The Clippers begin their chase for a championship, while the Kings are an unknown quantity, heading into Wednesday night's season opener for both teams in Sacramento. How is this handicapper betting this game against the NBA odds?
Clippers-Kings NBA Betting Odds
Most of the NBA odds market opened this game with Los Angeles favored by 4.5 points, the total offered at right around 212. In the early betting most shops bumped the Clippers to -5.5, and dropped the total to 211.
Bettors out there who think the Kings might pull an upset tonight could get a price of +205 on the NBA betting moneyline at Pinnacle.
Los Angeles went 56-26 last year to earn the three seed in the Western Conference playoff bracket. The Clippers then outlasted San Antonio in seven games in a first-round series, taking Game 6 on the road, then winning Game 7 at home by a bucket. LA then took a three-games-to-one lead in the conference semis against Houston, and led Game 6 by 19 points. But Los Angeles blew that lead, lost that game, then lost Game 7 on the road to end the season in very disappointing fashion. So “redemption” is the name of the game for the Clippers this season.
Over the off-season LA made a bunch of changes, dumping a bunch of veterans, adding a bunch more. But for the moment we can't tell if the Clippers are any better now than they were back in May.
Los Angeles goes off this season as a 6/1 pick to win the Western Conference, with a wins OVER/UNDER of 57.
Sacramento, meanwhile, started well last season, but faded, ending up at 29-53 for its ninth consecutive losing season.
The Kings hired George Karl to take over as head coach in February of last season, but only went 11-19 SU, 12-18 ATS for him. Over the off-season the Kings added veterans like G Rajon Rondo and SG Marco Belinelli, and drafted Kentucky F Willie Cauley-Stein, who could team with former Wildcat DeMarcus Cousins to form a formidable low-post pairing.
Sacramento goes off this season as a 100/1 longshot to win the Western Conference, with a wins OVER/UNDER of 36.
Clippers-Kings Recent History
Los Angeles has won 16 of the last 19 meetings in this series, stretching back to 2010. Last season the Clippers took three of four games from Sacramento, although the Kings managed a split ATS.
Sacramento upset LA in last season's first meeting, winning outright as a nine-point dog on the road 98-92. But the Clippers won the next three meetings by an average score of 120-104.
On the whole LA outshot the Kings from the field last season 46 percent to 44 percent.
Also, the OVERS played 3-1 in this series last season, as the last three meetings averaged 224 total points.
By the Numbers
Los Angeles shot 47 percent from the floor last season, 38 percent from 3-point range but only 71 percent from the free-throw line. The Clippers also held opponents to 44 percent FG shooting, and averaged +1.8 turnovers per game.
Sacramento shot 46 percent from the floor last season, 34 percent from long range and 76 percent from the line, while allowing foes to shoot 46 percent on FGs and averaging -3.1 turnovers per game.
Clippers-Kings Final Analysis
Some of the names have changed but LA is still led by its Big Three, while Sacramento may be slightly improved. Ultimately, the Clippers are still the better team, and playing on the road means the spread is a bit more amenable than if this game were being played in LA. Also, the last three meetings in this series averaged 13 points more than tonight's total. So for our free NBA picks here we like Los Angeles and the OVER.