Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings - 12/31/13
Sacramento Kings (9-20) at Houston Rockets (21-12)
NBA Basketball: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Toyota Center)
The Line: Houston Rockets -11.5 -- Over/Under: 210.5 See the Latest Odds
The Sacramento Kings look to upset the Houston Rockets once again as they collide at the Toyota Center.
The Kings have lost five of their last seven but were pretty high on confidence coming into San Antonio after beating the Heat on Friday, but a poor fourth quarter kept them from claiming their second big win in a row. On Sunday, DeMarcus Cousins led the team with 29 points and 14 rebounds, Isaiah Thomas had 27 points and nine assists while Rudy Gay added 24 points, but the Kings just couldn't put the Spurs away despite leading by nine points early in the fourth quarter. Defensively, the Kings kept a lid on Tim Duncan and Tony parker for the most part, but no one could stop Manu Ginobili who carried the Spurs with the game on the line. The loss drops Sacramento to 9-20 on the season and 3-9 on the road.
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Meanwhile, the Rockets had won four of five heading into Oklahoma City on Sunday, but their winning form completely left them against the shorthanded Thunder in a 117-86 loss. Aaron Brooks led the team with 17 points while Chandler Parsons and Omri Casspi added 15 each, but no one else finished in double figures as the Rockets shot just 36 percent from the field. James Harden disappointed me the most as he scored just eight points against his former team which is the first time all season that he has scored in single digits. With the loss, Houston drop to 21-12 overall and 8-8 on the road.
In ATS trends, the Kings are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team above .600 and 1-4 ATS in their last five road games against a team with a winning home record, while the Rockets are 5-0 ATS in their last five games following a loss and 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 home games.
Head to head, the Kings are only 3-9 ATS in the last 12 meetings overall and 1-4 ATS in the last five in Houston.
Given the sudden patch of form the Kings are suddenly in, my initial thought was to take them with the points here, but this just seems like a perfect opportunity for a major bounce-back game for the Rockets so that's where I'm leaning. Rockets to win and cover.