Kings vs Warriors Odds, Prediction | NBA Playoffs Game 3 Preview (Thursday, April 20)
Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images. Pictured from left: Stephen Curry (30) off the Golden State Warriors and De’Aaron Fox (5) of the Sacramento Kings.
- The Golden State Warriors host the Sacremento Kings with their dynasty on the line ahead of Game 3.
- The Warriors will be without their defensive hub, Draymond Green, and Brandon Anderson expects that to have a cascading effect on two players.
- Read on for his Kings vs. Warriors Game 3 betting preview and prediction.
Kings vs Warriors Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
If you’re into narrative, we’ve got plenty of story lines for one Thursday night.
The reigning champion Golden State Warriors are on the ropes, down 0-2 and potentially on their last breath, while the upstart Sacramento Kings are ready to topple the dynasty after 17 years away from the NBA Playoffs.
Kings star Domantas Sabonis is questionable with a bruised sternum. He got that bruise from Draymond Green’s foot, who was subsequently ejected, then suspended for this Game 3.
The Warriors play their first home playoff game since winning the title. Can Golden State revive its title defense, or will Sacramento light the beam in San Francisco? It’s all about Green. Here’s my Kings vs Warriors betting preview, including a prediction for Game 3.
It’s a shame all the focus has been on the Sabonis-Green kerfuffle, because the Kings have been playing their pants off. Sacramento is up 2-0 fully on its own merit, and head coach Mike Brown has run circles around his mentor Steve Kerr.
De’Aaron Fox has been outstanding. He’s averaging 31 PPG, smoking Golden State’s drop defense with a barrage of middies and floaters. Malik Monk had a monster Game 1. Game 2 saw a big night from Kevin Huerter, and sophomore Davion Mitchell was a pest defensively getting in Stephen Curry’s grill all game.
The Kings are getting after it on both ends. The defense is pestering Golden State’s dearth of ball handlers — exacerbated with Green out — and forced 22 turnovers in Game 2, and the offense is pushing the ball off make or miss, exhausting the older, thinner Warriors by game’s end. Sacramento has also found a big advantage at the line and on the glass.
The Kings have come in waves. The Warriors fight back but the Kings just keep on coming. Golden State is finally experiencing what the rest of the league did for the last eight years. The truth is that the Kings have mostly dominated these games — the Warriors have really only stayed in it at all with superior shot making.
Golden State Warriors
Say what you will about Green, but he is the heart and soul of this Warriors dynasty, central to everything this team does on both ends.
You already know how great Green is defensively, but he’s also this team’s de facto point guard and a great screener. He and Curry scored at will down the stretch of Game 2 in the pick-and-roll, and Green at center in the small ball lineup has long been Golden State’s secret sauce.
None of that helps in Game 3 with Green out.
Per PBP Stats, the Warriors are +263 in 1438 minutes with both Curry and Green this season, outscoring opponents by a point every 5.5 minutes. With Curry but no Green, the Warriors were -6 in 498 minutes, basically a net zero. Worse, Golden State is -8.7 Net Rating with both off the court per Pivot Analysis, and the defense plummets to 121.3 DRTG without Green.
The Warriors are up against it without Green, no matter how little his numbers pop in the box score. This team is very short on options. Jordan Poole was 1-of-7 off the bench in Game 2 and played only 16 minutes with a turned ankle. Donte DiVincenzo and Jonathan Kuminga were virtually unplayable. Kevon Looney has struggled to keep up with the tempo and stay out of foul trouble.
We’ve learned to never count out these Warriors until there the clock reads 0:00, but we should expect heavy minutes from the remaining Warriors core. That means great overs if we can pick the right ones.
Kings vs Warriors Prediction & Pick
I can’t recommend a side in good faith, but it feels like Kings or pass.
When dynasties go down, they often go down hard. The Warriors could’ve lost by 15 or 20 in each of the first two games, and now they lost their one truly irreplaceable player. The spread dropped two points without Green, and that’s just not enough. The Kings have clearly been the better team this series.
The Kings moneyline still seems too long at +190, and Sacramento is +850 to win by 11-plus (FanDuel) and +4500 to win by 26-plus (DraftKings) if you think this gets away from the Warriors. The Kings are -160 to win the series (62%), and it’s hard to imagine the Warriors taking four of five at this point. Sacramento -2.5 is +225 if you think they can do this in five games or less, and a sweep is +1000.
It may feel wild, but those numbers are all priced a bit long. If you don’t buy the Warriors mystique and think this is the end, fire away.
If you must play the Warriors, I recommend getting out early. Be careful with the old Warriors home third quarter trend. They were just ninth in home Net Rating in the third quarter, and the Kings actually ranked third on the road there. Sacramento ranks 15th in road first halves, and that’s typically a good angle to play with a team coming home 0-2 in a playoff series. The Warriors are far better at home, and desperate. If you’re playing the Warriors, play first or just firs quarter and get out.
Instead, I’ll recommend a pair of Draymond-less props.
Someone is going to have to hit the glass for Golden State. Andrew Wiggins leapt from 4.5 RPG in the regular season to 7.5 in the playoffs last year with at least five boards in 20 of 22 games. He had 10 boards his one game without Green this year. He’ll need to hit the glass at both ends and might end up even playing some center minutes if the Warriors get desperate.
Curry will have to handle a ton, even more than usual. The Kings will trap and double him and force him to make early decisions, and that hasn’t always gone well. Curry had five turnovers each of the first two games of this series and six in each of his two regular season games without Green. He had at least four turnovers in 25 of 44 games (57%) this season when he played 32 minutes, averaging 3.7 per game.
Give me Curry over 3.5 turnovers and Wiggins over 6.5 rebounds with Green out. I’ll let you decide if you want to get wild backing the Kings to win the game or series at the long odds too.
Pick: Curry over 3.5 turnovers (-130) | Wiggins over 6.5 rebounds (-110)
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