Sacramento Kings – Utah Jazz
Today we got two teams that don’t have title inspirations, but want to make it to the playoffs and Kings know that after their poor start, they really need to win those direct H2H games, surely at home.
Utah lately been playing sporadically. Came close to stop GSW’s unbeaten run, but felt short. Then lost at home to Orlando, in their first game without Gobert and then, again at home, won the hottest team in the East, Indiana Pacers. Since losing Gobert, they went Over both totals bookies set for them, so while they proved they can win or lose against any team, they proven that their offense looks a lot better without Gobert, but their defense is not on the same level.
Kings lose their rookier Center, Caulie-Stein. Without him, Karl started Casspi in both games, with Gay playing PF and Cousins playing Center. Karl said that he isn’t sure about this line up, since Casspi was integral part of the second unit, but at the moment, we should assume he will continue with this line up, till we see otherwise.
This line up is really smallball and that’s exactly what Kings management would like to see. Fast and offense oriented style. Kings always look to give home crowd a show, but actually, so far, they are 4 – 7 in Under favor at home, while 7 – 3 in Over favor on the road. I can’t pin point the exact reason for that, but I would expect it to change by the end of the season and home games having higher average than on the road (right now it’s 208.7 points at home versus 216.1 points on the road). But closer look, reveals that at home they score 103 points and on the road 105, similar numbers and the main reason for such a big difference is the number scored by the opponent.
We need to remember, that both games without Gobert so far, Utah didn’t have to handle any truly good Centers. Vucevic is decent and he was great against them and no one on Indiana’s big man roster could take advantage of Gobert being out. Still, both teams scored 103 and 110 points (in regulation).
Pace wise, Sacramento has the fastest pace in the league. Indiana ranked 10-12 (split with three more teams) and Orlando is 20th in the league pace wise. Utah is ranked dead last in pace, but in the last two games, both times went over 100 possessions per game (would be ranked in Top 5 in pace in both games).
I want to take Kings ATS here, but Cousins back problems, that he admits bothers him a lot, keeps me from this bet.
Instead, I want to take advantage of the fact, that I believe, bookies have yet to adjust to both teams styles of game the last two games for both.
I expect both teams to go Over 100 points each.
109 – 102 in Kings favor is my prediction here.
Kings Over 103.5 points, 1.93 odds – 4 units play
Over 205 points overall, 1.92 odds – 4 units play
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Best of luck everybody!!!