Three of the guys chasing James Harden for the MVP were in action last night and did no harm to their odds.

LeBron James dropped 24 points, 12 assists and six rebounds on an inspired Hawks team. Kyrie Irving continued his impressive run of scoring, with 36 points on 12-21 shooting. And Giannis Antetokounmpo did a bit of everything with 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks.

The pick of the bunch today is low in on-court quality but high in value.

Kings (6-15) @ Bulls (3-17)

The Kings are -1.5 road favorites in this one, but I like them a lot more than that.

Coming off a close loss to the Nuggets in Denver 24 hours earlier, the Bulls will be battling travel and fatigue tonight.

In the three back-to-backs the Bulls have already played this season, they’ve been awful. Not just their typical level of bad, but incomprehensibly poor.

Chicago’s usual – and already league-worst – 95 offensive rating drops even further to 87.5, while their defensive rating blows out from 108.7 to 113.7 with no rest.

The Bulls also seem to struggle the night after a win or close loss (by fewer than six points). Wins and competitive losses have been hard to come by so the sample size is small, but following the four games that qualify Chicago’s offensive rating is an abysmal 85.65.

So tonight, we’ve got the Bulls on the second night of a back-to-back following a close loss the night before.

It’s a recipe for disaster.

Sacramento, on the other hand, hasn’t played since Tuesday. They’ve gone 2-2 over their last four, including a win over the Warriors, and have been getting handy contributions from various players throughout.

The Kings’ bench has been exceptionally good to lead the league in scoring at 49.1 points per game. To add to the already difficult task at hand for the home side, the Bulls are dead last in bench defensive rating at 111.4.

It’s not a blockbuster matchup made for national TV, but there’s plenty of value in the Kings as a road favorite.

Pick: Kings -1.5

Remaining Games:

Warriors (16-6) @ Magic (9-13)

Pacers (12-10) @ Raptors (13-7)

Timberwolves (13-9) @ Thunder (8-12)

Spurs (14-7) @ Grizzlies (7-13)

Hornets (8-12) @ Heat (10-11)

Pelicans (11-10) @ Jazz (11-11)

 

All stats provided by Basketball Reference and NBA Stats as of 12/1

All odds provided by William Hill as of 12/1

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