Dallas Mavericks -2 @ Sacramento Kings
I don’t think anyone will dispute that Dallas is a better basketball team than the Sacramento Kings. And if they would, I’d recommend staying away from that person, because they pretty much just enjoy arguing for the hell of it; the Kings haven’t been to the Playoffs since Chris Webber played there. And he’s been a broadcaster for three years. Meanwhile the Mavs are the reigning NBA champs. So really, no contest, right?
Well. Kind of… Yes, the Mavs are clearly the better team, but there is a reason they are only two point favorites tonight at Arco Arena. The Kings are a respectable 9-6 at home this season and have beaten some pretty good teams including the Lakers, Pacers, Blazers and Thunder. But the real reason the Kings are only getting a slim two points is because this will be the fourth game in five nights for the Champs. That’s a heavy work load for a young team. And Dallas is definitely not a young team…
You can also bet Sacramento will be eager to erase the memory of their embarrassing defeat the last time these two got together. With the onslaught of game after game in the NBA it is tough for any one regular season defeat to leave a memory, but it isn’t every day a team gets beat 99-60 either. You can imagine Coach Smart will make that a point somewhere in his pre-game pep talk to his young, impressionable and excitable squad.
There is just one other troubling matter. The fact that Dallas has beaten the Kings the last ten times they have met. In fact, they have beaten them every single time since 2005, making DeMarcus Cousins a gigantic middle schooler the last time his future employer triumphed (hence the DeMarcus middle-school picture in the post title page, for those astute readers…). So why oh why am I picking the Kings tonight?
In a word. Fatigue. The Kings being tired of getting kicked around by the Mavs and the Mavs just fatigued in general. Playing your fourth game in five nights on the road against a team with something to prove playing in front of a frenzied crowd?? It is the perfect recipe for cooking up a nice March-Madness styled upset. I agree wholeheartedly that the Mavericks are a better team, but for one night, I like The Kings and the Cow Palace not just covering the spread but springing the upset as well (snag ‘em at +105 on the moneyline if you still can!)
Free Pick: Sacramento Kings +2