NBA Odds, Betting Picks & Predictions: Kings vs. Lakers Preview (Thursday, Aug. 13)
Ashley Landis – Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Kuzma.
Kings vs. Lakers Betting Odds & Picks
|Kings odds||+3.5 [BET NOW]|
|Lakers odds||-3.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+136/-162 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||220.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||1:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
The NBA regular season is winding down, but there are still a few things that need to be decided. Four teams are still alive in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and there can still be some jockeying for seeds among the teams who have already punched their tickets.
That said, that’s not the case with Thursday’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Both of these teams have already decided their fate: The Lakers will occupy the top spot in the Western Conference playoffs, while the Kings will be headed home at the conclusion of the regular season. With that in mind, there’s no guarantee that we see the full roster for either team.
Still, it’s our obligation as bettors to try and look for value wherever possible, so let’s take a closer look at this contest.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers entered the bubble with the shortest odds to win the NBA title, but they have not looked like the favorites in Orlando. They’ve struggled to a 3-4 record, and their Net Rating of -5.6 points per 100 possessions is the second-worst mark in the bubble.
The majority of their struggles have come on the offensive end of the court. They’ve averaged just 103.0 points per 100 possessions, which is the worst mark of all 22 teams in Orlando. The Lakers ranked fourth in offensive efficiency prior to the shutdown, so that represents a massive drop-off.
Still, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a relatively small seven-game sample size for a team that had nothing to play for. They essentially locked up the No. 1 seed in the West after beating the Clippers on opening night, so it’s not that surprising that they’ve looked a bit lethargic. This is still one of the best teams in the league.
The Lakers looked much better in their last contest, a 124-121 win vs. the Denver Nuggets. LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for 56 points, and Kyle Kuzma knocked down a 3-pointer before the buzzer to ultimately secure the win.
It remains to be seen just how seriously the Lakers will take this contest. They may want to use it to establish some momentum heading into the postseason — which could be important given their struggles — or they may choose to get one final bit of rest for their stars. Davis (questionable) and James (probable) are both on the injury report, so that will be important to monitor before tip-off.
The Kings are another team that disappointed in Orlando, posting a record of 2-5 through their first seven games. Unlike the Lakers, they will not have a chance to rectify that in the postseason.
They entered the bubble with a puncher’s chance of qualifying for the playoffs but have not been able to keep pace with the Blazers, Suns, and Spurs. Overall, their Net Rating of -5.5 in Orlando is only slightly better than the Lakers’.
With nothing left to play for, they have decided to shut down De’Aaron Fox for their final game of the season. Fox has been the Kings’ best player during the restart, averaging 26.2 points per game while shooting 50.4% from the field. He’s also handed out 7.3 assists per game.
This isn’t exactly a new development for the Kings either. They have been at their best with Fox on the court this season, increasing their offensive efficiency by +5.3 points per 100 possessions and their effective field goal percentage by +2.9%. Basically, he is the driving force for their offense.
With him out of the lineup, it remains to be seen how they will generate points vs. the Lakers. They did score 112 points without Fox in their last game, but that was against a Pelicans’ team that was resting Zion Williamson, Jrue Holiday and Brandon Ingram. Beating them and beating the Lakers with LeBron are completely different animals.
Fox isn’t the only big injury the Kings are dealing with. They will also be without Richaun Holmes and Kent Bazemore, who have been two important role players this season. The Kings have posted a Net Rating differential of +5.8 points per 100 possessions with Holmes on the court and +2.7 with Bazemore on the court.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The spread and total on this game were late to post due to the big names on the injury report for the Lakers. That said, I feel pretty comfortable saying that I will be on the under in this contest.
In addition to the Kings offense playing significantly worse without Fox, they’ve also played at a slower pace. The Kings aren’t exactly a fast team to begin with — they rank tied for 19th in pace this season — and they’ve averaged nearly one fewer possession per game with Fox off the court.
The Lakers have struggled offensively inside the bubble, but their defense has been on point. They’ve allowed just 108.6 points per 100 possessions, which is the fifth-best mark in Orlando.
Add in the Lakers’ injury concerns and the fact that this game doesn’t mean anything to them, and I think we could be looking at two teams that won’t be giving 100% effort in this contest.
The PICK: Under 220.5