NBA Preview and Pick - Sacramento at Denver

A betting preview for the Sacramento Kings at Denver Nuggets Wednesday night matchup.

Preview, picks and betting tips for Kings at Nuggets

With the playoff/seedings push in full force throughout the NBA, Wednesday night’s game between the Sacramento Kings (33-24) and the defending-champion Denver Nuggets (39-19) carries a fair amount of weight.

NBA free pick Sacramento DenverWhile it’s a bit premature to refer to this as a playoff preview, it is possible. Denver is (through Monday) currently third in the Western Conference (a game-and-a-half behind both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder), while the Kings are seventh, just outside a guaranteed berth in the postseason. 

Sacramento’s had Denver’s number this season, 3-0 with wins by six, 29 and four points, respectively. The last meeting (Sacramento, 102-98, at Denver Valentine’s Night) saw the Kings erase a 16-point, second-half deficit. De'aaron Fox led with 30 points, adding eight rebounds and eight assists. 

Sacramento had rattled off three wins in a row before a disappointing 121-110 home loss to the depleted Miami Heat on Monday evening. 

Denver has won its last three, against subpar competition. There was a 20-point home victory over the Washington Wizards, 15 (home) against the Portland Trail Blazers and 16 (away) against the Golden State Warriors. Denver limped into the All-Star break losing its last three.

It’s no surprise that Nikola Jokic had triple-doubles in all three, including a 32-point, 16-rebound, 16-assist stat stuffer against the Warriors. During this borderline-illegal three-game run, Jokic is averaging 27.3 points, 16.7 rebounds and 15 assists.

Early lines have the home team as a 7-point favorite. For more recent numbers, please refer to NBA odds.   

What’s the Point(s)?

The Sacramento Kings average 118.5 points per game this season, eighth in the league. That's the good news. The bad news is surrendering 117.9 points per game (22nd in NBA), so there are what they are.
Sacramento Kings free pick
De’Aaron Fox (26.9 points per game) leads the Kings, while Domantas Sabonis (20 points, 13.2 rebounds, 8½ assists) has been "Jokic Lite" this season, arguably the best in a 10-year career.

Six Kings average in double figures this season, including Malik Monk (15.1 point/game) and Keean Murray (15), so there is balance.

Sacramento enters at 17-14 on the road this season.

Ready to Defend

Apparently, the Denver Nuggets read the memo, that after going into the All-Star break playing as if last season's title wasn’t legit. 

Denver lost three games in a row before the break, including two to these Kings. As was mentioned above, Denver is back with a vengeance, 3-0 to begin its second half. While Jokic (season 26.1 points, 12.3 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game has been obscenely good, he’s had help. Nuggets fre pick

Jamal Murray (20,6 points/game) had 27 in the win over the Warriors last out, white Michael Porter Jr. had 34 in the previous game’s win at Portland.

Denver has also been consistently stingy on defense, having surrendered 110.7 points/game (sixth in NBA). It’s also eighth in field-goal percentage defense (46.6 percent).

Take the Nuggets

Denver is the 5-2 (+250) co-favorite (with the Los Angeles Clippers) to win the West, while Sacramento is 30-1 (+3000), as per NBA conference odds.

It seems sort of unfathomable that the Sacramento Kings are in a position to sweep this season series, but they are and they can. 

Now, however, Sacramento has to go back to Colorado and face a more-focused team in the surging Nuggets.

Denver is undefeated since the break, Nikola Jokic is playing at a different level than everyone else in the league and the team is defending.

Perhaps in a game of look-ahead, Sacramento lost a winnable home game against short- handed Miami. While not dismissing either De’Aaron Fox, Domanta Sabonis or any of the fine supporting cast, Denver needs to salvage one game in this series.

Take the Denver Nuggets as a home favorite Wednesday evening.

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