Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings: Predictions, Starting Lineups (2/9/24)

The Denver Nuggets (36-16) meet the Sacramento Kings (29-21) this Friday (2/9/24). Get Nuggets vs. Kings moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings Prediction

I am going back to the well and grabbing Nuggets first quarter moneyline at +102 odds.

The Kings own the fourth largest three-point attempt rate and rarely rack up shots in the restricted area. However, Denver allows the second fewest three-point attempts and third fewest wide open three-point attempts, so it will be difficult for Sacramento to notch their typical volume and find a groove.

Because Domantas Sabonis orchestrates near the top of the key, it pulls opposing centers away from the basket, thus clearing the lane for backdoor cutters and off-ball shooters curling around dribble handoffs. Nikola Jokic will be forced to step up, but Denver has rim protection reinforcements in Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. Of the 130 frontcourt players with at least 750 minutes played, they respectively rank 35th and 58th in rim points saved per 75 possessions (via Basketball Index). Therefore, this strength foils one of Sacramento’s biggest offensive advantages.

On the other end, opponents produce the sixth largest catch-and-shoot three-point frequency against the Kings. Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Michael Porter Jr will be able to capitalize on this trend.

Meanwhile, Sabonis is a below-the-rim defender who does not possess the length to compensate; Sacramento subsequently gives up the eleventh largest field goal percentage within eight feet of the basket. Look for Aaron Gordon to terrorize them in the dunker’s spot, and Jokic should also feast inside the paint.

Finally, although they just played last night at Los Angeles, the Nuggets have won the first quarter in six of nine games that were the second night of a back-to-back.

Overall, Sacramento boasts an explosive offense that can get hot from deep, but Denver has the tools to slow them down. It’s especially true in the first quarter where the Nuggets rank first in Offensive Rating and fifth in Defensive Rating.

Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings Prediction: 1st Quarter Nuggets Moneyline (+102 DK)

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Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings Best Odds

The Kings are two point favorites over the reigning champs, but they only have a 9-12 record against the spread as home favorites. Denver, on the other hand, is 3-6 against the spread on no rest and 10-16-1 against the spread on the road.

For Denver’s +120 moneyline to be profitable in the long run, they need to win this game at least 45 percent of the time.

Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup

PG: Jamal Murray
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Michael Porter Jr
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Jokic

Sacramento Kings Starting Lineup

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

Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings Injuries

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed Denver’s game versus Los Angeles last night, and he is questionable to play against Sacramento. Vlatko Cancar, who tore his ACL in August, is out too. For the Kings, Chris Duarte will miss the contest, but they are at full strength besides him.

Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings Key Matchups

De’Aaron Fox’s Scoring

Over his past two games, De’Aaron Fox has produced a combined 31 points on 13/34 shooting (38%). That won’t cut it here, so Fox must bounce back in a big way. His straight-line speed will be an issue for the Nuggets, especially if Caldwell-Pope sits. Should Fox find his shot and step on the gas pedal against a Denver squad that ranks 20th in transition defense, then Sacramento definitely has a decent chance of winning.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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