Kings & Hornets' Tired Legs to Keep Them From Going Over

Kemba Walker From Charlotte Hornets

Saturday, January 28, 2017 5:44 PM GMT

The Hornets and Kings square off at the Spectrum Saturday night (7 p.m. ET), Charlotte (-7) a firm favorite. Will tired legs be a factor? Both teams are playing in back-to-back games off road losses.
 

Kings vs Hornets (-6)

Analysis: Expect defense to feature when the Kings take on the Hornets at the Spectrum Center Saturday night. Sacramento will make it a priority to shut down Charlotte point guard Kemba Walker, who was named to his first All-Star game two nights ago. Walker, the Hornets leading scorer with 23.2 points per night, is at his best when driving to the basket. Bad news for Kemba is that the Kings are superb at protecting the rim, allowing a paltry 38.7 points per game in the paint, third fewest in the NBA.

Since December 1, the UNDER is 9-4 at Charlotte. Three of the four games to eclipse the total occurred in six against teams allowing 43 percent or more of opponents' points from around the rim. The Hornets average 110.5 points a night in this spot. Versus foes allowing fewer, they put 104.3 per game with the UNDER hitting in six of seven. Charlotte stayed south of its team total in five of the latter. Sacramento's 36.6 percent is the lowest the Hornets have faced in this stretch.

Nicolas Batum, who nearly notched a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists in last night's 110-107 loss to the Knicks, could be the best scoring option for Charlotte. Batum will look to take advantage of Rudy Gay's absence, out due to an Achilles injury suffered last Saturday. Tired legs, though, could prove an issue for the French national after logging 35 minutes or more in each of his last four games.

The Hornets defense is always tough at “The Hive,” particularly against the league's poorer offenses. The last five teams to tip off in Charlotte putting up fewer than the NBA average of 105.1 points per game are scoring only 90.2 points per night. As a group, that is 8.8 points less than projected in the betting market. Sacramento enters averaging 103 points per game; 101.1 in road contests.

Another ominous sign for the Kings' offense is their recent history in back-to-back games coming off a road game. Dating back to last season, they have scored fewer than projected in 14 of 15 in regulation time in this spot and have yet to hit the century mark in four efforts this year.

Taking the Kings UNDER their team total is your best bet, but wagering the game total to do the same offers some value as well.

Free NBA Pick: UNDER 207

Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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