Sacramento Kings vs Utah Jazz: Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds (1/3/23)

Basketball is back to dominating the sports world as college football wraps up with only the championship left and the NFL rolls into the playoffs after the weekend. It’s a mild NBA Tuesday slate as there are only a few games on deck. Even with only a few, one of them is poised for fireworks as the Kings and Jazz battle it out in what will be an explosive offensive matchup. Both shocking the world, who will continue their surprising start with a win over the other? Get Kings Vs. Jazz prediction, picks, odds, and starting lineups for 1/3/23.

Sacramento Kings vs Utah Jazz Odds

Oddsmakers initially believed that the Jazz would pull it out on their home court, opening Utah as a -3 favorite. Bettors are shockingly in disagreement, backing the Kings down to +2.5 as of writing. This comes as a bit of a surprise as the Jazz get the benefit of being home and contain a more proven identity to sustain this level of success in comparison to the upstart feisty Kings squad.

As for the total, points are expected to be scored in a flash on both ends as oddsmakers opened the total at 243.5. Bettors believe that total was set too high, backing the under down to as low as 242. While I initially thought the total was too high as well, it’s tough to back either side as both offenses have been shocking revelations while each other’s defenses have faltered as of late.

Sacramento Kings vs Utah Jazz Prediction

Even with the Jazz having a higher potential of sustaining their early season success, I like the Kings in this spot in what would be a statement win for them early in the season. Especially with the Jazz losing a key scorer in Collin Sexton, a young guard who has stepped up as a productive scorer and strong defender to help Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson on the perimeter.

The loss of Sexton hurts as the Kings guard play is as lethal as it gets. De’Aaron Fox has stepped up as a true superstar points guard and has wreaked havoc towards opposing defenses off the perimeter. The offense runs through Fox as that was made apparent when he dealt with an early season injury. When hobbled, this offense crumbled with production falling off a cliff. Now that he is back to being fully healthy, the Kings offense has been a fine-tuned weapon.

Not only will the Jazz have to figure out a way to limit the production from the perimeter, but they lack interior defense which also plays into the Kings hands. The loss of Gobert has opened the middle for high quality looks at the rim, struggling to guard any productive big man play down low. The Kings’ Domantas Sabonis is poised for a big game, being a lethal scorer from both inside and out.

Prediction & Pick: Kings +3

Betting Trends

  • Kings are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games on one days rest
  • Kings are 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall
  • Kings are 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine meetings against the Jazz

Key Matchups

Can the Kings limit the Utah Jazz perimeter shooting?

Jazz three-point shooting vs Kings perimeter defense

One of the major reasons for the Utah Jazz revitalization has been their transition to a more modern style of play. Like the Warriors, the Jazz have shifted their identity to shooting from the perimeter and high quality looks down low at the rim.

While not exactly at the same lethal rate, this has paid immediate dividends as the Jazz went from an afterthought to a serious Western Conference sleeper. It starts with their guard play as Jordan Clarkson has taken a massive step up in his production as a true starter.

With Sexton out, this limits their perimeter play to lean heavier towards Clarkson and Markkanen to find success from deep. Should the Kings be able to focus their defensive shifts towards smothering their open looks, then they should have little issue out pacing them in scoring. Especially in transition where Fox thrives.

Verdict

With their offense being tough to contain at both the perimeter and paint, take the Kings at +2.5 in what will be a thrilling offensive display for our viewing pleasure.

Sacramento Kings Starting Lineup

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

Utah Jazz Starting Lineups

PG: Mike Conley
SG: Jordan Clarkson
SF: Jarred Vanderbilt
PF: Lauri Markkanen
C: Kelly Olynyk

Key Injuries

Sacramento Kings Injuries: Kevin Huerter (Q), Malik Monk (Q)

Utah Jazz Injuries: Collin Sexton (O)

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

Hot NBA Stories