Sacramento Kings -1.0 Fri February 22 ‘08 7:05p - Click Here for Current NBA Odds Charlotte has really been playing badly of late, losing 9 of their L10 entering this game. Sacramento despite of being without the traded Mike Bibby, are a cohesive looking team, with a lot of promise going forward , as has been evident in both of their wins since the all star break against Atlanta and Portland. Final notes & Key Trends: The Bobcats are 0-6 ATS in their L6 vs Western Conference teams and 0-6-1 ATS in their L7 as underdogs. Play on the Kings

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Houston Rockets @ New Orleans Hornets u186.5 (-110) Fri February 22 ‘08 8:05p The Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets combined to score just 169 points when they met in Houston last month, and while this game may not be quite that low scoring, we do expect another safe Under.

Yes, the Rockets are improved offensively this season compared to past years, but they still play good defense also, and the Under is a lucrative 31-22-1, 58.5 percent in all of their games this season. Sure they won 112-100 vs. Miami last night, but you can bet that the Rockets will make a more concerted effort on the defensive end tonight, and they are allowing 94.5 points per game when playing with no rest this season, with the Under going 7-5 in those games.

Now the Hornets have played an up-tempo style this year, but the oddsmakers have done an excellent job of incorporating that into New Orleans totals, as it is the Under that is 27-25 in all of their games this season. Also, we do not expect the Rockets to allow the Hornets to run the floor at will, similar to the way they were able to shut down the Hornets’ fast break in the last meeting.

Look for a similar style game here, with this total topping out in the upper 170s.

NBA Free Pick: Rockets, Hornets Under 186.5

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Houston Rockets +4.0 Fri February 22 ‘08 8:05p Even on the second night of back-2-backs, the Rockets are playing too well right now to be underdogs in this price range. Houston is the hottest team in the NBA, winners of ten straight, going 8-2 ATS in the process. The Rockets are 9-2 against the number in their last eleven on the road; 9-2-1 ATS as an underdog this year including outright wins in their last three tries as a road dog. Rick Adelman’s team is getting tremendous play from their role players. Yao and T-Mac make the headlines in Houston, but the reality is that their overall level of improved play has come due to the success of their other guys – pint sized point guard Rafer Alston, Shane Battier, Luis Scola, Carl Landry, Luther Head.

Don’t expect the trade between these two teams that was completed before the deadline yesterday to have much impact on the Rockets overall chemistry and flow. Mike James hadn’t played significant minutes since December; sitting on the bench for the full 48 minutes in 19 of the Rockets last 25 games. Bonzi Wells never really fit in with what Adelman was trying to do on either end of the court, in sharp contrast to the just acquired Bobby Jackson who played the best basketball of his career under Adelman’s tutelage back in Sacramento. At least for the purposes of this game, the Rockets got the immediate injection of talent and energy from yesterday’s deal, as Wells and James will have a learning curve in New Orleans that Jackson won’t have for the Rockets.

The series history between these two teams is all about the road underdog cashing tickets. The road team is 9-2 ATS in the last eleven meetings, while the underdog has cashed at a 16-5 clip the last 21 times these two teams have faced off against one another. When the Hornets beat the Rockets in Houston last month, the Rockets Tracy McGrady was sitting on the sidelines in street clothes. With T-Mac back in the lineup tonight, expect Houston to get their revenge. Take the Rockets.

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