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Houston Rockets at Sacramento Kings Pick Against the Spread

Houston Rockets -3.5 @ Sacramento Kings (TOTAL: 208.5)

Before getting to tonight’s pick, first an open letter to the Miami Heat:

Dear Miami Heat,

“I hate you.  One game, it’s complete dominance.  The next?  Complete indifference.  Lebron and Bosh might have decided to join D-Wade in bringing their collective talents to South Beach but I will not be bringing any more wagers there before the Playoffs start.  You all stink.”

Okay, perhaps a little sour grapes on my part, but I am seriously exhausted trying to play psychoanalyst and guess when the “good Heat” are going to show up and when the “bad Heat” are going to sleep through another regular season game.  So, my wonderful readers – my apologies for an embarrassing loss on Friday night.  I am pretty sure that game was one of the top ten biggest covers (+24.5 for Memphis) in a game this season.  Let’s agree that we’ll stay away from the Heat for a few weeks…

Without further rambling, let’s move on to tonight’s pick.

Sacramento has been an interesting team this season.  They have been abysmal on the road, but are a solid .500 team at home.  We’ve gotten a few nice wins this season betting the Kings at home facing a superior opponent and getting a nice cushy line.  Tonight seems like one of those opportunities on the surface; Sacramento getting three and a half against a Rocket team that is just 10-17 away from home.  However, there are a few key stats tipping in Houston’s favor tonight.

First of all, there is the fact they match up very well with the Kings and have had success against them over the past few seasons.  They have beaten them six of seven times, including three straight in Arco Arena.  Their earlier meeting in Sac town was a 123-101 beat down.

Secondly, there is the enormous importance each game poses for Houston, who is battling fiercely with five teams for the West’s final two playoff spots.  The Rockets have been playing like a team focused on extending their season, winning six of eight with two of their three losses coming by two points in overtime to Indiana and Dallas.  Kevin McHale is getting the most out of a roster with limited talent compared to the rest of the West’s power teams, and Luis Scola is carrying the Rockets for stretches of games, averaging over 19 points in a remarkable consistent nine game stretch.

I like the Rockets for the simple reason I think they approach tonight’s game with much more focus and urgency than Sacramento will.  Look for Scola to fare well against DeMarcus Cousins and for Goran Dragic to surprise Tyreke Evens with his quickness and creativity at the point.

Free Pick:  Houston Rockets -3.5