Sacramento Kings will host the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night, beginning their season with plenty of new players and the idea to build for the future. The Rockets come in after a high-profile match-up with the Warriors the night before, so they need to keep their focus and avoid a slip-up.
Rockets at Kings
Spread: Houston Rockets -8.5 (-105) at BetDSI Sportsbook
Total: Over/Under 218.5 (-110)
The Rockets stay in Caly for a back-to-back set
The schedule makers haven’t been too kind to the Rockets, making them play two games the first two days of the new season. Fortunately, they don’t have to travel far, as they play the previous night in Oakland. Also, the second game of this back-to-back set should be a relaxing one, especially compared to the first one. Even if the Rockets can’t pull off a win against the Warriors tonight, they’ll have a chance to quickly forget about the loss – it’s an opportunity the players usually cherish.
The Rockets are a deep team and a durable one, so minutes distribution should pose no problems for their coaches. Last year, Houston has won 12 out of 18 games played on the second night of the back-to-back. This comes from good athletic preparation and mental focus of the players, so there’s no reason not to carry over into this season.
As always with the early previews for the back-to-back games, it’s recommended to check on the team news after the first game to check on key players health. Should there be no issues, the Rockets will match up well with the Kings. Paul and Harden seem unguardable and the supporting players are grown-up men playing against boys. Strength and experience will likely play an important factor for the visiting team.
Place: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California
Date/Time: Wednesday, October 18th, 2017. 10:00 PM ET
TV Coverage: NBCSCA
Post-Cousins era continues for the Kings
The Kings management had to do it. Everybody knew that the only way to move from the murky waters of NBA irrelevance has to start by trading Cousins. They get criticized a lot for the way they handled the situation and the return they got, but the skies have cleared and there’s some decent chance we’ll start seeing some rainbows soon. After a masterful draft and solid offseason, GM Divac even got himself an extension to the deal, and the Kings fans have a few new faces to cheer for.
The franchises often get lost in attempts to rebuild, either by throwing all the good with the bad through the door, or by clumsily trying to mesh newcomers with some veterans whom nobody wants. The Kings opted for the second approach, but have signed some true ballers, who can really help the team with experience and the know-how. George Hill is an excellent two-way point guard, so if he could stay healthy, the rookie Fox will have someone to learn from. Randolph ran into the problems with the law, so it’s really a bad start, but he can still play, as well as Vince Carter. The Kings also added one of the premier European scorers in Bogdan Bogdanovic, who needs to hit the weight room, though. Another rookie, Justin Jackson, will likely start at the small forward, so it’s almost a complete overhaul.
The frontcourt is mostly unchanged. I was never a fan of Cauley-Stein, but with him, Koufos, Z-Bo and Skal Labissiere, the Kings are well covered up front. They depend more on the backcourt this season, and the outside players ability to create shots. It’s something that will likely hold the Kings back, as very few players can create for others on a consistent basis, both point-guards included. There’s little point comparing these Kings to the last year’s version, as the key parts have changed. What is clear, is that they’ll need time to mix everything into a cohesive team.
The Kings might not be at full strength, as Bogdanovic and Hill both rolled an ankle. Hill is probable to start, but Bogdanovic’s injury might force him to delay his NBA debut.
Houston Rockets at Sacramento Kings Game Trends & Prediction
The Houston Rockets slowed down after a positive start to finish with 42-40 ATS record for the season. They fairly successfully fought big point totals to get to 41-40-1 over/under record. In both cases, the market has clearly caught up, and with the media attention around the team, the Rockets will likely be a public team.
Sacramento will have to prove too good to gain some respect from the market. Last season, the Kings were favored to win only 18 times, but they’ve used that ranking to their backers slight benefit, providing 41-38-3 record against the spread. They also had a reputation of a high scoring team, one that translated into more unders, significantly more (35-47) for the season.
This year, I decided to go even more transparent about my bets and will show you the real-time ranking for all the teams showcased here at you favorite betting place, through a unique ranking system – AdmiRank. This system helps you understand how good NBA teams are on a scale to 100. The Rockets are clearly a better team here, even when the fatigue and the home court factors kick in.
Here’s an interesting deal to think about, especially if you are coming in with a mindset of backing the Rockets in this game. If the Rockets win tonight over the Warriors – it shows their power. If they lose, they’ll surely look to bounce back and make amends in Sacto. Either way, the Rockets should prove to be strong enough to cover the spread, which is why I am backing them up and going with the over as well.
My Pick: Rockets -8.5 (-105)
Total: Over 218.5 (-110)
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