The Sacramento Kings are short favorites on NBA betting odds for Sunday night's tussle with the short-handed Thunder in the OKC who are playing without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
Kings-Thunder Betting Odds
Most NBA betting shops we sampled while preparing our Sunday NBA picks opened Sacramento at right around -3.5 over OKC, with a total of around 193. In the early betting most books dropped the Kings to -3 or -2.5, and bumped the total to 194.
Kings-Thunder: The Situation
Coming off consecutive 60-win seasons Oklahoma State was again expected to make a run at the Western Conference title. The Thunder began this season with a wins betting OVER/UNDER of 58. But injuries play a part in this game, and can wreak havoc on NBA futures bets. So far, OKC has won just one game, as its big two recover.
Oklahoma City opened this season with losses at Portland and at the Clippers, then beat Denver, but has since lost three in a row, to Brooklyn, Toronto and Memphis, scoring 85, 88 and 89 points. Friday night the Thunder shot 47 percent from the field and held the Grizzlies to 42 percent shooting, but made just three of 11 free throws and committed 20 turnovers in losing.
On the happier side of this match-up Sacramento went 28-54 in its first season under Coach Malone last year, and went off this season with a wins betting OVER/UNDER of 30. But with their best start since the days of C-Webb, Vlade and Peja, the Kings are already a sixth of the way to that figure.
The Sacramento Kings opened this season with a 95-77 loss to Golden State, but has won five in a row since. That streak started with a victory over Portland, a win at the Clippers and back-to-back victories over Denver. Friday night the Kings ran that streak to five with a 114-112 win in double overtime at Phoenix. Sacramento shot just 43 percent from the floor Friday, but hit 33 of 39 free-throws, and held the Suns to 43 percent shooting. The Kings also won the battle on the boards by a 60-42 margin.
Sacramento has hit the 100-point mark in four of its last five games.
Kings-Thunder, Statistically Speaking
Through six games the Kings rank just 20th in the league in FG shooting at 44 percent, but second in FT shooting at 82 percent, and third in FG defense, holding foes to 41 percent shooting. They’ve also outrebounded opponents by 10 per game.
OKC, meanwhile, ranks 14th in FG shooting at 45 percent, just 28th in FT shooting at 68 percent, 10th in FG defense at 44 percent and has outboarded foes by four per game.
Kings-Thunder Recent History
Oklahoma City has beaten Sacramento 10 times in a row, including, obviously, a sweep of last season's series four games to none. The Thunder went 2-1-1 ATS, and all four of those games played UNDER on the totals.
But none of that matters when trying to handicap Sunday night's game, because Durant played in all four of those contests, and Westbrook played in two of them. Neither of them will see the floor Sunday night.
Kings-Thunder Betting Trends
Before placing your NBA picks today, understand that Oklahoma City is 1-5 on the totals this season, as Thunder games have averaged just 190 points.
As mentioned above OKC is playing without both Durant, who's down and out with a fractured foot, and Westbrook, who broke his hand in the second game of the season. On top of that F Perry Jones, who's averaging 16 PPG in the early going, missed Friday’s game with a sore knee and is questionable for Sunday night.
Over on the other bench Sacramento's Rudy Gay is reportedly dealing with a virus of some kind, and his status is uncertain. Also, Cousins has a sore thumb, although he is expected to play.
Kings-Thunder Free Pick
Sometimes it's not a matter of who you play, but when you play them. At the moment Sacramento has some nice verve going, while OKC is bogged down with a case of the injury flu. So we like the Kings to extend their winning streak, and cover this spread.
Free NBA Pick: Sacramento at -2.5 at BetOnline