Daily Picks 12/23: Checkmate For The Kings

Our NBA expert picks his best bets for today's games
Stephen Rodriguez
Mon, December 23, 7:26 AM EST

Both teams from Los Angeles were upset on Sunday night - the Lakers lost to the Denver Nuggets 128-104 and the Clippers went down to the Oklahoma City Thunder 118-112.

NBA leading scorer James Harden leads the Houston Rockets into Sacramento eyeing a fourth straight win on Monday night.

Here’s a look at today’s NBA picks:

BET OF THE DAY:

Houston Rockets (-5.5) @ Sacramento Kings, 10:00 PM:

  • The Rockets have a 16-10 ATS record against the Kings since 2012-13.
  • Sacramento is 7-14 ATS in night games against the Rockets since 2013-14. (Stats courtesy of Statschecker).

Houston (20-9) won a third straight game after taking down the Phoenix Suns 139-125.

Harden had a huge night, shooting 15-of-27 from the field for 47 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Russell Westbrook added a double-double with 30 points, 10 assists, four rebounds and two steals.

Behind the two former MVPs, the Rockets have the second-best offense in the NBA scoring 120.4 ppg.

Sacramento (12-17) dropped a third consecutive game after falling on the road to the Memphis Grizzlies 119-115.

Harrison Barnes scored a game-high 25 points on 7-of-19 shooting with five assists and four rebounds. Richaun Holmes contributed a double-double with 18 points and 12 assists.

The Kings have struggled to score points this season, averaging the sixth fewest in the NBA with 105.1 ppg.

Unfortunately for Sacramento, the Rockets have no issue putting points on the board.

Roll with Houston to cover the spread (-5.5).

2u - Houston Rockets (-5.5) @ -105

Utah Jazz @ Miami Heat (-4), 7:30 PM:

  • The Utah Jazz are 12-17 ATS this season which is sixth worst in the NBA.
  • The Miami Heat have an 18-9-2 ATS record which is the second best in the league. (Stats courtesy of Statschecker).

Miami (21-8) won a second straight game after taking care of business at home, defeating the New York Knicks 129-114.

The Heat had seven players score in double figures, including Bam Adebayo who scored a team-high 20 points with eight rebounds. Kelly Olynyk added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. 

Utah (18-11) has been on a roll and picked up a fifth straight game after handling the Charlotte Hornets 114-107.

Rudy Gobert totaled a huge double-double, scoring 17 points with 19 rebounds and three blocks. Bojan Bogdanvoic scored a team-high 26 points on 7-of-12 shooting.

Miami’s biggest strength this season has been playing at home, posting a 12-1 record at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Meanwhile, Utah’s biggest weakness has been playing on the road with a 7-8 record.

The Heat will be at full strength and I don’t anticipate them slowly down against the Grizzlies.

Take Miami to cover the spread (-4).

1u - Miami Heat (-4) @ -120

Toronto Raptors (+5.5) @ Indiana Pacers, 9:30 PM

  • The Toronto Raptors have a 17-12 ATS record this season which is fifth best in the NBA.
  • Toronto is 10-5 ATS in night games at the Indiana Pacers since 2012-13. (Stats courtesy of Statschecker).

Toronto (21-8) battled back from a 30-point deficit and won a fifth consecutive game edging out the Dallas Mavericks 110-107.

Kyle Lowry led the surge with a near triple-double, scoring a game-high 32 points with 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Chris Boucher came off the bench and contributed on both ends of the floor, scoring 21 points with seven rebounds, four blocks and two steals.

Indiana (20-9) snapped a five-game winning streak in ugly fashion, falling to the Milwaukee Bucks 117-89.

Domantas Sabonis was the lone bright spot, posting a double-double with 19 points and 18 rebounds with five assists, two blocks and two steals.

The Pacers and Raptors sit within a game of each other in the Eastern Conference standings and sets up this matchup to be an early postseason preview.

Even if Toronto is without Pascal Siakam again, my expectation is the Raptors will remain close enough throughout this game to cover the spread (+5.5).

1u - Toronto Raptors (+5.5) @ -105

Stephen Rodriguez
TinoRodriguez__
Expert handicapper for both NBA and NCAAB with years of experience in the business
Mar 2020
Record
Wins
13
Losses
15
Push
0
ROI
-11.62%
0Betslip

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