Friday, January 1

Houston Rockets vs Sacramento Kings, 11 am
Kings +4.5

I’m going to take the Kings in this spot, currently getting 4.5 points on the road in Houston. Sacramento have been a real surprise package this season and I think they’ve got a shot at the outright upset here.

Houston have had the early part of their season de-railed due to a Covid scare and will get back some key rotation pieces here. That said, this will lead to a completely different lineup that will take some time to bed in.

The Kings have a deep roster and play at a very fast pace, which should challenge an unconditioned Rockets rotation. Houston have been atrocious defensively and I don’t see how the returns of Cousins and Wall fixes that.

Overall, I get the sense this line should be closer to even money. With 4.5 and even 5-point spreads out there, Sacramento are a good value underdog play.

Toronto Raptors vs New York Knicks, 11:35 am
Raptors -8.5

The Raptors just haven’t looked good this season, stumbling out to an 0-3 start. I think they’ll be very motivated to put things right here and that’s why I’m taking them laying a gaudy 8.5 points.

The Knicks have managed a 2-2 start so far, but they look like a paper tiger. They’re starved for perimeter creation and should really struggle against this Raptors defense.

They’re also set to be without a bunch of rotation players here – Toppin, Ntilikina, Rivers, Burks, and Spellman all appearing on the injury report. The flipside is that Toronto has their full complement available.

We’re getting a very good coach and a desperate team laying single digits against one of the league’s worst sides. If Toronto can’t win and cover here, they could be in for a long season.