Our top handicapping angles for the upcoming NBA week feature the Kings against poor takeaway teams, the Rockets taking care of business on the road against weaker, a Warriors ‘over’ streak at Oracle Arena, and the Bulls explosive offensive in transition.
Monday, January 22Kings at Hornets
The Kings play at the fourth slowest pace in the NBA, tallying 94.9 possessions per 48 minutes. Each one is precious at such a rate. The first team is also young (De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, etc), still learning to manage the game, especially against intense defensive pressure.
Where Sacramento is at its best is against foes generating few turnovers, allowing for greater effectiveness of possessions. Seven of its wins have come in 14 contests against opponents forcing fewer than 14.0 turnovers per game. It is 6-25 SU in all others.
The Kings play three on the road against Southeast division opponents this week: Monday at the Hornets, Tuesday at the Magic, and Thursday at the Heat. Charlotte (13.8) and Miami (13.5) force fewer than 14.0 takeaways per game, while Orlando sits barely above the threshold at 14.4 per tilt. We’re not expecting a sweep, but don’t be shocked if the Kings upset in a couple and challenge in each. Lean the points on the NBA odds-boards with Sacramento all week.
Wednesday, January 24Rockets at Mavericks
No NBA team is better than the Rockets this season cleaning up against poor opponents on the road. Houston is 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS away from Toyota Center against foes owning a losing record. The contests have been blowouts. The team is covering a -7.8 line by 8.8 points per game, winning all but two by 15 points or more.
The Rockets head to Dallas (15-31 SU) Wednesday at full strength for just the third game in the New Year. James Harden, Chris Paul, and Clint Capela are 17-0 SU and 11-6 ATS when hitting the court together this season. Our money will test the spread with Houston at the Mavs with the trio expected to suit up.
Thursday, January 25Timberwolves at Warriors
Since last year’s playoffs, the ‘over’ is 10-2-1 when the Warriors defend Oracle Arena with Steph Curry and Kevin Durant on the court. The contests are absolute barnburners, the market unable to come close to a fair number. The average combined score is 131.0 points, playing 9.8 above a 221.2 total. Golden State puts up 121.2 per tilt, surpassing its team total in more than half. A leaky defense is fueling the wager most, however. Yielding 109.8 points per game, visitors have sailed past scoring projections in all but two games.
Friday, January 26Lakers at Bulls
This isn’t the most glamorous matchup Friday night, but a strong betting angle will have us leaning Chicago and the points. No team is more surprising than the Bulls in the NBA in the last month and a half. Since December 5, they are 19-5 ATS (15-9) and 17-6-1 to the ‘over’ in the betting market. The offense blossomed in this span, averaging 110.1 points per game, as opposed to 95.6 prior.
Where it shines best is against fast-paced teams poor in transition. The Bulls average 114.6 points per game against foes yielding more than 11.5 fast break points per tilt in this stretch; 108.9 versus fewer. L.A. gifts 12.2 per contest and ranks in the bottom half of the league in transition efficiency (16th). The Lakers are 5-25 SU and 11-19 ATS when allowing more than 105 points this season, losing 20 by 6 points or more. The line will be shorter. Bulls get to the mark and cover for our NBA picks.