Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:15 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
New Orleans +100 over Sacramento
8:00 PM EST. Slowly but surely the Pelicans are regaining their health. Veteran point guard and on-court leader CJ McCollum is still sitting out after suffering a punctured lung, but the home-team could get a big boost if Jose Alvarado, the feisty PG who made a name for himself in the 2022 playoffs, returns tonight. He was just "upgraded" to questionable. Alvarado is confident and explosive offensively and his ability to pester opposing guards is a perfect fit for a stingy Pels' defense. The Pels also got back another stalwart defender in small-forward Herbert Jones, who made an immediate impact upon his return (+17 points differential in three recent games). New Orleans has gone 2-1 since Jones was inserted back into the starting lineup. Their one loss was a near-win against the Timberwolves without Zion Williamson on Saturday night (121-120 final).
On paper, no one wants to step in front of the Sacramento Kings right now. Since DeAaron Fox's return, the Kings have won six straight games. Even better for Sacramento, guys like Domantas Sabonis and Kevin Huerter instantly realize the benefit of their star's arrival, putting up some of their best numbers over the last week and a half since there's less attention on them. Not surprisingly, they're one of the most efficient offenses during the same span.
The sportsbooks know all this information, too, so then why are the Kings a virtual pick-em if they've been performing at such a high level? It's the spot.
In just 24 hours, the Kings have to pick themselves up and play another big contest on the road at New Orleans. Every one of their starters played for over 30 minutes in a 129-113 win at Dallas Sunday night. Not only that, but this is a back-to-back situation; Sacramento plays the Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center again on Wednesday night. It's also the Kings' fifth game in just seven days. This would be an easy situation for the away-team to manage their workload and conserve some energy. It's also not a bad matchup for the Pels, who are 2nd in the NBA in opponent three-point percentage. The Kings are top-5 in three-pointers attempted and made per game, but they can stumble when they can't get in-rhythm. There are many reasons why the Kings probably won't find any rhythm tonight. It's the Pels or nothing for us.
New Orleans +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)