for this game. But will being rested help their defense at all? It might, but I doubt it will be enough to top the Spurs.
The question is will it be enough to cover the current spread. A lot of lines are compensated for such things today, as I think this one is. The Kings have won their last two home games, but San Antonio has won the last three times they have played the Kings, one of those coming early this season.
The Sharp Pick
One big glaring betting trend I have to point out is the Spurs are 5-0 SU and ATS in their last five trips to Sacramento. On top of that, the Spurs have beaten the Kings in 15 of their last 16 games against the Kings.
I see no other way to lean with our NBA picks than backing the Spurs here. I think San Antonio as less than ten point favorites is a small bargain in this spot. The Spurs will likely score upwards of 120 points tonight against a Kings team that will have very few answers on defense. When rested this veteran team looks almost unstoppable, and tonight they should continue their great play.
My Pick: Spurs -9