Kings vs. Pacers prediction: NBA odds, picks, best bets for Friday
The Kings will try to get back in the win column when they visit the Pacers on Friday night.
Sacramento ended its four-game winning streak with a 115-106 defeat in Miami on Wednesday.
Before the Miami setback, the last time Sacramento lost a game was at home against the Pacers two weeks ago as an 8.5-point favorite. Surprisingly, the Kings are favorites again, despite being on the road.
After opening as a 1.5-point favorite, Sacramento is now up to -3 at most sportsbooks.
This line feels a bit tricky despite the Pacers playing the second leg of a back-to-back.
In this preview, Ill share how the Pacers injury report impacts my thoughts on this matchup and why Sacramentos player props might be our best option to get involved.
Kings vs. Pacers odds
|Kings -3 (-112)
|Over 248.5 (-112)
|Pacers +3 (-108)
|Under 248.5 (-108)
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook## Kings analysis
Suppose we accept that the bookmakers were correct to open Sacramento as a small road favorite.
Then, after we adjust for homecourt advantage, whywerent the Kings laying at least double digits a few weeks ago when they met in Sacramento?
The inability to provide a proper explanation further supports my assessment that something else is afoot here with this line.
The point spread isnt the only line where weve seen a significant market move. The total is also up to 248.5 after opening at 244.5.
While weve come to expect these high totals with Pacers games, the Kings have some surprising home/away splits that we need to be aware of.
According to TeamRankings, the Kings average roughly three fewer possessions on the road (102.6) than at home (105.5).
Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers has been on a minutes restriction. Getty ImagesBut theres much more to the story than simply their pace of play. The Kings also play better defensively on the road. Sacramentos defensive rating has a 114.0 value on the road vs. 118.0 at home, per NBA.com.
Though its not uncommon to see this type of margin, we generally expect teams to perform better at home with the crowd fully behind them than in a hostile environment on the road.
Having said that, I dont think this revelation is enough to justify the Kings being road favorites in this spot. My spidey sense tells me that something else is in play here.
Per NBA rules, because the Pacers are on the second leg of a back-to-back, they dont have to submit an official injury report until 1 p.m. local time on the day of the game.
As things stand, the only injury we know of involves Bennedict Mathurin, who missed Indianas last two games with a tow injury and will be a game-time decision Friday night.
The Arizona product is Indianas fourth-leading scorer (14.3 points per game) despite coming off the bench for much of the season.
While the Pacers couldve certainly used Mathurin in their last two games, which resulted in losses, theres still enough depth on this team to overcome his absence.
Indiana lost both games by five or fewer points as their All-Star point guard, Tyrese Haliburton, was limitd to only 22 minutes following his return from a hamstring injury.
The Pacers placed Haliburton on a strict minutes restriction to avoid a possible re-injury. However, how theyve managed his minutes has been a bit confounding.
Instead of staggering Haliburtons minutes so hes available in the crucial moments later in the game, the Pacers started their point guard and used up his minutes before the fourth quarter even got underway.
When questioned by reporters about Haliburton after Thursday’s loss, coach Rick Carlisle appeared to be feeling some pressure regarding how the team has handled the point guard.
Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings. Getty Images“I’m not going to talk about minutes,” he said. “I’m not going to talk about minute restrictions or minute limits before any game. That would be foolish.”
Given how cautious the Pacers have been with handling Haliburtons minutes, I wouldnt at all be surprised to see them rule him out on Friday with such a quick turnaround.
I suspect the sportsbooks are also taking a guarded approach due to Haliburtons influence on games (the Pacers were up in their last two losses when their point guard was pulled in the third quarter of each game), as they opted not to post any early player props for Indianas players.
Kings vs. Pacers picks
Despite having only Kings player props to choose from at the moment, here are a few from Friday night’s game that offer some value.
Pick 1: Keegan Murray over 2.5 made 3-pointers (+140 at DraftKings)
Murrays coming off a 7-for-11 performance from behind the arc in a game where therest of the team shot just 5-for-29. However, Kings coach Mike Brown wasnt too upset with the rest of the teams poor shooting when speaking to reporters after the game.
“If you’re open, you’ve got to let it fly,” Brown said. “So I’m okay, thinking back, with most of the looks we got. We know we’re a good 3-point shooting team. You just hope they go in.”
As long as Brown is okay with his team continuing to take shots from the perimeter, I like Murrays chances to stay hot in what the bookmakers project will be a high-scoring affair.
Pick 2: DeAaron Fox under 9.5 rebounds + assists (-135 at DraftKings)
Although Fox is averaging around 9.5 rebounds + assists this season, hes exceeded this number just once in his last 13 games.
One would think the bookmakers would have adjusted this number by now, but we can still find a 9.5 available at DraftKings.
This season, Fox increased his scoring to a career-best 27.2 points per game, so hes taken on a greater responsibility within the Kings offense.
Foxs teammate, Domantas Sabonis, is also posting career numbers in rebounding (13.0) and assists (8.0) while leading the team in both categories.
With Sabonis taking on an increased role as a facilitator, I think well see these numbers continue to trend downward for Fox.
Picks: Keegan Murray over 2.5 made 3-pointers | DeAaron Fox under 9.5 rebounds + assists
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