Welcome back to another edition of NBA basketball out in the wild, wild, west! On Friday night, the Sacramento Kings will remain in the Space City of Houston, Texas for a second straight game to square off with the Rockets. It’s time to take a look at our NBA odds series, where we will unveil our Kings-Rockets pick and prediction.
Entering Friday’s contest, the Kings will look to have a repeat of the success they had against the Rockets on Wednesday, where Sacramento forced 18 Houston turnovers resulting in a 121-118 road win. The Kings are mathematically still alive in the play-in playoff picture, but with only five games remaining and Sacramento trailing by 3.5 games, the perfect storm will have to brew in order for the Kings to clinch their first postseason birth since 2006.
If there is a group ecstatic for the offseason and all it provides, look no further than this Houston Rockets team. It doesn’t seem that long ago when Chris Paul and James Harden were doing their thing in the “Clutch City”, but the modern-day Rockets lack star power and consistency, thus why they are tied with the worst record in the entire association with the Magic at 20-57. The Rockets will look to split with the Kings at home in this back-to-back home meeting.
Here are the Kings-Rockets NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Odds: Kings-Rockets Odds
Sacramento Kings: -2.5 (-110)
Houston Rockets: +2.5 (-110)
Over: 234.5 (-110)
Under: 234.5 (-110)
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Why the Kings Could Cover the Spread
With the Kings’ playoff chances hanging by a thread, Sacramento fans may as well have a better shot at winning the lottery. Sacramento will arguably have to run the table and win out in their remaining five games, as the Kings longest winning streak of the season is only three games. Although the odds are stacked against them, sports has the element of dramatic miracles that can make a grown man feel like a ten-year old boy again. Sacramento can’t afford to get too ahead of themselves and will need to take it one game at a time starting with a rematch versus Houston.
The good news is that the Rockets are horrendous, even when acting as the home team. If there is any bad news to speak of coming out of Northern California, it is that De’Aron Fox is still expected to be sidelined due to a nagging ankle injury. Sacramento will rely on other role players such as rookie guard Davion Mitchell, who became the first Kings rookie to record five-straight 20 point performances since Tyreke Evans in 2009-2010. Look for forward Trey Lyles and center Damian Jones to try to string together back-to-back dependable outings, as the front court duo combined for 48 points when these two teams went to battle a couple days ago. The Kings are 37-39-1 ATS so far this year.
Why the Rockets Could Cover the Spread
The Rockets are obviously playing for pride at this point, but let’s not act like Sacramento is the best thing going since sliced bread. Most likely, both of these squads will be watching the NBA playoffs from the confines of their living rooms, but that doesn’t mean that this contest will not be meaningful, even for a woeful Rockets bunch. With only five games left in Houston’s season, the Rockets would love nothing more to officially eliminate the Kings from playoff contention with a victory on Friday evening.
In order for this dream to become a reality, the Rockets must find a way to limit the productivity of Sacramento’s role players and take better care of the basketball. During 118-121 loss versus the Kings on Wednesday, Houston was infected with the turnover bug, giving the ball away 18 times and providing Sacramento with an abundant amount of scoring chances. Houston shot the three-ball better and was statistically more efficient on offense compared to the Kings, so cutting down on the giveaways will do wonders in the Rockets covering the spread.
Believe it or not, Houston ranks as the 18th best team in points per game with 109.3 a contest, so putting the basketball through the hoop hasn’t necessarily been the main issue. One important betting trend to keep an eye out for is that the Rockets are 5-1 ATS in their previous six games versus teams with a losing record.
Final Kings-Rockets Prediction & Pick
This game feels like a 50/50 tossup, even though this one should mean more to the Kings. After winning the first game of this mini two-game series, is Sacramento really that much better of a team with the absence of De’Aron Fox? The betting public shouldn’t think so. The Rockets may not win this game, but they will cover and possibly end Sacramento’s season all in one night. The Kings are far too inconsistent and the Rockets are capable of keeping it close, even with how badly they’ve performed for a majority of the year.
Final Kings-Rockets Pick: Rockets +2.5 (-110)