Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Jan. 3:
9-7 ATS, 0-1 ML (minus-1.15 units), 8-4 Totals
Saturday, 10:00 p.m. ET
Free NBA Pick: OVER
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
Another day, another successful fade against the Golden State Warriors. They coughed up a 20-point lead against the Houston Rockets on Thursday, losing 135-134 in overtime as 9-point home faves on the NBA odds board. And there was much rejoicing.
As you can see above, we’re changing things up for Saturday’s road game against the Sacramento Kings. They’re been profitable this year, but not so much lately at 3-6 SU and 2-7 ATS since mid-December. Small sample size? True. We’d still rather put the OVER in our NBA picks this time, even though they just posted a very large total of 238 points as I write this.
Daves I Know
The Kings are, shall we say, special. Their front office has a certain way of doing things… how can I put this politely… I can’t, so let’s just go to the data. Sacramento have the league’s best OVER record at 26-12, including 7-2 during their current slump. It’s all about the offense in Sacto, despite the best efforts of head coach Dave Joerger; this is the second-fastest team in the NBA at 106.5 possessions per game, fourth in turnover rate at 11.8 percent, and tied for eighth in effective field goal percentage at 53.2. They shoot, they score.
At the other end, the Kings are in the bottom third of the league in three of the defensive Four Factors – the only outlier is turnover rate, where they’re sixth at 13.6 percent. De’Aaron Fox (plus-1.4 BPM) is having a strong sophomore campaign at point guard after taking his rookie lumps last year; backcourt mate Buddy Hield (plus-0.4 BPM) is also on the ascendancy in Year Three. They’re still net negative players on defense, though – especially Hield (minus-2.4 DBPM), who’s regressing in this department rather than improving.
So what happened to Sacto’s value against the spread? It might have something to do with their latest blue-chipper, PF Marvin Bagley III (minus-1.1 BPM). The No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 Draft has played reasonably well for a rookie, but he’s been out since December 16 with a bone bruise in his left knee. That’s led to increased minutes for Harry Giles (minus-2.3 BPM) and Skal Labissiere (minus-6.1 BPM), two struggling youngsters the front office wanted Joerger to give a push anyway.
At least Joerger has minimized the damage by giving Giles most of those minutes. As for the Warriors (OVER 20-19), they have the best offense in basketball, and Draymond Green (minus-2.5 OBPM) appears to be getting his shooting touch back after an extended injury layoff. The OVER is 4-3 in Golden State’s last seven games, so keep that bet size accordingly small with the opening total coming out so large – and may the sphere be with you.