Free Pick: Rockets vs. Kings NBA Lines & Handicapping Preview

NBA Odds: Houston vs Sacramento Picks

Thursday NBA betting action sees the Houston Rockets taking on the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, CA. Cappers picks provides free NBA handicapping tips all season long.

Both teams will still be without their star big men tonight, Demarcus Cousins and Dwight Howard.

NBA Lines

Houston Rockets (16-5) vs. Sacramento Kings (11-11) 
Thursday, Dec. 11
10:30 PM ET
Sleep Train Arena/Sacramento, CA
NBA O/U Odds: 196
NBA Betting Odds: HOU -1
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The Rockets have been playing just as well without Howard, but it has been the opposite effect for the Kings.


The Rockets have not been struggling at all since Dwight Howard went down. Without Howard, the Rockets are 7-3 and had taken seven of the last eight before their loss to Golden State.

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James Harden is coming off a 34 point performance to go along with 8 rebounds, 4 assists and four steals. Harden is leading the team in points per game (25.6), assists (6.4) and steals (2.0). Coming into this year everyone knew he could put up numbers on offense, but the biggest question was his defense.

Houston ranks near the top of the league in points allowed per game and rebounds per game. The defense this year has been a major reason why the Rockets have one of the best records in the league.

Small forward Trevor Ariza has been called on to step up his game with the absence of Dwight Howard. He is averaging 14.3 points per game to go along 6.1 rebounds.

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Ever since all-star center Demarcus Cousins went down the Kings have had a lot of trouble closing out games. After Tuesday’s loss to the Lakers, the Kings dropped to 2-5 without their big man.

The Kings are opening a five game home stand and hope to catch the Rockets off their game on the road. With the absence of Cousins, Darren Collison has been called on to keep the offense going.

Small forward Rudy Gay has had to change his style of play in the last seven games as well. He has to focus more on getting rebounds than being a scorer. Gay is averaging 21.6 points per game this year.

Ryan Hollins and Reggie Evans are the back-up centers and have been splitting time since Cousins has been out. Evans is coming off an impressive where he pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds.

In order for the Kings to be competitive in this contest, Rudy Gay and Darren Collison must take control of the offense and have good shooting performances.

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NBA Handicapping Trends:

  • Rockets are 4-0 ATS following an ATS loss.
  • Rockets are 5-1 ATS following a SU loss.
  • Kings are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games.
  • Kings are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games vs a team with road record winning % over .600

James Harden will have a big game and will be too much for the Kings to handle, especially without their best rim protector. The absence of Cousins and Howard is much more detrimental to the Kings because all of their offense runs through him.

The Rockets will get big performances from other role players as well, such as Ariza, Terry, and Montiejunas. Look for the Rockets to pick up a big win on the road against the struggling Kings.

Free 4* NBA Betting Pick: HOU -1

Harden will come out and put up 30+ points and Houston will play solid team defense to hold the Kings under 100 points.

Final Score — Rockets 103, Kings 96

Check out our Updated NBA Betting Odds.

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By Kyle R.

Kyle is new to Cappers Picks and is from from Cleveland, OHIO. A Senior at The Ohio State University. Huge Cleveland sports fan (Cavs, Indians, and Browns), and has been been betting since he was legally allowed to do so ... at 18. He's also an avid shoe collector (mostly Jordans and LeBrons), and his dream is to see a championship in Cleveland, doesn’t matter if Browns, Indians, or Cavs. Any or all will do.