NBA Pick March 11th: Kings at Wizards

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Monday brings us 6 games in the NBA, but oddsmakers in Las Vegas think the battle between the Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards in the nation’s capital will be the highest-scoring affair of the night. Vegas has slapped this game with a total of 240 points as of this writing.

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That makes sense, as these 2 teams rank among the league leaders in pace while defense is secondary. Both teams rank in the bottom-half of the league in defensive efficiency (Washington is way down at 28th), while the Kings play at the third-fastest pace and the Wizards are seventh.

This will be the second and final meeting of the season between the teams. Washington went into Sacramento and took a 116-112 loss way back on October 26, though both teams looked quite different back then. For example, Markieff Morris, John Wall, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Ian Mahinmi started that game for Washington next to Bradley Beal. Beal is the only one that will be in the Wizards’ lineup tonight. Morris and Oubre were traded, while Wall and Mahinmi are currently injured.

The following odds are courtesy of our live odds feed:

Betting Data Kings Wizards
2019 Straight-Up 33-32 27-39
2019 Home 20-14 18-12
2019 Away 13-18 9-27
2019 ATS 38-25-2 31-35-0
2019 ATS Home 22-10-2 19-11-0
2019 ATS Away 16-18-0 12-24-0
2019 O/U 32-33-0 41-24-1
2019 O/U Home 14-20-0 21-9-0
2019 O/U Away 18-13-0 20-15-1

Kings’ Playoff Battle

If the season ended today, both of these teams would be on the outside looking in on the playoff picture. Sacramento is 33-32 thus far, and they have unquestionably exceeded expectations already. Most had the Kings projected to be one of the worst teams in the league yet again this season, but that hasn’t been the case.

Still, getting into the playoffs might be too tall an order. Sacramento is currently 4 games behind the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers in terms of record with less than 20 games left in the season. The Kings will have the chance to make up some of the ground thanks to a head-to-head matchup in San Antonio at the end of March, but 4 games is a pretty wide gap with so little time left in the season.

Regardless, the campaign has been an unmitigated success. The team’s young core of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley has made huge strides. Bagley is currently injured, but his play before going down with a knee problem was hugely impressive. Fox and Hield have steadily improved quite a bit, and they are now thought of as one of the brightest young backcourts in the game.

Teams that exceed preseason expectations tend to fare well when it comes to beating the odds, and the Kings are no exception. Sacramento’s 38-25-2 record against the spread this season is the best ATS record in the league.

Wizards’ Waning Hopes

Unlike the Kings, the Wizards were expected to make the playoffs pretty easily this season. They got off to a dreadful start, however, and they haven’t really recovered. Washington started the season just 1-7, which effectively proved to be a death knell for their playoff aspirations.

Despite being 12 games under .500 entering play on Monday, the Wizards technically aren’t eliminated quite yet. The bottom half of the Eastern Conference playoff picture is so weak that the Wizards, like the KIngs, are just 4 games out. Miami’s 31-35 record is good enough for eighth place right now. Unlike Sacramento, who is ninth in the west, the Wizards are 11th in the east. So, they’d have to leapfrog a handful of teams just to squeak their way in.

Injuries have decimated the Wizards this season, but Bradley Beal has been one of the few exceptions. Beal has played like a legitimate superstar this season, which is one of the saving graces for Washington moving forward. Beal is averaging 25.8 points along with 5.5 assists and 5.2 rebounds this season, all of which are career-highs.

Washington’s schedule down the stretch of the season isn’t particularly daunting, but it would take a massive run at this point. The Wizards just haven’t been able to beat good teams. Washington is a putrid 10-25 on the season against teams with records of .500 or better. The same can be said of the Kings, who are just 11-24 in such matchups.

The Pick

I like the Kings here. Sacramento is a young and hungry team at this point, while the Wizards have the look of a team that is just ready for the offseason at this point. I do think this game has a strong chance of going over 240 points, but the total is high enough to where that makes for a risky bet.

The better bet looks like Sacramento here. You can take them to cover the 1.5-point spread at -108, or you can bet on the Kings to win the game outright at -130 on the moneyline. The better betting value is on the spread, so that’s my preferred wager in this game.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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