Nuggets vs. Kings Odds, Pick, Prediction: Value Leans Toward Denver
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Michael Porter Jr. #1 of the Denver Nuggets, Kevin Huerter #9 of the Sacramento Kings.
- The Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings will play for the second time in as many nights Wednesday.
- The Nuggets won the first matchup and are short favorites in the second leg of the back-to-back.
- Joe Dellera explains how he's betting Nuggets vs. Kings below.
Nuggets vs. Kings Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
These two teams face off for their second contest in as many days on Wednesday night.
Let's break the Nuggets vs. Kings odds and determine which side has more value.
The Nuggets have a few players to keep an eye on for this game with no rest. Jamal Murray (injury management), Aaron Gordon (shoulder – Questionable), Bruce Brown (ankle – Doubtful), and Jeff Green (hand/finger – Out). Gordon missed Tuesday's game after being downgraded from Questionable.
It raises the question of whether or not the Nuggets wanted to "save" him for the second game considering Sabonis did not play Tuesday night for the Kings. Murray has yet to play in a back-to-back set this season and the primary beneficiaries of his absence are Bones Hyland and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
On the season, the Nuggets have continued to climb in Adjusted Offensive Rating and now sit in fifth with a mark of 115.8 – this offsets their paltry Adjusted Defensive Rating of 114.3, the 24th-ranked mark in the league, per Dunks and threes. This team relies on its offense to overpower opponents on a nightly basis.
But even with injuries to their starters, the team is wholly reliant on the back-to-back MVP, Nikola Jokic. Jokic has a +27.8 point differential on the season, and he truly elevates this offense, per Cleaning the Glass.
What is stunning is that last night he nearly had a triple-double with 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 11 assists yet his Usage Rate was just 18.8%, which is a far cry from his 29.9% Usage on the season. I'd expect a bigger game from Jokic tonight who has averaged 25.8 points, 14.3 rebounds, and 9 assists in 13 games without rest over the past two seasons.
The Kings' injury report is Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis suffered a right thumb avulsion fracture and missed last night's game against the Nuggets and is listed as Questionable for tonight's.
The injury is to his non-shooting hand, and he just sustained this on Friday – this type of injury generally takes a few weeks to completely heal. The Kings elected to start Alex Len but he played just 14 minutes and Trey Lyles and Richaun Holmes saw the biggest uptick in minutes by playing 23 minutes each.
The loss of Sabonis is significant, he is averaging 17.9 points, 12.4 rebounds (league leader), 6.7 assists per game, and leads the Kings with a +14.4 point differential, per Cleaning the Glass.
When Sabonis is on the floor, the team has a +5.9 point differential overall, the offense is excellent but the defense improves as well. Without Sabonis, this falls to a –8.4 point differential with offensive and defensive ratings below the 20th percentile of all lineups.
The Kings do not have an answer for Jokic on the defensive side of the ball without Sabonis and this is tough for a team that is situated similarly to the Nuggets. The Kings are sixth in Adjusted Offense but are 23rd in Adjusted Defense. They cannot afford to lose more defense.
It is important to note that even if Sabonis can return to play, this injury to his non-shooting hand likely impacts his aggression on the boards and his dexterity with the basketball.
I'd consider Unders on Sabonis' rebounds prop, even though he is the best rebounder in the league this season and has had success against Jokic over the last four years. He won't be 100%, and that matters in a duel with the reigning two-time MVP.
This spread is set at 2.5 and likely would balloon to 4.5 if Sabonis is out, but I think it would settle around 3.5 if Murray was also ruled out. Regardless, I still find value with Denver.
The Nuggets have the best player on the court, and even if Sabonis is able to return the contributions should be compromised.
I'll back Denver to take care of business tonight with their elite offense behind a big performance from Jokic, and take a 2-0 lead on the season vs the Kings.
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