Kings vs. Clippers Pick NBA – January 16th

Oh yeah, so THAT’S why I swore off the Rockets. Only Houston and the mercurial pack of superstars/stars/big names can take a dominating trend; covering and winning six straight against Cleveland, LeBron being 0-5 ATS after losses in 2015-2016, covering four straight at home, and turn it into the 77 point clunker we got last, on national television nonetheless. It is a complete crapshoot with these guys. If only my disdain for this ballclub would have held in check my affinity for solid analytics, we could have dodged an embarrassing loss last night.

No other way to slice it. This week has been my worst of the entire basketball season and has been frustrating for sure. Ups and downs are inevitable (and sometimes not fun when putting picks out for thousands to second-guess!) but never fun to endure when it’s the “down” time.

It’s still been a winning season, but a lot of the cushion has been given back the last eight days. SO it is time to get back on the winning track and reverse the curse. Let’s get after it today on a packed sports calendar. Between NFL Playoffs, great college hoops action and a full NBA slate, Saturday has some great potential profits out there…

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Today’s Free Pick:

Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Clippers -5

The Kings (seems to) have put their dysfunction behind them and are finally playing like the team many thought could sneak into the Western Conference playoffs for the first time in forever. They are 4-3 over their last seven games and own road wins over OKC and Utah and a narrow one-point marathon multiple-OT loss at Dallas.

However, their luck may very well turn tonight as they travel to one of the hottest teams in the NBA, the Los Angeles Clippers, who have reeled off ten straight games – all without Blake Griffin (inexplicably, as Griffin has been GREAT this season). They have wins over Miami and Charlotte in Staples, as well as road wins at Washington, Utah, and Charlotte. It hasn’t been an elite schedule, but wins are wins, especially when six of them come on the road without your All Star power forward.

DISCLAIMER – READ FIRST: DeAndre Jordan sat out practice yesterday and is listed as “day to day” with an “illness.” If he doesn’t play, that could spell some trouble, hence the slim line. Boogie Cousins is not a guy you want to face without your rim protector and best interior defender. Cole Alderidge could have a long night (or short, with foul trouble, hence “long” in the metaphorical sense as well). They are expected to make an official announcement after shoot around this morning.

I think he is likely to play, given he sat our Wednesday as well – his first missed game in five seasons – and has now had four days to rest. But it is worth monitoring for sure.

If he sits, I am less inclined to punch the wager card on the Clipps. However, at -5.5 and the run they are on, it is hard to look away from them. Their vaunted bench, which struggled so mightily early in the year, is finally paying the dividends that Clippers’ brass expected when bolstering it in the offseason. Look for them to again come up big tonight and keep the Clippers long win streak intact.

Free Pick: Los Angeles Clippers -5