Kings vs. Thunder Pick NBA – Nov 9th

One of the frustrating and challenging things about wagering on NBA basketball can be the less-than-reliable nature of their injured/sitting/resting updates as compared to the NLF and MLB. In baseball, lineups are usually posted several hours before games and you can place a wager so it automatically scratches if there is a change to the starting pitcher. The NFL, despite Bellicheck’s frequent attempts to subvert the system, usually gives us a pretty good idea of who is on the field.

In the NBA, you never know when someone is going to pull a Popovich or scratch late with a nagging injury, fatigue, or the “flu.” So my apologizes if any of you got similarly burnt backing the Rockets on the assumption that Howard would be playing. At the time of publishing, there was no word he may sit out the game.

But, I can’t complain overall. I dropped a pick, but I did welcome the birth of my beautiful daughter into the world. So all in all, pretty good day ;)

Let’s celebrate with a make-up winner on a limited Sunday slate. (Should have went with my trap-game special yesterday, but the Bucks FG% scared me away. Nice win for them over the previously unbeaten Grizz – very impressive statement from last year’s worst team in hoops)

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Today’s Free Pick:

Sacramento Kings -1.5 at Oklahoma City Thunder (Total: 194)

Time to put my money where my mouth is. I’m a believer. I believe in Boogie. (Deeeeeep breathe).

Yep. Still here. I’m on board with this Kings team being legit. Are they a playoff team? Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t vastly improved. When you consider the Kings, Suns and Pelicans could all reasonably be outside the playoff picture, not anointing them ready for May isn’t a harsh indictment.

So far this season, the Kings are a perfect 3-0 on the road, with legitimate wins at Denver, the Clippers and Phoenix. Their only loss is to the Warriors (who are unbeaten and look like the best team in the league so far). They are doing it with uncharacteristic unselfish play, efficient scoring from Rudy Gay who isn’t forcing the issue, and a willingness to play through a Top 3 Big in DeMarcus Cousins. This is finally the year he makes an All-Star team and I think his US National Team experience has a ton to do with it.

So does the addition of Darren Collison. He gives them the floor leader they desperately needed. Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas are good player. Collison, while perhaps not the same talent, is a much better leader. And a better fit. This Kings team can play.

They are visiting a Thunder team in disarray. With Durant and Westbrook on the shelf (and Lamb, and….) their best scorer might be Reggie Jackson. The problem? Jackson has been so trigger happy and inefficient, teammates Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins FROZE him out two games ago! That happens at the YMCA to the ballhog, but it isn’t supposed to happen to professionals.

This team is a mess. They have a chance to be a damn dangerous #7 or #8 seed once healthy (could you imagine a Thunder/Spurs opening round???), but they are failing to even tread water in the interim. I expect yet another loss tonight.

Free Pick: Sacramento Kings -1.5