There’s very few people that doubt the Houston Rockets are going to win the 2/14 NBA free pick – straight up at least. That being said oddsmakers have set the line at HOU -14 which seems like a ton of points to give Sacramento after the Rockets come in from an emotional win at Minnesota. The Houston win snapped the T’Wolves 13 game home winning streak and pushed the Rockets to their 9th win in a row. Throw in the factor that tonight is ‘getaway day’ as Houston’s last contest before the all-star game – and Valentine’s Day to boot – there’s no way the Rockets perform at full throttle in this contest…is there?
Can Sacramento Get the SU Win?
There’s a lot of distractions for Houston in the 2/14 NBA free pick not to mention the fact that they’re flying back home for their third game in four nights. If the Kings had even a night of rest tonight’s game might be a different story but they too are playing their third-in-four. Ironically both teams have the same last two opponents, Dallas and Minnesota. The Kings lost by 5 in Minnesota while the Rockets throttled the Wolves by 18 at the Target Center last night. Sacramento is coming into tonight’s game after a 114-109 win in Dallas last night while the Rockets beat the Mavs 104-97 in Houston on Sunday – but as 15 point favorites.
The Kings might actually have the travel advantage after playing in Texas last night. That being said Sacramento has dropped four of their last six and is 10-21 on the road this season while Houston owns a 22-6 home record which is one of the best in the league.The two teams did match up pretty evenly in their first meeting this year however. Houston tallied a 105-100 win in Sacramento as -7 favorites as James Harden put up 27 points. Chris Paul did not play in that meeting however.
Will Houston Cover the Big Number?
The Rockets are .5 games back from Golden State and it would be a big boost to overtake the Warriors for 1st in the conference heading into the all-star break (GSW plays in Portland tonight). The Kings on the other hand are having another write-off campaign as they are tied for the worst record in the league. Houston doesn’t traditionally perform well in these expected blowouts however. The Rockets beat Dallas by 7 as -15 favorites, beat Orlando by 7 with a -13 line, and knocked out Brooklyn 123-113 as -10 and defeated Phoenix 113-102 with a -14.5 line just in the last two weeks.
Another detail going against Houston in the 2/14 NBA free pick is the fact that Eric Gordon could miss tonight’s game with a right knee contusion suffered against the Timberwolves on Tuesday. Gordon will almost certainly sit out with the All-Star break looming and it means the Rockets will be without their best 3-point threat off the bench. Nene will also probably be limited tonight after playing last night in Minnesota and Trevor Ariza isn’t returning until after the upcoming break. One good aspect of the blowout win versus the T’Wolves last night is that no Rockets player logged more than 35 minutes – basically playing three quarters of basketball against one of the Western Conference’s best teams.
2/14 NBA Free Pick Betting
The obvious key to the 2/14 NBA free pick is going to be three point shooting. It’s crazy to think that Houston shoots more three pointers (42.7) than two pointers (41.9) per game. It also doesn’t help that Sacramento is dead last in the league in opponents three point shooting (38.5% per contest). That being said, the Rockets come in with tired legs and eyes on the upcoming vacation (except for James Harden who will be in the all-star game and Eric Gordon who is in the 3 point contest) which means their shooting could suffer. The Kings have a young roster (three rookie starters) that can bounce back from their own back-to-back scheduling to at least keep the game within 14.
Free Pick: Sacramento Kings +14