Sacramento Kings NBA Win Total Odds & Pick: Are the Kings Worth a Bet?
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyrese Haliburton #0 and De’Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings.
Kings Win Total Odds
The Case for the Over
Sacramento was top-10 in games lost to injury via ManGamesLost.com last season. De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes, the backbone of the team’s Net Rating, each missed 14. Richaun Holmes missed 11, and he had the best Net Rating of any rotation player.
The Kings’ two most-used lineups were not only plus in Net Rating, but +7.2 and +7.6, respectively. Those are great numbers. For perspective, the Kings had the 16th-best four-man unit to play at least 750 minutes together last season. That’s really promising.
The Kings added the most NBA-ready player in the draft (at least from pre-draft perspectives) in Davion Mitchell, who lit up Summer League. If Mitchell is an impact player, that might bump them up.
They went over last season, a fact that honestly surprised me, and have gone over in two of the past three seasons. Their pace last season was 35 per 82, so they just need a one-game improvement.
Fox only played in two of their final 15 games as they attempted to improve draft positioning. Fox’s on-court numbers were the worst of any rotation player, and you just don’t expect that from the team’s best player; Fox should have a bounce-back season.
In the 11 games Richaun Holmes missed, the Kings went 2-9. Holmes had the best on-court net rating of any player to play more than 20 games for the Kings last season.
In the games he played in, the Kings’ win-pace per 82 games was 39. So if either Holmes can avoid missing significant time, or if the Kings just improve slightly in the games where he’s out, there’s a path there.
The Case for the Under
I don’t mean to be reductive. I really don’t.
But it’s the Kings. Do you want to tie up your money for six months to bet the Kings will be better than market expectations?
Their Pythagorean expectation was 2.2 lower than their actual, so even their not-great record was a bit above where it statistically should have been. They were 10-5 in 3-point games…. and still won at just a 35-wins-per-82-games pace. Yikes.
The Kings have the sixth-toughest rest-adjusted strength of schedule per PositiveResidual.com. Schedule-wise, they don’t have any plus marks from rest advantage to rest disadvantage to back-to-backs; it’s all middle of the road. They play in the toughest division in basketball with four teams expected to make the playoffs; they’ll be dogs in every healthy game against their division opponents.
The Kings may have gone over in two of their last three seasons, but they went under in the previous six under the same ownership.
There are plenty of chemistry concerns and unstable elements for this team. Marvin Bagley’s dad was outright feuding with the team and Fox last season.
League sources told Action Network that the Kings had tried to deal Bagley from the trade deadline through the summer to no avail. Keeping him seems untenable. Trading him seems challenging to get value back.
Buddy Hield was also heavily involved in trade talks this summer, nearly dealt to the Lakers. If you have multiple players on the roster who know they’re not a part of the short or long-term plans for the team, that hurts cohesiveness. Hard for everyone to pull in the same direction if guys are looking at where their future leads.
The Kings are reported to be involved in Ben Simmons talks but won’t make Fox available. Does Simmons make them better? Probably, but presumably, Hield would be included, and then you have spacing problems.
But the biggest reason to take this under is Luke Walton. Walton has gone over in three of his five seasons as a head coach (with one season the 2020 COVID-reduced campaign; the Kings were on pace for the under that season).
But there just isn’t a lot of confidence that he’s the guy. His teams haven’t finished above .500 in any of those five seasons. Even if he’s sneaking over, there’s no confidence that he’s the right coach for this team.
Associate head coach Alvin Gentry is the most likely replacement candidate. If not him, Bobby Jackson might take over. Either candidate might improve the team, but at that point, assuming Walton is replaced, the team may be so far off track it won’t matter.
Kings Win Total Bet
More than maybe any other, this has to be a stay-away. The Kings’ number is bare-bones; it’s basically where they were the last two seasons.
They’re just as likely to wind up just over as just under, with very little probability of extremes. Fox plus the rest of the talent is too good to project them sub-30-wins; the roster and coaching and Kangzness mean 40-plus feels unlikely as well.
The roster isn’t awful. There are signs they can be pretty decent. The roster isn’t good. There are lots of signs they’ll be mediocre.
The prospect of a Simmons trade only increases the variance.
There’s just no reason to bet this. There’s no value.