The ailing Charlotte Hornets (7-24) encounter the Sacramento Kings (19-12) this Tuesday (1/2/24). Get Hornets vs. Kings moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.
Charlotte Hornets vs. Sacramento Kings Prediction
The Kings average 30.5 points per game during the first quarter, and they are set up for a monster offensive game.
Hornets center Mark Williams will miss his 11th straight game due to a nagging back injury. The seven footer owns a massive 7’6” wingspan, and his length routinely warps shot angles around the basket. Since his injury, the Hornets possess a putrid 123.5 Defensive Rating, which would be the worst mark in the NBA.
De’Aaron Fox averages the eighth most drives per game and has the speed to blow past Charlotte’s weak point-of-attack defense. Fox will terrorize the Hornets around the basket, especially if they continue to foul at an alarming rate. Plus, Sacramento’s offense produces the fifth largest cut frequency, and Charlotte is dead last defending cuts in terms of opponent expected points per possession (via ShotQuality). Essentially, the Kings should score at will inside the paint.
The Hornets also give up the largest three-point percentage from above the break, and the Kings take the fourth most above the break attempts per game. De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Keegan Murray, and Kevin Huerter likely rain down threes and balance the offense.
Overall, Sacramento’s starting lineup is scoring an elite 121.8 points per 100 possessions across 291 minutes. Based on their easy matchup, the Kings can rack up points early and build a formidable lead.
Charlotte Hornets vs. Sacramento Kings Prediction: Kings Over 30.5 1st Quarter Points (-112 DK)
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Charlotte Hornets vs. Sacramento Kings Best Odds
Not only are the Kings a vastly superior team, but the Hornets will be without LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward, and Mark Williams. Therefore, it’s reasonable that Sacrmaento is a monstrous 15 point favorite in this matchup. The Kings are 9-6 against the spread on the road, while the Hornets are 7-8 at home.
For Charlotte’s +800 moneyline to hold a positive expected value, they need to win here about 11 percent of the time. Otherwise, it’s a losing bet in the long run.
Charlotte Hornets Starting Lineup
Sacramento Kings Starting Lineup
Charlotte Hornets vs. Sacramento Kings Injuries
LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward, and Mark Williams will miss the game for Charlotte. However, Terry Rozier is expected to return after a one game absence due to an illness.
On the other side, Sacramento has no injuries posted and will subsequently have their full rotation at their disposal.
Charlotte Hornets vs. Sacramento Kings Key Matchups
Malik Monk’s Scoring
Sixth Man of the Year contender Malik Monk will see late first quarter minutes, so his scoring could be crucial here. He’s averaging 14.5 points per game on quality 44/41/89 shooting splits and has morphed into a dynamic self-created scorer. 79 percent of his field goal attempts come from above the break or within eight feet of the basket, so his shot profile is ideal for exploiting Charlotte’s porous defense.
If he continues his momentum from his previous game against Memphis (27 points on 10/13 shooting), then Sacramento is in great shape to score 31 points during the first quarter.
Kevin Huerter’s Efficiency
The sharpshooter is in the midst of a brutal shooting slump, as he owns a 39.2 field goal percentage and 27.8 three-point percentage across his past ten games. Charlotte’s guards struggle to navigate off-ball, so Huerter can gash them via dribble handoffs and pindowns. If Huerter manages to re-discover his old form, then the Hornets are in serious danger. However, a bad night should not significantly hinder Sacramento’s chances to reach 31 first quarter points.
North Carolina Sports Betting Update
While North Carolina regulators have made it clear that the state is not in a position to launch sports betting prior to the 2024 Super Bowl, residents of the Tar Heel state may be able to begin wagering on sports ahead of this year’s March Madness tournament. For up-to-date information regarding the legal status of sports betting in NC, check out Lineups.com’s North Carolina sports betting page. When North Carolina does launch, individuals will be able to bet on everything from spread bets to same game parlays and everything in-between. Each app slated to go live in the state will also offer a new user bonus to all prospective bettors. Sports betting will go launch no later than June of this year.