Young Stars Give Kings Value in NBA's Sweet Spots of Week

kings nba

Jay Pryce

Sunday, April 8, 2018 1:48 PM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 8, 2018 1:48 PM UTC

Our NBA betting sweet spots of the week close out the regular season backing the Kings against below-average takeaway defenses, fading the Mavericks at home against poor opponents, and laying points with a motivated Pacers franchise at home in the regular-season finale.

NBA: Sweet Spots Of The WeekMonday, April 9: Kings vs. Spurs

The Kings play at the second-slowest pace in the NBA, recording 95.0 possessions per 48 minutes. Each one is precious at such a rate. The first team is also young (De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, etc), using this season to learn to manage the game, especially against intense defensive pressure. This inexperienced group is slowly mastering how to play to its strengths and keep competitive in contests.

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Where Sacramento is at its best is against opponents generating few turnovers, allowing for greater effectiveness of possessions. Twenty-one of its 26 wins have come against opponents forcing fewer than 14.5 takeaways per game. It is 5-27 SU versus all others. The Kings lose 2.3 more possessions in this situation, accounting for a 4.7 difference in average scoring margin (-10.0 per game as opposed to -5.3).

The Spurs own the NBA's top scoring defense, yielding 99.8 points per game. This is largely due to its superior shot-stopping abilities and penchant for forcing teams to play at their pace and against their style. The Kings are comfortable and effective in this scenario. San Antonio generates just 14.1 turnovers per game, 21st-fewest in the league.

With your NBA picks, look for Sacramento to tip off as substantial underdogs, yet keep the game within market parameters. The Kings are 11-5-1 ATS away from home when catching more than 6 points on the NBA odds board against teams forcing fewer than 14.5 takeaways per tilt.

Tuesday, April 10: Suns vs. Mavericks

The Mavericks are 5-13 SU and ATS hosting opponents with a negative point differential. They are failing to cover a -1.2 average line by exactly a point a game. The betting market is expecting too much from a poor offensive team. Three of their five wins and covers have come in five contests against foes surrendering an opponent field-goal rate greater than 47.5 percent over their last 10 games. The Suns’ rate is currently 46.6 percent.

Phoenix, depleted by injuries, owns the league’s least-efficient defense, allowing 113.0 points per 100 possessions. It used its 33rd-different starting lineup in a 122-103 loss to the Pelicans on Friday. The new faces have helped the defense prop up, however. The squad has held six of its last eight opponents under their projected team total. The Suns might be in full-tank mode, winning just two of their last 28 games, but they enter Dallas playing the right way to buck the market while catching points. Don’t be shocked if Phoenix wins outright to close out the year. It still owns a one-game cushion over the Grizzlies for worst record in the NBA and the award for most draft lottery balls.

Tuesday, April 10: Hornets vs. Pacers

The Pacers sit fifth in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They play their final two games against the Hornets, tipping off in Charlotte on Sunday before closing out the regular season at home on Tuesday. Indiana has something to play for, in position to secure homecourt advantage in the first round. The Hornets are eliminated from the postseason.

In addition to Indiana’s motivation, consider this trend fading the Hornets: Teams with a positive point differential catching points on the road in their final game of the regular season are 33-50-2 ATS (39.8 percent) since 1995. The cover rate slips to 10-29-1 ATS if they won the last matchup defending their hardwood. Depending on Sunday's result, perhaps lay the points with the Pacers in Tuesday's game. Indiana will likely go off a small favorite of 2 to 4 points.

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