(20-14, 12-19-3 ATS)
(7-25, 9-22-1 ATS)
The Sacramento Kings really haven’t had all that much to be happy about this year, but they are going to try their best in a rare nationally televised NBA betting affair to make their mark when they take on the Denver Nuggets.
The Nuggs have been in a groove of late, though their four game winning streak and 3-0-1 ATS marks all stopped with a bad 106-93 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. Amazingly, this is still a team that has a whopping seven players averaging double digits in scoring per night, and this doesn’t even include if Kenyon Martin really gets back into the fold with his knee injury. Ty Lawson and Chauncey Billups have made the offense go with a combined 288 assists in 34 games between them, but they are left looking for options to pass the ball to at times. Lawson and Arron Afflalo are the only two players on this team that have played in all 34 games this year. Between Billups, Carmelo Anthony, and Martin, there have been nearly 40 man games missed. Anthony is still the leading scorer on the squad at 24.3 points per game, though the watch for him to get traded is still clearly on at this point. Since coming back from his personal hiatus over the holidays, ‘Melo has put up a pair of 30+ point performances, and he cannot be overlooked in this one.
The Kings have been absolutely dreadful this year, and they have the worst ATS mark in the game to show for it. Tyreke Evans, last year’s Rookie of the Year, is only shooting 38.5 percent from the floor and 27.9 percent from long range, and though he is scoring 16.9 points per game, he is killing his team with how many shots he is taking on a regular basis. There are three other double digit point scorers, but the only one that is shooting event 47 percent is Beno Udrih, who is scoring 12.7 points per game. Rookie DeMarcus Cousins might ultimately be the Rookie of the Year this year when it is said and done, but he definitely has a lot of work to do to catch up with men like Blake Griffin. Cousins is averaging just 12.5 points per game, and he is not staying out of foul trouble. The big man out of Kentucky already has 131 fouls on the year, 49 more than anyone else on the team. There are plenty of men that have the ability to be sharpshooters on the Kings, but getting them all to play together is a different story and is why they have struggled this year.
This is legitimately one of the biggest games of the season for Sacramento, though, as it isn’t often that this team is viewed on national TV. Don’t be surprised if, especially at home, the Kings come up with a tremendous effort to down the road weary Nuggets, who were blasted just last night in Tinseltown.
NBA Free Pick: Sacramento Kings +4