• Sacramento is 9-1 straight up and 8-2 against the spread when giving points this season, and is a home favorite against the Trail Blazers on Monday night.
By Sam Chase
January 14, 2019

Three at 3 is siding with two road underdogs and a home favorite for Monday night's NBA slate.

1. Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets (-4.5)

8:00 pm ET

Memphis was nothing more than another James Harden victim when it played in Houston on New Year's Eve, surrendering 43 points and 13 assists to Harden in a 113-101 defeat (HOU -4). Entering Monday night's rematch, the Grizzlies have won only one of the six games they've played since then.

But while Harden's streak of 30-point games is now up to 16, teams are starting to find some solutions to the never-before-seen style of basketball The Beard has been playing in recent weeks. First, Milwaukee took away his left hand and conspicuously avoided fouling him last Wednesday, limiting him to 13-of-30 shooting en route to a 116-109 win (MIL -2). Then on Sunday, the Magic held him to 1-of-17 three-point shooting to earn a victory over the Rockets, also by a 116-109 score (ORL +5.5). Like the Bucks (third in NBA in defensive rating) and the Magic (13th), the Grizzlies (sixth) have the defensive personnel to make Harden work extra hard for his buckets. With Houston playing the second leg of a back-to-back on Monday, Memphis should be able to scrap its way into a tight game.

Pick: Grizzlies +4.5

2. Portland Trail Blazers at Sacramento Kings (-2.5)

10:00 pm

When the Blazers and Kings last played, Three at 3 had Sacramento +1.5 at home on New Year's Day. The Kings lost the cover in a 113-108 overtime defeat, but we're doubling down on Dave Joerger's team for a Sactown rematch taking place less than two weeks later. The Kings are 72-53 against the spread when attempting to avenge a loss to a given opponent in Joerger's two-and-a-half years as head coach, and are only half a game removed from the Western Conference Playoff picture after winning three of their last four. Only San Antonio has a better against-the-spread mark at home than Sacramento (15-8) and the Kings are 9-1 straight up as a favorite this season (8-2 ATS). With oddsmakers giving Sacramento the edge at home, bettors should take the hint and side with the Kings tonight.

Pick: Kings -2.5

3. New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Clippers (-2.5)

10:30 pm

The Pelicans have played the Clippers tight twice this season, beating them 116-109 at home all the way back in October (NOP -5.5) and then losing a tight one at home on Dec. 3, 129-126 (LAC +1.5). A major determining factor in New Orleans winning the first matchup and dropping the second was Nikola Mirotic: The forward put up 18 points and 12 boards in the victory, but didn't play in the loss due to illness.

After missing about a month with an ankle injury, Mirotic has scored 28 points across 49 minutes in the two games he has played since returning to the floor. That includes his nine-point, six-rebound, three-block showing in 27 minutes in the Pelicans' 110-106 loss in Minnesota on Saturday (MIN +1.5). While that defeat was discouraging, it did set New Orleans up for a strong trend entering Monday night's game in Los Angeles. Over the past five seasons, road underdogs with winning percentages between .400 and .490 coming off a game in which each team scored over 100 points are 108-58 against the spread.

Pick: Pelicans +2.5

Overall Record: 100-80-4