NBA Predictions for Celtics vs. Kings

Darin Zank

Saturday, February 22, 2014 4:17 PM GMT

Neither the Boston Celtics or Sacramento Kings are going to make the playoffs this season, but that doesn't mean they still can't make us some money by covering some pointspreads, right?

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In a meeting of two teams building for the future the Celts and Kings get together Saturday night out at the place they now call Sleep Train Arena (10 pm ET, NBATV).

Boston just blew a lead and lost to the Lakers Friday night, while Sacramento has played just once since the All-Star break.

How might this game play out?

The Line

As of early Saturday morning bookmakers everywhere were holding off on lining this game, probably because of the uncertainty about the status of Boston G Rajon Rondo and Sacramento C DeMarcus Cousins. 

Game Set-Up

Boston has lost three games in a row, after falling at the Lakers Friday night 101-92. The Celts led that game 74-63 after three quarters, then got outscored 38-18 in the fourth.

Boston shot just 39 percent from the field Friday night (going just four-for-22 from beyond the arc) and allowed LA to shoot 48 percent in losing as one-point dogs.

At 19-37 Boston sits in 12th place in the Eastern Conference standings, seven games behind eighth-seeded Atlanta.

Sacramento has lost four of its last five games, after falling at home to Golden State Wednesday night 101-92. The Kings, playing without Cousins, who was dealing with a sore hip, shot just 42 percent from the field and committed 21 turnovers in losing as five-point home dogs.

At 18-36 the Kings are in last place in the West, 14 games out of the eight spot.

Sacramento made a couple of deadline trades earlier this week, bringing in Jason Terry and Reggie Evans. Their status for Saturday night's game is uncertain.

Celtics-Kings By the Numbers

Boston ranks 26th in the league in field-goal shooting at 43.5 percent, 28th in 3-point accuracy at 33 percent and 11th in free-throw shooting at 76.5 percent. The Celts also rank 12th in FG defense, holding opponents to 45 percent shooting, and 16th in rebounding at +0 per game.

Sacramento ranks 18th in shooting at just under 45 percent, 24th from beyond the arc at 34 percent but ninth from the stripe at 77.5 percent. The Kings also rank 27th in FG defense, allowing foes to shoot 46 percent, but 10th in rebounding at +2 per game.

Celtics-Kings Recent Meetings

Boston won the first meeting between these two teams this season a couple of weeks ago on its home court 99-89. The Celtics, minus Rondo, shot 46 percent from the floor that night, and held the Kings to 36 percent shooting in winning as two-point home dogs.

That game played UNDER its total of 198.

Celtics-Kings Betting Trends

Boston has tilted toward the UNDERS this season by a 35-21 margin, even though Celtics games have averaged only 194 points. Apparently, the linesmakers have been overestimating Boston totals this season.

Sacramento has leaned toward the OVERS this season, but just by a 27-25 margin, as Kings games have averaged 205 points.

Boston is 15-13 ATS this season on the road this season.

Sacramento is 12-16 ATS at home this season.

Injury Update

Boston is playing without G Avery Bradley (14 PPG), who's still dealing with a sprained ankle, and there's a decent chance Rondo will be rested tonight. Bettors might want to check the starting lineups before getting down on this game.

Sacramento, on the other hand, hopes to get Cousins back Saturday night, after he's missed some recent action with that sore hip.

Free NBA Pick

Sacramento owns a small advantage on the boards, and it's probably getting Cousins back, while Boston is playing in a back-to-back situation and will probably be without Rondo. So we'll go with the Kings for our free NBA pick for Saturday, as long as the line isn't more than -5 or so.