Warriors to Cover vs. Kings for NBA Picks

Darin Zank

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 4:10 PM GMT

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 4:10 PM GMT

Two teams with different agendas meet Wednesday night when the Golden State Warriors head up I-80 for a visit with the Sacramento Kings in the first game for both teams since the All-Star break (10 pm ET).

Golden State is hoping to build some momentum for a possible run through the Western Conference playoffs. Sacramento, on the other hand, is building for the future.

Kings head coach Michael Malone served as an assistant with the Warriors the last couple of years; might his insight help his underdog team tonight? 

Warriors-Kings Betting Line

Most NBA betting outlets opened Golden State as a five-point road favorite for this game, with a total of 207.

Those who believe the Kings might win this game straight-up could get a price of around +175 on the various moneylines.

Injury Update

We usually list our injury updates a little lower in these previews, but this game is an exception.

Sacramento C DeMarcus Cousins hurt his hip last week against New York and is doubtful for Wednesday night.

On the other side of the scorers' table Golden State C Andrew Bogut (8 PPG, 10 RPG) has missed recent action with a sore shoulder, and is questionable for this game.

Game Set-Up

Golden State is 31-22 SU, which is a bit disappointing. The Warriors went 47-35 last year, and were hoping to take the next step and contend for the Western Conference title this season. And they still could. But it might be tough coming in as a seven or eight seed come playoff time.

Golden State started 8-3 this season, and later reeled off 10 wins in a row around the turn of the year. But the Warriors went into the All-Star break in an indifferent way, losing eight of their last 14 games, including a 111-110 decision at home to Miami last Wednesday on a LeBron 3-pointer at the buzzer.

So Golden State begins the “second half” of this season in the seven spot in the Western Conference standings, a half-game behind sixth-seeded Phoenix but only a game ahead of ninth-seeded Memphis.

On the homey side of this match-up Sacramento went 28-54 last year, and more of the same was expected for this season. And so far that's about how things have played out. The Kings own three losing streaks of five or more games, and sit in a last-place tie with the Lakers in the West at 18-35.

But they have shown some life as of late. Sacramento went 3-3 in its last six games before the break, including an overtime victory at New York last Wednesday. And of the Kings' last nine losses, we'd categorize at least six of them as “close.”

Warriors-Kings, By the Numbers

Golden State ranks eighth in the league in FG shooting at 46 percent, second in 3-point shooting at 38 percent but only 23rd in free-throw shooting at 74. However, the Warriors also rank fourth in FG defense, holding opponents to under 44 percent shooting, and sixth in rebounding at +3 boards per game.

Sacramento ranks 18th in shooting at just under 45 percent, 25th from beyond the arc at 34 percent but seventh from the FT line at 78 percent. But the Kings also rank just 27th in FG defense, allowing foes to shoot 46 percent, while out-boarding opponents by about two per game. 

Warriors-Kings Recent History

Golden State has already beaten Sacramento twice this season, by scores of 98-87 and 115-113. But the Warriors couldn't cover the spread in either game.

In the first victory back in November Golden State once led by 27 points, but in the end could only manage a push at -11.

In the second win in December the Warriors led by as many as 16 points, but in the end couldn't cover as four-point chalk.

In those two games combined Golden State shot 51 percent from the floor, while the Kings shot 43 percent.

Last season, as the Warriors made the playoffs and Sacramento did not, the Kings actually took three of four games from their Nor-Cal rivals.

Warriors-Kings Betting Trends

Golden State is 23-29 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, even though Warriors games have averaged 203 points.

Sacramento is 27-24 on the totals, as Kings games have averaged 205 points.

The Warriors are 23-27 ATS this season, 13-13 ATS on the road, 8-9 as road chalk.

Sacramento is 24-27 ATS, 12-15 at home, but 8-5 ATS as a home dog.

Four of the last six meetings in this series have played UNDER on the totals.

Free NBA Pick for Wednesday

Golden State is simply the better team here; they shoot the ball better, defend better and have more to play for. And the pointspread is a little more manageable, playing on the road.

Also, Cousins' absence would be huge; he's only averaging 22 points and 12 boards per game this season.

So we'll go with the road chalk and take the Warriors, at the -5 points offered at Pinnacle, for our free NBA pick on this game.

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