What started out as a feel-good story with the Kings getting off to a hot start, now has turned to how far can this team go in the playoffs? Backed behind one of the most explosive and versatile offenses in the league, the Kings have blitzed opponents to an impressive winning record thus far into the season. No one had them pegged to be where they are now in the preseason, continually surprising people like me. Can they get the win against one of the best defenses in the league?
Sacramento Kings vs LA Clippers Betting Odds
Oddsmakers don’t think so as they opened the Kings as a +7 underdog on the road. Bettors are on the opposite side, backing them down to +6.5 as of writing. They do come into this one on no rest, beating the Trail Blazers at home and now get a well-rested Clippers squad. What makes this hard to project is that the Clippers were active in the trade market before the deadline, now bringing a new identity with a lot more depth. They also recently acquired Russell Westbrook who is expected to make his debut tonight.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a moderate pace as oddsmakers opened the total at 227.5. Bettors were quick to hammer that number overnight, taking it up to as high as 237.5 as of this morning. That is an incredible amount of movement and one that piqued my interests right away. Especially with when we get to bench minutes, monitoring how the Clippers offense runs under a new regime at point guard with Westbrook looking to push the pace.
Sacramento Kings vs LA Clippers Prediction
The Pick: Under 237.5
While I normally wait to see how high a number can go before taking a piece on the opposite end of steam, I am comfortable with laying an initial piece right now on the under as this movement has been incredible. Especially when factoring in how the Clippers offense will be affected by the presence of Russell Westbrook, serving as a double edged sword for LA. He will give there belo average fast break metrics a boost, but severely hurt them in half court sets.
Westbrook was once deemed one of the best point guards in the league, bringing fear to opposing interior defenses with his uber athletic slashing abilities. He has lost some of that pop that made him so great, as well as mightily regressing in the shooting department. This has bumped him down to an elite sixth man role, giving any team a major boost in bench minutes. The issue is that the productive boost only comes on defense and in transition opportunities.
That doesn’t bode well in late game situations when the pace is drastically slowed down, but it does for our under tickets as we want as much precious time taken off the board as possible in between buckets. The Kings have a tendency to push the ball but are also capable of burning you in half court sets and they would be wise not to pick up the pace against the reeling Clippers offense in a slow-paced matchup.
- Under is 5-0 in the last five meetings against each other
- Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Los Angeles
- Kings are 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings against each other
Can the Clippers defense contain the Kings interior offense?
Clippers interior defense vs Kings post offense
Sabonis has been a crucial factor towards the Kings offense, serving as a dual threat post player with motion revolving around him. He has served as a facilitator, serving as a lesser version of Nikola Jokic.
The issue this time around is that they now go against one of the best defenses in the league. The Clippers have been top-10 in both two point and three point defensive completion percentage, smothering opposing shooters with elite on ball defense.
With Plumless able to anchor the paint with a size advantage, the Clippers can stretch out and apply constant pressure to the Kings perimeter players. This clogs up lanes, creating potential scoring lulls for our under.
Take the current under for now with a potential opportunity to add more should this number continue to rise before tipoff.
Sacramento Kings Starting Lineup
LA Clippers Starting Lineups
Sacramento Kings Injuries: KZ Okpala (O)
LA Clippers Injuries: Ivica Zubac (O)