Jordan’s NBA Picks: 48-31
Houston Rockets (49-28) at Sacramento Kings (38-39)
Tuesday 10:00 P.M. ET
Free NBA Pick: Kings ATS
Recommended Sportsbook: 5Dimes
The Kings have the weight of trying to make the playoffs off their shoulders as they head home for their final home game against a playoff-bound team. That can do incredible things for a young team that is also very talented.
The Kings have made themselves a relevant free agent destination for the first time in my adult life and they also may be a point or two undervalued on Tuesday.
The Rockets and James Harden should have no trouble dicing through a lax Sacramento defense on Tuesday, but the Kings have too much offensive fire power to be taken for granted here.
At this point the Kings are playing with no stress or pressure and at home against a team that just beat them a few days ago, I think the Kings will want to return the favor.
Sacramento is a very successful home underdog this season, cashing 14-7-2 ATS and 24-12-2 ATS at home overall. At +5 ½ I like them to keep it within two possessions as they try to spoil the Rockets’ hopes of home court advantage in the first round.
This, of course, is assuming the refs in Sacramento do a better job of keeping the free throws a little closer.
Denver Nuggets (52-24) at Golden State Warriors (51-25)
Tuesday 10:30 P.M. ET
Free NBA Pick: Over 1H
Recommended Sportsbook: Pinnacle
The late-season drama in the NBA is sometimes lackluster, as it’s turning out to be in most of the Eastern Conference playoff races, However, out West there are several intriguing storylines, including the Nuggets and Warriors. Both teams are vying for the top overall spot in the Western Conference and the Nuggets come into Tuesday’s game one game back of the Dubs.
This will essentially decide the top two seeds in the conference, so both teams will likely be treating it as their final tune up before the playoffs.
If the Warriors can win this game they will be able to be very liberal with resting players down the stretch. The Nuggets on the other hand would even up their regular season series with the Warriors and simultaneously force Golden State to play out their final five games without too much rest for their core.
That essentially makes this a must-win for both teams and the style of game that we will see tonight will certainly reflect the urgency for both clubs.
However, I don’t think that means it will be a slowed down and physical game. It may eventually turn into that by the time it reaches the fourth quarter, but over the last two meetings between these two teams, the first halves have been full of scoring.
In their last game the combined half time score was 117 points and the game before that had a halftime total of almost 140 points.
This could continue on Tuesday even with the increased urgency for both clubs. The Warriors have allowed an average of 109.5 points per 100 possessions in the first halves of their conference games. The Nuggets have been even worse with a first half conference defensive rating of 114.0. It jumps to 115.5 when they are on the road in those same scenarios.
If you add in the fact that the Warriors play at a pace of nearly 106 possessions per 48 minutes at home and in the first half against the West, the over is a great wager for the 1H.