We've got an early start to the action today, but our two picks come later in tonight's contests. Who are we favoring with our NBA plays?
Sacramento Kings vs. Brooklyn Nets
It's been almost four months since we last saw these two teams square off on the court. Back in November, the Kings dominated the Nets (as four-point underdogs) in a 107-86 win at home.
Obviously, a lot has changed since then. For this rematch back inside the Barclays Center, Brooklyn is a seven-point favorite in the NBA odds.
In terms of recent performances, the Nets have been looking better and better. They weren't effective in Friday's road loss to Boston, but before that they had won four straight, which included home victories over two good teams in Memphis and Chicago.
It remains to be seen whether or not Kevin Garnett will return to game action. He's been resting to get his back feeling better, but the Nets could really use him tonight against DeMarcus Cousins.
The Kings are in the midst of another disappointing season and will have lost four of six ahead of tonight's game. What's more, their two wins hardly came over good competition in the form of the Bucks and Pelicans.
We see a weak spot in the NBA betting lines tonight and will be backing a big Brooklyn win. Their defense has really stepped up lately, having given up only 90.4 PPG over their last five, and that should serve them well against Sacramento.
The Nets are a solid 18-11 SU and 16-13 ATS at home this season, while the Kings have struggled to the tune of 9-21 SU on the road. We feel confident in Brooklyn right now and will take them to cover this spread.
NBA Pick: Brooklyn Nets -7
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets
Two of the better teams in the league do battle for a fourth time tonight, with Houston installed as the home favorite.
In three prior encounters, Houston has won twice both straight up and against the spread. The points have come in bunches, no surprise with all of the talent between these two teams, with the OVER cashing in all three meetings so far.
The Rockets are clicking just at the right time. They've won four in a row, with standout statement wins over Miami (106-103) and Indiana (112-86). The win over the Pacers was arguably their most impressive of the season. James Harden was unstoppable, scoring 28 points with four rebounds, four assists and three steals. The Rockets hit on 52.6 percent from the field and that's not an easy feat to accomplish against Indiana's typically tough defense.
It hasn't been the best of weeks for the Trail Blazers. They shockingly lost at home to the Lakers, bounced back to crush the Hawks by 24, but then lost on the road in Dallas on Friday night. Portland has covered the spread in only one of their past four matchups.
We'll be going with the home team once again to wrap up our NBA picks. Houston's looking as good as anyone in the league right now and have posted a respectable 17-13-2 ATS mark on their home court.
The inside/outside duo of Harden and Howard has proven too much for many this season and it's hard not to like their chances of dominating this game tonight. We don't see anyone on Portland that will be able to stop Harden, who's averaging 28 points a game since the All-Star break. He's put up averages of 26.7/6.3/5.0 in his three appearances against the Trail Blazers this season.
Simply put, momentum is on Houston's side right now and we're not about to side against them.
NBA Pick: Houston Rockets -5.5