Miami -6.5 at Sacramento O/U 212
Sacramento won’t have DeMarcus Cousins this evening thanks to his league leading 16th technical foul for sarcastically clapping following a late foul against the Wizards on Wednesday. And without Cousins, this team doesn’t win on any floor. When he sat on Monday, the Kings trailed by 25+ all game before a late 16-1 run during garbage time made the final score look more respectable (and gave a brutal beat to Blazers backers). Cousins sat against Minnesota last week; the Kings lost SU and ATS; again trailing by margin throughout the second half. He missed a home game against Orlando earlier in the month, another SU and ATS defeat.
In fact, the Kings are 2-10 SU in the dozen games that Cousins has missed this year, both wins coming against the Bucks on hot shooting nights from the perimeter. Cousins also missed Sacramento’s first meeting with Miami. The Kings were red hot that night, shooting at a 51% clip from the floor, including 12-23 shooting from three point range. The Heat were still up by 16 in the fourth quarter before a late Kings rally made the final score respectable.
I’m not expecting another red hot shooting night for Sacramento here without their big man. Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra was not amused by their defensive showing in that first meeting with the Kings. His quote “It was not one of our better defensive performances of the season.” And neither Spoelstra nor team leader Dwayne Wade were amused with Miami’s lethargic defensive effort in a bad loss against the Lakers on Wednesday.
Wade (out w/ back injury), following that loss: "It was just total disrespect to the opponents tonight. Those guys are good players, and you have to play them the same way you play an opponent you fear. We didn't do that, and that's why they got the win." Spoelstra, following the loss: “You typically get what you deserve in this league and we did not deserve this game. The road is real. It doesn't matter who you play." We can expect the Heat to come with significantly more intensity tonight, bad news for the Kings.
After an 0-7 SU and ATS stretch at home, the Kings have won and covered three straight at Sleep Train Arena, including a solid win over the Wizards earlier in the week. The Kings have cashed at a 35% clip for the year coming off a home win (6-11 ATS), a bet-against team again tonight.