Sacramento Kings vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Predictions, Starting Lineups (2/5/24)

The Sacramento Kings (29-19) encounter the Cleveland Cavaliers (31-16) this Monday (2/5/24). Get Kings vs. Cavaliers moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Sacramento Kings vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction

Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland are both questionable. I would wait to see Allen’s availability before playing this – he matters far more than Garland in this matchup.

Cleveland has won the first quarter by at least two points in 14 of their past 20 games, and they sit in a desirable position to once again cash the bet.

Sacramento owns a three-point heavy offense that does not attack the rim at a high rate. They rely on off-ball motion (cuts, dribble handoffs, etc.) to generate advantages instead of the typical pick-and-roll too, which makes them difficult to defend.

However, Cleveland has the tools to somewhat nullify them. Their guards and wings do an excellent job of running shooters off the three-point line and shutting down pull-up jumpers from beyond the arc. As a result, the Cavaliers surrender the second fewest above the break three-point attempts and seventh fewest wide open three-point attempts (via NBA.com). They can dull Sacramento’s threats from beyond the arc and funnel them inside.

Because Domantas Sabonis frequently orchestrates possessions from the top of the key, it pulls opposing centers away from the basket, thus allowing cutters to thrive. Although Jarrett Allen will be occupied by Sabonis, Cleveland still has Evan Mobley on the backline to protect the rim – he ranks sixth across the NBA in rim points saved per 75 possessions (via Basketball Index). Therefore, Sacramento’s offensive options are slashed compared to a typical game.

Meanwhile, Sabonis is a below-the-rim center who struggles to anchor the paint. Opponents subsequently produce the 11th largest field goal percentage within eight feet of the basket and eighth largest roll man points per possession against the Kings. Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen are lined up for a fruitful game here. Plus, Sacramento’s weak backcourt defense has no answer for Donovan Mitchell or Darius Garland.

Overall, look for Cleveland’s starting lineup to lead them to a first quarter lead of at least two points.

Sacramento Kings vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction: 1st Quarter Cavaliers -1

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Sacramento Kings vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Best Odds

Cleveland enters this contest as 3.5 point favorites; they are 16-11-2 against the spread this season as favorites. On the other hand, Sacramento owns a 9-4 record against the spread as underdogs – that’s currently the best underdog cover percentage in the NBA.

For the Kings’ +136 moneyline to be profitable in the long run, they need to win this game at least 42 percent of the time.

Sacramento Kings Starting Lineup

PG: De’Aaron Fox
SG: Kevin Huerter
SF: Harrison Barnes
PF: Keegan Murray
C: Domantas Sabonis

Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup

PG: Darius Garland
SG: Donovan Mitchell
SF: Max Strus
PF: Evan Mobley
C: Jarrett Allen

Sacramento Kings vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Injuries

Sharpshooter Sasha Vezenkov is questionable after missing the Kings’ past six games. He’s the only player listed on the injury report for Sacramento.

Starters Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland hold questionable tags. Plus, Tristan Thompson and Ty Jerome remain out.

Sacramento Kings vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Key Matchups

Free Throws

Sacramento and Cleveland are both below average in turnover rate and opponent free throw attempt rate. These areas will be key X Factors here because they provide extra possessions and easy points to the opponent. If the Cavaliers wind up the more disciplined team, then they should cover the first quarter spread at a higher frequency than the bet’s implied probability.

Jarrett Allen’s Health

If Allen misses the contest tonight, then it would be a huge blow to Cleveland’s chances. Over his past 20 games, Allen has averaged roughly 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 assists on a 62 field goal percentage. Additionally, his phenomenal defense is irreplaceable. Dean Wade brings a solid skill set, but he is no Jarrett Allen.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2021-22 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs about analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions and NBA Analysis Network.

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