The Kings are getting used to new head coach George Karl and Wizards are trying not to bail out on head coach. Washington is a sizable favorite on the NBA betting lines in this spot.
The Sacramento Kings Can Win Because…
Their incentives, while not playoff-level incentives, are still strong. This is a team that was done wrong in the regular season when coach Michael Malone was abruptly fired. The move seemed to make no sense, since Sacramento had a very solid November and had begun what was only a slight decline. Interim head coach Ty Corbin made no sense as a replacement, and the team hired George Karl, one of the winningest head coaches in NBA history, at the All-Star break to begin to take a new hold of this team. Karl is a respected coach, and so it should be no surprise that on a long Eastern road swing, the Kings are playing hard – not always well, but hard. They just won in Charlotte against a Hornet team that is fighting for a playoff spot. Sacramento won’t be eclipsed in terms of effort in this game.
As a bettor, you should realize a few things about Washington: The Wizards have won two in a row, but they are still 4-6 in their last 10 games and have not looked good. Also, the Wizards’ most recent win against Memphis might seem to be impressive. After all, the Grizzlies are second in the West, and the Wizards beat them 107-87. However, Memphis was resting Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph on a night when Mike Conley was out with an injury and Tony Allen didn’t play either. Memphis was sitting out each of its four best players. Washington was playing a bunch of backups except for Courtney Lee. You shouldn’t assign much value to the Wizards’ win over the Griz, and you should expect Sacramento to play a close game it might be able to steal in the fourth quarter.
The Washington Wizards Can Win Because…
They're still a better team than the Kings, even though they have struggled of late. Washington still had to take care of an injured Memphis squad, and it did so with ease, the way you’d expect of a good team. Memphis is not great on offense, but all of the Grizzlies play hard on defense, and Washington hit 50 percent of its shots against Memphis while getting 31 free throw attempts as well. The Wizards assisted on 25 of their 40 made shots, which is a 62.5 assist percentage, an excellent rate which can be boiled down to five of every eight makes. Four of five Washington starters hit at least 50 percent of their shots. That’s really good. It bodes well for this game.
Sacramento is also 3-7 in its last 10. The Kings have failed to beat the lowly Orlando Magic and the injured Miami Heat on this long Eastern trip. Washington should be able to keep the Kings down.
The Wizards are not playing well, but can it be said that the Kings are playing any better? No. Since the start of February, they have just five wins in 18 games. On top of that, they’re coming off an ugly 114-107 loss in Philadelphia and now find themselves in a back-to-back situation. Washington should be able to win this game, so take them with your NBA picks.
NBA Free Pick: Washington -8.5 at Bovada