NBA Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions: Rockets vs. Kings (Sunday, August 9)
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: James Harden #13 high-fives Robert Covington #33 of the Houston Rockets
- The Houston Rockets are the favorite on Sunday when they take on the Sacramento Kings at 8 p.m. ET in the bubble.
- With a win Sunday, Houston can lock up a top-four seed in the Western Conference and put Sacramento out of the playoff picture.
- Read Joe Dellera's full betting preview for Rockets vs. Kings below.
Rockets vs. Kings Betting Odds
|Rockets odds||-5 [BET NOW]|
|Kings odds||+5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-215/+175 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||231 [BET NOW]|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
On Sunday, the Rockets look to put the Kings out of the playoff picture entirely while also attempting to lock down a top-four seed in the Western Conference. The Kings have a very outside shot at the playoffs, but at this point they’re just playing spoiler to the Rockets.
The Rockets are coming off a strong win against an undermanned Lakers team. Even without Russell Westbrook this Rockets team coasted to a win against the Lebron-less Lakers. Once again the Rockets will be without Westbrook, and Eric Gordon will also miss this game.
The Rockets continue to shoot 3s at a historic pace. Per Cleaning the Glass, the Rockets shot a league high 45.7% of their shots from 3-point range this season. What’s incredible is that they’ve actually increased this percentage in the bubble to 55.9%.
The Rockets are a mathematician’s dream — they take high-value shots and completely disregard the mid-range game as that’s the lowest value in terms of difficulty/reward.
The one thing the Rockets need to do is get back to the rim. In the bubble they are taking shots at the rim, which is a 5% decrease in frequency from the regular season. Getting to the rim more means Westbrook is not taking pull-up shots, the team is drawing fouls and there’s less variance as shots by the rim are higher-percentage looks. Additionally, it’s more difficult for opponents to stay planted around the perimeter on defense.
With Westbrook out, expect Harden’s usage rate to skyrocket again. Per Cleaning the Glass, Harden had a 46.4% usage rate against the Lakers without Westbrook.
The Kings enter this game without Richaun Holmes (hip) and Kent Bazemore is listed as questionable.
The Kings are not a great rebounding team. On the season, they secure only 49.2% of all rebound opportunities per NBA.com. I don’t think this will matter too much against a Rockets team that does not work to rebound the basketball, but this could present a few easy second chance gifts to the Rockets.
The Kings have a high ceiling — they can beat some of the best teams in the league — but they struggle with consistency. Here in the bubble, they have the third-worst Net Rating (-5.8) per NBA.com.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Expect the Rockets to rain 3s against a Kings team that gives up the fourth-most looks from beyond the arc per Cleaning the Glass. When Westbrook does not play, the Rockets shoot 54.4% of their shots from deep.
This presents a massive matchup problem for the Kings. They have 3-point shooters, but their offense is not structured to keep up with the Rockets. They take too many shots from mid-range and do not hit them at a good enough clip to keep this competitive.
I like Rockets -5 and think it has value up to -6.
The Pick: Rockets -5 [Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]