Celtics vs Kings Prediction, Pick Today | Wednesday, Dec. 20

Celtics vs Kings Prediction, Pick Today | Wednesday, Dec. 20 article feature image
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Via Rocky Widner/Getty Images. Pictured: Domantas Sabonis #10 and De’Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings look on during the game against the Brooklyn Nets on December 11, 2023 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.

Celtics vs. Kings Prediction, Picks for Wednesday, Dec. 20

Wednesday, Dec. 20
10 p.m.
NBA TV
Kings +1.5

Here's everything you need to know about Celtics vs. Kings on Wednesday, Dec. 20 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

The Boston Celtics face the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night in a game that will pit two high-powered offenses against each other, albeit in different rest situations.

The Celtics will play on the second night of back-to-back games, and this will also be their third game in four nights on the road. On the other hand, the Kings have had a day off between games since Dec. 12, with all games in Sacramento.

We’ll see if the Celtics can fight the fatigue and come away with a road win.

Let's get to our Celtics vs. Kings prediction and pick.

Celtics vs. Kings Prediction

Pick: Kings +1.5

Celtics Get Porzingis Back

The Celtics played the Warriors Tuesday night in a revenge spot after losing the 2022 NBA Finals to Golden State. Games like those are generally very emotional spots and what I’d characterize as a lookahead game, leaving this spot against the Kings on Wednesday a bit of a letdown spot for the Celtics.

The Celtics have been relatively immune to these spots, though. Under Joe Mazzulla, the Celtics are 9-4-1 ATS on the second night of back-to-back games while playing their third game in four nights. In games against Western Conference opponents, they’re 0-2-1.

Kristaps Porzingis sat out the Warriors game to manage a calf injury that’s kept him out of six games this season, and he may have fresh legs here. Al Horford is expected to sit as he’s yet to play in back-to-back games this season. Prior to Tuesday night, the Warriors were still 4-2 ATS without the Latvian big man this season and 8-9 when he plays.

With Porzingis in the lineup, the Celtics have been looking to attack the rim more, despite ranking just 25th in Rim Rate, per Cleaning the Glass. We’ll see if they can find an advantage at the rim against the Kings as Sacramento allows the third-fewest attempts at the rim.


Can Kings Defense Step Up?

The Kings haven’t found much success against the Celtics in the past few seasons. Their last win against Boston was on Mar. 19, 2021 when Tyrese Haliburton was still on the team, and the Celtics still had Kemba Walker.

However, the 2023 Kings are much more equipped to play the Celtics. The Celtics are a team based on analytics under Joe Mazzulla because they want to attack the rim and shoot 3s. This creates a something's-gotta-give matchup with the Kings, who will let opponents shoot anything in the midrange but limit opposing shots in the paint and from beyond the arc.

However, Sacramento ranks just 26th in opponent field goal percentage at the rim and from deep, so when the shots are up, they’re generally falling for Kings opponents. In the past two weeks, though, Sacramento has made a concerted effort on defense and ranks 14th in Defensive Rating (117.1), which is an improvement on their ranking of 20th overall this season on defense.


Celtics vs. Kings Picks, Odds

Wednesday, Dec. 20
10 p.m.
NBA TV
Celtics Odds
SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
-1
-110
234.5
-110/ -110
-115
Kings Odds
SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
+1
-110
234.5
-110 / -110
-105
Odds via DraftKings . Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

In a recent interview with Locked On Kings host Matt George, De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis and Mike Brown discussed their intention of entering the conversation as a contending team, and to them, that means protecting home court.

Consequently, this is a good spot to back the Kings as they are eager to make a statement, and a home win against the Eastern Conference favorites is a great way to do that.

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This game in Sacramento on Wednesday is the second of a four-game West Coast road trip for the Celtics, who don’t play until Saturday against the Clippers and Lakers. The Celtics are also in a tough rest spot on the second half of back-to-back games after facing the Warriors on national television on Tuesday night in a game that went to overtime.

This Kings spread has already come down after opening at +2.5, but I see value on the Kings down to a small favorite.

Pick: Kings +1.5 (-110 | Play to -2)

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